Since becoming a vegetarian, I’d say the hardest thing to veggiefy would be gravy. Now that I think about it, I don’t think I was very good at making gravy even when I used animal products. Oh well.
I’ve tried a lot of different recipes, all good, but not what I was looking for. Chickpea gravy was too thick for me, I didn’t like the shroomy chunks in mushroom gravy. I didn’t like the mix you buy at the store because who the eff knows what they even put in that?
I think I’ve come up with a pretty good recipe, one that is very similar to “regular” gravy anyway. My local community college has started up a culinary program, and I’ve been teaching a few of the classes, and switched up one of the recipes in the book to make this gravy.
Espagnole (or brown) sauce is one of the five mother sauces, and it’s essentially a sauce made from a brown stock (normally beef or veal) and is thickened with a roux (butter and flour). You could use a veloute as the base, (A very similar mother sauce, only this one using white/chicken stock) but I wanted a richer flavor.
I think the best flavor comes from the broth you use, so don’t use a crappy one. If you make your own, kudos to you. I’m not patient enough for that, nor have I ever tasted a homemade stock that had the flavor profile I was looking for. (Always too many leeks. euh. I hate leeks.)
Anywho, let’s move on to the recipe, shall we?
Adapted from On Cooking, Espagnole sauce, pg. 204.
Ingredients: (I apologize, some of these are measured by weight, so you will need a kitchen scale.)
6oz. -Mirepoix (A mixture of 25% carrots, 25% celery, 50% onion)
1 1/2 fl. oz -Butter (Or Futter aka Earth Balance, which is what I use)
1 1/2 oz. -A.P. flour
30 fl. oz -Vegetable stock
1 1/2 oz. -Tomato puree (I used canned tomato sauce)
1 -Bay leaf
pinch -Thyme (dry)
Salt and pepper to taste. (Be careful with the salt if your broth is salty to begin with!!)
1. Sautee the mirepoix in the butter until caramelized.
2.Add the flour to make a brown roux. (A brown roux is where you cook the mixture until it is brown, something that isn’t really achievable if you are using non dairy butter. Just cook it until it starts to get a little color!!
You want to let it bubble like this, stirring occasionally so it does burn or stick to the bottom of the pan. The lighting in my kitchen is terrible, so this comes off a lot yellower than it actually was.
3. Now you want to add the stock and tomato puree. The tomato sauce may seem like an odd addition, but it adds a lot of depth and flavor to the sauce. You’ll want to stir this, and break up and roux/flour clumps. Some people like to use a whisk, but I just use a spatula. Bring it up to a boil
4. Now you want to add your spices, the bay leaf and thyme. Then turn the heat down and let it simmer, until it is reduced by almost half. You’ll notice it starting to get a little thicker.
5. Finally, you’ll want to strain it, getting rid of the bay leaf, and all those chunks of veggies.
You’ll notice mine doesn’t have any onions. That is because my dad is a monster (kidding) and doesn’t like onions. So I just used half carrots and half celery for my mirepoix.
At this point, you can refrigerate it, or put it back on the stove to keep warm. Season with salt and pepper, then enjoy!!
This gravy has a lot of the same flavors as regular gravy does. I like my gravy salty, so I add a bit of salt. I think it has a really nice color too, there is nothing worse than a weak looking gravy. I made this gravy for Thanksgiving and now Christmas, and it was a huge hit both times. Definitly a new favorite!
Once again, sorry for the yellowy-ness. Here is the money shot- Mashed potato volcano!! (It’s actually the mashed cauliflower recipe from Appetite for Reduction, which my family likes better than regular mashed potatoes.)
The carrots you see pictured were also from the same book as the gravy, and I plan on sharing that recipe very soon!
Do you have any holiday favorites? (food or otherwise!)