Friday, September 9, 2011

Returning Guests and Gravy

My house guests return today for the weekend. They enjoyed the platter I made them to munch on so much last weekend, that I made them another. And a large loaf of sourdough bread.

And look he never left my side hoping I might drop some cheese.

I managed to accidentally drop a few pieces.

We are entering gravy season here. Soon I will be making lots of recipes with gravy involved. I am preparing one for my house guests for tomorrow so I made some today. It is the best gravy I have ever had and you can use it on anything. You could drink a glass of it!

Begin by coating a heavy pot with olive oil.

Chop tons of vegetables. I used carrots, turnips, celery, parsnips and onions. Celeriac would be great but my store had none.

Cook these over medium high heat for 30 - 50 minutes. Let a crust form on the bottom of the pot and make sure the vegetables are very brown. This is where all the flavor comes from.

When the veggies are dark brown, sprinkle them with about 1/3 cup of flour. Stir until the flour disappears.

Deglaze the pot with 1 cup of a hardy red wine. Scrape up all of the brown crust on the bottom of the pot adding a bit more wine if needed.

Add about 6 cups of beef stock.

I cut a bunch of herbs and just threw them in whole. I used sage, thyme, rosemary and bay leaves.

Add a couple tablespoons of Maggi.

I always add a packet of demi glace to deepen the flavor.

Let it simmer over low heat until it begins to thicken.

Add some cracked black pepper and sea salt. Taste it first so you don't over salt it but gravy should be a bit salty.

Once it has thickened, strain the gravy out of the veggies by placing them in a mesh sieve bit by bit and pressing the juice out.

You should have a nice, silky smooth gravy.

Add some fresh chopped parsley.

Stir the parsley in and you are ready to go! This is seriously good gravy and so easy to make!

This could easily be made vegetarian by using vegetable seasonings and vegetable stock.