October 11, 2014

Hasty Mushroom & Port Gravy

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Whip up this robust gravy to complement beef. You can make the gravy from scratch or use the drippings and juices from roast beef to make pan gravy (see below). The recipe evolved from my basic Hasty Gravy, which is plentiful and can be prepared in advance. Gluten-free? Click here. Need a gravy guide? Hop on My Gravy Train.

1 tbsp (15 mL) extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
8 oz (125 g) button or cremini mushrooms, sliced (about 3-1/2 cups/875 mL)
1 tsp (1 mL) or more kosher salt
1/4 cup (60 mL) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (125 mL) all-purpose flour
3-1/2 cups (375 mL) low-sodium beef stock
1/2 cup (75 mL) dry port
1 tsp (5 mL) thyme leaves
1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground pepper
Browning to taste

In medium pan, heat oil on medium heat until shimmery. Add shallot and cook, stirring often, 1 minute, or until softened. Add mushrooms and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt. Cook, stirring often, 2 minutes, or until liquid is released and evaporates, and mushrooms sound squeaky and start to turn golden. Scrape into small bowl.

In same pan, melt butter on medium heat. Add flour and whisk constantly 1 to 2 minutes, until slightly golden. While whisking vigorously, gradually add stock and port, whisking until smooth. Add thyme, 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt and pepper. Return mushroom mixture and its juices to pan. When gravy comes to boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, whisking often, 3 to 5 minutes, until thickened and bubbly.

Add browning. Adjust salt.

Makes 4 cups (1 L).

  • Browning is sugar so darkly caramelized that it has lost its sweetness. It is used as food colouring in everything from gravy to cake. Supermarkets sell it.
  • The gravy can be reheated. Do not cover the pan to keep it warm. It will thin out if steam attacks it.
  • You can prepare this gravy a day or three in advance. Refrigerate it, and when the time comes, reheat in a small pan on medium-low heat, whisking occasionally, until bubbly. Or use the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds.

Pan Mushroom & Port Gravy
Prepare alongside roast beef. Using rubber spatula, scrape drippings from roasting pan into gravy separator, separating fat from juices. Pour juices into large measuring cup. Add enough stock to equal 3-1/2 cups (750 mL). Return roasting pan to medium heat. Add port. Cook, scraping pan with whisk, 1 minute. Add stock mixture. Boil 1 to 2 minutes, scraping pan with whisk. Strain back into measuring cup. Measure fat from drippings; you’ll need 1/4 cup (60 mL) so supplement with butter if necessary. Add to roasting pan on medium heat. Whisk in flour 1 to 2 minutes, until turning golden. While whisking constantly, gradually add stock mixture until smooth. Add mushroom mixture. When gravy comes to full boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 3 to 5 minutes, until thickened and bubbly. Adjust salt.

Credit: Susan Sampson
Tested in Imperial