October 10, 2014

Hasty Peppery Mushroom Gravy

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I love the subtle peppery bite of this gravy, so I make plenty of it. The recipe is a lively riff on my basic Hasty Gravy, which can be prepared in advance. Enjoy it as is, or supplement the meagre gravy made from your roast’s pan drippings (Land of Plenty Gravy). Want it gluten-free? Try: Hasty Peppery Mushroom Gravy (Gluten-Free). Need an all-purpose gravy guide? Hop on My Gravy Train.

1/4 cup (60 mL) unsalted butter, divided
8 oz (250 g) mixed mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 tsp (5 mL) or more kosher salt
4 cups (1 mL) low-sodium chicken stock, divided
1/2 cup (125 mL) all-purpose flour (2-1/4 oz/65 g)
1 tbsp (15 mL) soy sauce/worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground white pepper
Browning to taste

In medium pan, melt 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter on medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt. Cook, stirring often, 5 minutes, or until liquid released by mushrooms evaporates, and mushrooms sizzle and squeak. Transfer to medium bowl. Reserve pan.

In large measuring cup, microwave stock 2 minutes, or until steamy.

In reserved pan, melt remaining 3 tbsp (45 mL) butter on medium heat. Add flour. Whisk 1 minute, or until thick, pasty and slightly golden.

Remove from heat. While whisking vigorously, gradually add 3-1/2 cups (875 mL) warm stock, whisking until smooth after each addition. Whisk in soy sauce or worcestershire, 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt and pepper. Add mushrooms (with juices). Heat, stirring often, on medium 2 minutes, or until starting to simmer and thicken. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring often and then constantly, 10 minutes, or until thick and glossy.

Remove from heat. Add some or all of remaining 1/2 cup (125 mL) stock to adjust thickness. (Gravy will thicken more as it cools.) Adjust salt. Add browning.

Makes 4 cups (1 L).

Kitchen Secrets: To prevent lumpy gravy, it’s important to add stock gradually and to whisk until smoothly combined before adding more. For thicker gravy, continue to simmer until reduced as desired.

Tool Time: I use a ball whisk to make mushroom sauces and gravies. It has open prongs, each one topped with a little ball. The mushrooms won’t get stuck in it.

Bright Ideas: For the smoothest, richest, most decadent gravy, add heavy cream (35%) in place of some of the remaining 1/2 cup (125 mL) stock.

Oh No: Never cover the pan to keep your gravy warm. It will thin out if steam attacks it.

Make-Ahead: 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, whisking occasionally, until bubbly. Or microwave it, stirring every 30 seconds.

B is for Browning: Sugar so darkly caramelized that it has lost its sweetness is sold as browning. It is used as a food colouring in everything from gravy to cake. Supermarkets sell browning.