You have probably read about my Mum being a fabulous cook many times on this blog. I’m always hopeful that I can come close to approximating her meals with our dietary limitations.
However, as a kid, I only remember gravy being made in instant form from powder in a packet (Sorry Mum!)… most probably because it was much quick and less fatty. So as an adult learning how to make gravy has been a bit of a challenge for me…. and it seems I’m not alone! It was always a little hit and miss until I recently saw a very old episode of ‘Good Eats’, hosted by Alton Brown. His method for making gravy was to thicken with a roux (fat and flour), so that the flour has already cooked out before it combines with the meat juices. And now we get great gravy every time.
See below the recipe for a vegan version.
I tend to cook in bulk, and gravy is no exception. This recipe makes about 3 cups of gravy. I pour into reusable squeezey containers and freeze. It means when I cook a leg of lamb that does us for 3 meals – I have the gravy ready to go for each of the following meals too.
- 3 cups Meat juices (I get about this from a large leg of lamb that I have slow cooked)
- 2 tbsp fat (either from the meat or Nuttelex)
- 2 tbsp flour (I use either spelt or a GF flour mix)
A general ratio of 1 tbsp fat, 1 tbsp flour to each 1.5 cups of liquid.
After I have removed the meat, I strain the meat juices and reserve the liquid.
Sit the liquid in the fridge for a couple of hours so that the fat separates and solidifies on the top. Then I scoop off the fat.
In a medium saucepan warm the juices back up – they will be quite jelly-like after cooling.
In a large saucepan, over a medium heat, melt your fat of choice, either the fat scooped off the top of the top of the cooled meat juice or use Nuttelex.
Then add in your flour. Whisk it to combine well. This is your roux and it needs to cook for about 4-5 minutes, whisking regularly, to allow the raw taste of the flour to cook out.
Then add 1/2 a cup of the warmed meat juices at a time into the roux, whisking whilst you add, and waiting till all combined before you add the next 1/2 cup.
Cooking, whisking regularly over a very gentle heat until you see the mixture come to a very slight simmer. Remove from the heat and serve with your meal.
Mixtures thickened with flour will continue to thicken on cooling, so try to serve as soon as possible. You can add a little boiling water if you wish to have runnier gravy.
Of course, you can use this method for all meats and add extra flavours to intensify those already in the juices.
To make a vegan version, simply replace the meat juices with equal measure of a vegan stock (I use Massel) and use a vegan butter in place of the meat fats.