I'm still pretty new to gravy making but all my attempts so far have been pretty tasty. Here are a few tips from my own experience.
Much of the flavor comes from the pan drippings. Since they are often kind of hardened by all the heat, you'll need to deglaze the pan first. I like to use white wine for that step. Turn the heat up high and pour in a bunch of wine (you don't have to skimp since much of it will evaporate in the process of deglazing the pan and cooking the gravy down). Stir and scrape constantly to try to loosen all the drippings and incorporate them into the wine.
Add good stock. This is what will make up the bulk of the gravy so it's best to work with a rich, flavorful stock - it'll make your job easier for sure.
Add some finely minced herbs. I added finely chopped thyme, parsely and rosemary. Then season liberally with salt and pepper!
Thicken with flour or cornstarch to get it to a gravy-like consistency. I prefer flour (cornstarch seems wrong to me in gravy, somehow) but regardless of which thickener you use, you should first mix it with a small amount of water to create a thin paste. Adding it to the gravy this way will help prevent lumps and require much less stirring on your part.
Add other flavorings as desired (optional). You can enhance the flavor of the gravy by adding worcestershire sauce, a little maple syrup, pomegranate molasses (a wonderful thing my Aunt Katy introduced me to recently), a splash of balsamic vinegar, a teaspoon of lingonberry jam, etc.
Below is a list of the basic ingredients with some measurements but keep in mind that this is all pretty flexible. If you use more stock, you'll have to cook it a bit longer to get it to cook down to the desired consistency, or use less stock, and cook it a shorter amount. If 4 tbsps of flour is not doing the trick, add more until you get to the thickness you're looking for. Use more herbs for a stronger flavor or none for a simpler gravy, etc., etc. There's no need to feel hemmed in by exact measurements.
- Pan drippings
- 4 cups stock
- 1 1/2 cups of white wine
- 4 tbsps flour
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsps minced parsley
- 1 tsp minced thyme
- 1/2 tsp minced rosemary
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Optional additional seasonings include worcerstershire sauce, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, etc.
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