November 11, 2018


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Why should carnivores hog the gravy boat? This luscious gravy, fortified with dried mushrooms, herbs and sherry, will please vegetarians and vegans. It will, however, satisfy all manner of diners. Vege-Gravy is a riff on my Hasty Gravy, which makes a plentiful boatload in advance. Need an all-purpose gravy guide? Hop on My Gravy Train.

1 oz (30 g) dried shiitakes or porcinis, broken in pieces
4 cups (1 L) low-sodium vegetable stock, divided
1/4 cup (60 mL) water (optional)
1/4 cup (60 mL) unsalted butter or vegan butter substitute
1/2 cup (125 mL) all-purpose flour (2-1/4 oz/65 g)
1 tbsp (15 mL) each: low-sodium soy sauce, dry sherry
1 tsp (5 mL) each: chopped parsley, chopped chives
1 tsp (15 mL) thyme leaves or chopped rosemary
1 tsp (5 mL) or more kosher salt
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) ground white pepper
Browning to taste

In medium bowl, microwave mushrooms and stock 3 minutes, or until boiling. Steep 30 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft and cool enough to handle. Place fine-mesh sieve over large measuring cup. Strain mixture. By handfuls, squeeze mushrooms to extract excess liquid. (Save mushrooms for soups, stir-fries or other uses.) You should have 3-1/2 cups (825 mL) broth. If necessary, add some or all of water to make up difference. Microwave broth 1 minute, or until warm.

In medium pan, melt butter or butter substitute on medium heat. Add flour. Whisk 1 minute, or until thick, pasty and slightly golden.

Remove from heat. While whisking vigorously, gradually add warm broth, whisking until smooth after each addition. Whisk in soy sauce, sherry, parsley, chives, thyme or rosemary, 1 tsp (1 mL) salt and pepper. Heat, whisking often, on medium 2 minutes, or until starting to simmer and thicken. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring often and then constantly with whisk, 10 minutes, or until thick and glossy.

Remove from heat. Adjust salt. Add browning.

Makes 3-1/2 cups (875 mL).

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.

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 heat, 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.


Mushroom Vege-Gravy
Chop soaked mushrooms. Add to pan along with herbs.