Giving Out My Secrets....
If we've hung out during the Holiday season together before, there's a couple of things you probably already know about me:
* I host Thanksgiving every year.
* I have a small family who nevertheless requires an exceptionally high ratio of potato dish varieties to humans.
* Myself (and several other family members) are vegetarian.
* Despite that I still make alllll the roast beasts with the accompanying gravies.
Making the switch to vegan/vegetarian sides is really pretty easy -- swap out veggie broth for anything animal based, exchange olive oil or ghee for butter in savory recipes (applesauce in sweet).
But the challenge? Making gravy out of something that does not product fats/juices (like a vegan Celebration Loaf).
About 10 years ago I came across THE BEST (and easiest) vegetarian/vegan mushroom herb gravy recipe that I can't live without. Apparently neither can my carnivores because -- at the end of the night -- the mushroom gravy is always gone (even with a triple batch) and I'm forcing relatives to take home tubs of the turkey and ham gravies.
I know this Thanksgiving will likely look a bit different this year, which is why I wanted to add a little cheer and share my favorite gravy recipe with you.
The best part? This can be made the night before (hallelujah for less day-of chaos!), just be sure to have extra veggie stock and sage on hand to thin it out (and possibly adjust the seasoning) as it will thicken up overnight.
Pro tip: double this recipe at the minimum. This goes great on all the sides for Thanksgiving Part II even if there's *real* turkey or ham on the plate. I also go waaaay heavier on the seasonings than the recipe calls for; the listed amounts are a great starting point, and then doctor it to make it your own.
Mushroom Herb Gravy Recipe
2 cloves Garlic
8 oz Mushrooms
3 sprigs Thyme, fresh
2 cups Vegetable Broth
Baking & Spices
3 tbsp all-purpose Flour (Wondra brand works the best)
1 tsp Sage, dried
1 tsp Salt and pepper
3 tbsp Butter, Ghee, or Extra Virgin Olive Oil
* Rinse the mushrooms to remove any dirt or debris, then slice them thinly. Mince the garlic.
* Melt the butter/ghee (or heat the oil) in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and sautée for 1-2 minutes or just until soft and fragrant. Add the sliced mushrooms and continue to sautée until they are soft, dark, and all of the moisture they release has evaporated (5+ minutes).
* Make sure that all of the moisture released by the mushrooms has evaporated and just the butter oil and mushrooms remain in the pan. Turn the heat down to medium-low, add the flour, and continue to sautée the flour with the mushrooms and butter. The flour will form a paste-like mixture all over the mushrooms and eventually begin to coat the bottom of the skillet. Stir constantly for 3-4 minutes, until the flour begins to turn golden brown on the bottom of the skillet. This will slightly toast the flour and give the gravy better flavor.
* Slowly whisk in the vegetable broth. Whisk well to make sure that all of the flour has dissolved off the bottom of the skillet and no lumps remain. Add the sprigs of thyme, sage, and some freshly cracked pepper. Stir to combine.
* Allow the mixture to come to a simmer. Remove from heat and puree out the mixture with a blender/immersion blender to create a smooth, traditional gravy texture.
* Return to stove and simmer for an additional 7-10 minutes, whisking often, until it is the desired thickness. Remember that the gravy will continue to thicken as it cools. Taste the gravy and adjust salt and pepper to your liking.
If you try this out -- or intend to -- let me know! I've been giving this recipe to folks for years and I always hear rave reviews....even from folks who typically don't like mushrooms! And if you make any adjustments, I'd love to know how you made this mushroom sage gravy even better.
PS -- my EXTRA secret-Thanksgiving-weapon is the world's easiest hot rolls. My family starts double-checking that they'll be on the table usually around September every year. Send me an email and I'll spill the details!