Recipes on December 6, 2010 by

Secrets of an Excellent Gravy

Homemade gravy can turn a boring pot pie into a comfort food masterpiece.

We know that gravy isn’t something that typically falls within our scope of expertise at Bob’s Red Mill, but it is something that accompanies many of our favorite dishes and it does require flour. Homemade gravy is worth the effort and, after explaining how to make a good gravy several times over the last few weeks, I thought it might be of interest to you.

The key to good gravy is the roux. The roux is what binds the gravy together and promotes thickening. A simple mixture of flour and butter, lightly browned, can work miracles when added to broth. I’ve played around with a few different combinations that have worked out well- real butter with white flour, real butter with whole wheat flour, and vegan butter (we use Earth Balance) and whole wheat flour. I haven’t tried any gluten free flours, but Gluten-Free Girl has had success with Sweet White Rice Flour and others recommend brown rice flour. From what I can tell, the flour and the butter combination is fairly flexible.

To make your roux, simply melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the flour and stir continuously for one minute. This toasts the flour and creates a thickener for your gravy. So simple, yet so important. Stirring continuously is the best way to toast your flour without burning the butter.

To make gravy, you will also need broth, stock or drippings. I frequently use vegetable stock, but any sort of broth will work. Then, season away- add rosemary, thyme and sage for a savory sauce. For a chicken gravy, use chicken broth and salt and pepper. You can make a brown gravy with mushrooms to go with your holiday dinner or a white gravy using milk and salt and pepper for topping biscuits and fried chicken. I’ve even made a light vegan gravy using vegetable broth, salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary to go in a vegetable potpie.

I’ve never been happy with the gravy that comes in the little envelopes or the congealed gravy meant to heat and serve. I assure you that the little bit of work will be worth it when you spoon up your mashed potatoes with homemade gravy. Plus, this is a great way to show those in your life with food allergies how much you care. Gluten Free Gravy? No sweat. Vegan Gravy? So easy it’s laughable. Dairy Free Gravy? Give me a break. You can make a gravy that meets all three requirements with no one being the wiser.


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