Good Gravy

Last week I spent all of Thanksgiving day prepping and then cooking with my father. You see, the big holiday meals have always been the men’s department in my family, with the exception of the Christmas Eve smörgåsbord which is my mothers venue.

This years Thanksgiving dinner consisted of the same dishes this year as it did all throughout my childhood. The only real change has been the quality of the food. Now, I’m not complaining about the meals of my youth, they hold a very special place in my memory. All I am saying is that the influence of the Food Network has definitely made it’s impact.

Gone are the days of canned cranberry jelly, the off putting army green peas and most recently eliminated, the powdered gravy mix. It seems that every year brings another new recipie to the table. This year I decided to try my hand, last minute no less, at making gravy from scratch. To everyones surprise it turned out better than any gravy I have ever tasted…. and no, I have not only eaten the powdered kind. Here’s a quick run down of the recipe I cobbled together…

Red Wine Gravy

Start by making a white roux. Over medium heat, melt
8 Tbsp. Butter (let it get sizzling) whisk in 10 Tbsp.
White Flour and don’t miss a beat. The roux recipie
called for 12 Tbsp. of Flour, but I preferred this
consistency.

It should loosen up in about 5 minutes or so. Let cool
almost to room temperature, while bringing your other
liquids up to a simmer.

Your other liquids are:
3 cups of skimmed turkey drippings
2 Cups Chicken Broth
1 cup Red Wine

Add about 1/2 cup of your liquids to your cool roux to
loosen it back up and start the thickening process. Hike
to high heat and add all but a 1/4 cup of your liquids. As
soon as you see bubbles breaking the surface, you will be
fully thickened.

Reduce to low heat and let simmer for up
to a half hour. The longer you simmer, the smoother your
gravy will be.

Just before bringing it to the table add the
last 1/4 cup of your liquids to counteract the thickening
that will happen as your gravy begins to cool on the table.

There is a great video which I have embeded below on how to make a roux and gravy, by Alton Brown from the Food Network. It was with some fascination for the older generation, but a more an more common sight for those of us comfortable with technology. There I was standing over a hot stove working all my dishes with the iPhone propped on the counter, franticly searching recipies and videos until I found this one and started cooking along with Alton.


Alton Brown – Roux and Gravy

One last gravy related tip, especially for those of you who don’t mind something non-traditional. Try putting your gravy in a thermos instead of a gravy boat. A good thermos will keep your gravy warm for up to 5 hours. I hope this inspires you to break out of the mold a bit if you haven’t already. As for me, I have a few recipes I’ll be trying out in preparation for Christmas dinner over the next two weeks. I’ll pass along some more recipes if they turn out well.

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~ by David on December 3, 2009.

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