Luke's giving me a hard time about not blogging my essential ingredient list (which I'll do another time), so here's a round-about way to get to my list. One of the things I enjoy most about cooking is making sauces. Last night I made a mushroom gravy to go with a prime rib I cooked for my wife on mother's day. As my daughters asked to have more gravy poured on their broccoli, my wife asked: "Where did you get the recipe for this?" I've pretty much stopped using recipes for sauces, preferring to experiment on the fly with what is looking good in the kitchen. "So you'll never be able to make this again?" I'll never make it exactly the same again, no, but here is what I generally do to make gravy, plus or minus.
- A nice beef roast, turkey, chicken (it doesn't matter, but some ingredients might change)
- Head of garlic, whole with skin on
- 2 Medium Onions, halved skin left on
- 2 Large Carrots, halved lengthwise
- 2 Celery Stalks, cut so they will fit in the roasting pan
- 1 Potato or Sweet Potato, halved or quartered as necessary, skin left on
- ~1/2 (or more) Cup Red Wine (if doing beef) or White Wine (if doing poultry). Something that will go nicely with what you'll drink at dinner.
- ~2 (or more) Cups Broth or Stock (beef for beef, chicken for chicken/turkey)
- Rosemary (fresh if at all possible)
- Olive Oil
- 2 tbs Butter
- 1-2 tbs Flour (depending on how much gravy you want, and how thick you want it)
Assorted Mushrooms, halved or loosely broken
Pre-heat oven (for beef I tend to start at 450F and then go down to 275-350F depending on how big the roast is)
- Cut and arrange vegetables in bottom of roasting pan, with the goal being to try and cover the bottom. I tend to use a shallow roasting tray, but anything will do as long as it can hold the liquid you'll create later, and will be OK to get placed on the stove top at the end (i.e, not glass).
- Rub meat with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and rosemary. Place on top of vegetables in pan
- Place meat in oven and cook at high heat for 10-15 mins, before turning heat back to desired temp (~275-350F)
- When roast is about 15 mins from being done, heat butter in a pan over medium heat and cook mushrooms until they have been lost most of their liquid (~15-20 mins). Add flour and stir until absorbed.
- Meanwhile, remove roast to rest under foil, placing roasting pan on burner over medium-high heat
- Spoon off excess fat (you want a bit left)
- Add wine and scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Reduce.
- When wine is reduced, add stock/broth, bring to a low boil.
- Using a potato masher or the wooden spoon, crush vegetables, garlic, etc. in the pan
- Continue to boil and stir until reduced.
- Add mushrooms to liquid and cook until thickened to the desired amount.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Remove large pieces from gravy until you are happy with how it looks. Don't bother trying to strain, as you don't want to lose all the wonderful garlic and such anyway.