All Aboard the Gravy Train

Gravy is proof there’s magic in the world. A little fat, a little flour, a little heat and presto! Deliciousness in liquid form. And let’s be real: What’s the point of mashed potatoes without a great big dollop of gravy on top? Or a slice of roast turkey that’s not swimming in a delicious savoury sea? Gravy is a super simple way to up your food game, so here are some less common gravies to up your gravy game.

 

Bourbon Gravy

Make your gravy a little saucier with a little alcohol — and we’re not talking about deglazing wine. Bourbon adds the perfect balance of sweetness and richness, plus the extra colour doesn’t hurt either. You don’t have to worry about the kids here since most of the alcohol cooks off during the process. Now, here’s how you spike a gravy:

 

Ingredients:

Reserved drippings

2 sprigs rosemary

½ cup bourbon

¼ cup all-purpose flour

4 cups chicken stock

Black pepper

 

Instructions:

1. Cook reserved drippings and rosemary sprigs over medium-high heat until dark brown and thickened.

2. Add bourbon and simmer, stirring occasionally, until syrupy.

3. Sprinkle in flour and stir to combine.

4. Add stock and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened.

5. Strain through a finely meshed sieve then add pepper to taste.

Cream Gravy

Gravy isn’t just for the roasted stuff. Straight out of Texas, this recipe is the cream of the gravy crop. If it looks simple, that’s because it is. Pan drippings, flour and milk come together to create a thick, creamy sauce that’s as good on fried chicken as it is on mashed potatoes. Here’s how to make it:

 

Ingredients:

½ cup of vegetable oil

¾ cup all-purpose flour

4 cups milk

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon fresh black pepper.

 

Instructions:

1. Heat the oil over a medium flame.

2. Slowly whisk in the flour until smooth.

3. Add salt and pepper and whisk to incorporate.

4. Continue cooking and stirring until browned.

5. Slowly stir in milk and continue cooking until desired consistency.

Shrimp Gravy

Gravy isn’t just for land-based meats either. It’s all-inclusive like that. This gravy features our favourite pink friends from the sea and creates a deliciously savoury gravy, with the bacon bits adding that crunchy, salty contrast. Shrimp gravy goes down a treat with mashed potatoes, rice or crumbly bread. Let’s sea about making it:

 

Ingredients:

500g small shrimp, peeled and deveined

6 slices bacon

¼  cup all-purpose flour

1½  cups chopped onion

1 cup chopped celery

¼ cup chopped green pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

⅛ teaspoon pepper

 

Instructions:

1. Mix together shrimp, salt, pepper and ½ teaspoon of garlic powder in a bowl then set aside.

2. Cook bacon in a skillet, then drain and remove, reserving drippings in the pan. Crumble bacon and set aside.

3. Add flour to pan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until browned

4. Add onion, celery and green pepper, then simmer for 5 minutes.

5. Add shrimp, ½ teaspoon of garlic powder to skillet, adding water until covered.

6. Cook over medium heat until desired consistency.

7. Add crumbled bacon then serve.

Chili Gravy

A staple of Tex-Mex cooking, chili gravy is smoky, earthy and very dark. Usually found drizzled over enchiladas, this slightly spicy sauce is like a warm hug for both your tummy and your taste buds. As such, it goes great over pretty much everything. The perfect match though? Tex-Mex style poutine with cheesy french fries. Here’s how you make the gravy:

 

Ingredients

¼ cup lard or vegetable oil

¼ cup flour

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1½ teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

½ teaspoon dried oregano

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 cups chicken broth

 

Instructions:

1. Heat the lard or oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. 

2. Stir in flour and continue stirring until light brown.

3. Add remaining dry ingredients and continue to cook for one minute, stirring constantly. 

4. Add broth, stirring as sauce thickens. 

5. Turn heat to low and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.

 

Like Uncle Ben said: “With gravy power comes gravy responsibility.” So it’s your duty this festive season to share some seriously tasty gravy with your friends and family (and your mashed potatoes). We know we’ll be doing the same. Now, could you pass the gravy?

 

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