My husband always says that, after friends and family, Thanksgiving is all about the stuffing and the gravy. However, we have been at many Thanksgiving dinners where the gravy was scarce or a little thin.
Whether people are cooking a traditional Thanksgiving turkey or a meal for vegetarians, most of the questions I get around Thanksgiving have to do with the gravy. My strategy is to ensure that it is delicious and that there is plenty of it, so I start a batch the day before. If making a meat gravy, you can use the neck and giblets and snip the wings off your turkey and no one will miss them. If you are making a vegan or vegetarian gravy, you can use dried mushrooms instead of bones along, along with olive oil or butter, and milk or cream of choice. If you are a vegan and are using soy or nut milk, make sure it’s not sweetened.
Start your gravy tonight and make it just right!
Two turkey wings, one turkey neck with contents of giblets bag
5 sticks of celery with leaves attached
5 whole carrots
1 large white or yellow onion quartered
4 to five bay leaves
1/4 cup of EVOO
1 stick of butter (unless you are vegetarian)
1 liter of Water
1/4 cup of half and half or cashew milk
One cup of red wine
- Use large stock pot
- Add 1/4 olive oil to the pot
- Then place bones in pot and brown
- Then add giblets, including the neck
- If vegan/veg, substitute the meat items for a 5 0unce bag of dried mushrooms and two cubes of organic vegetable stock
- Then add carrots, celery and onion and sweat
- Add bay leaves, peppercorns and make a bouquet garnis with a few sprigs of your favorite herbs (but do not use rosemary or any other strong herb as it will take over the flavor of the stock).
- Once you have browned the bones (or the dried mushrooms) and vegetables, add a cup of red wine, then a liter of water and allow to boil for 1 hour. Set your timer and work on chopping veggies for your stuffing, have a glass of wine and a simple dinner of salad, hummus or cheese and crackers and finish your lists for the next day.
- When the timer goes off, allow to cool for another hour and season to taste for salt, additional seasoning and taste again. Remove all the bones and set aside.
- Remove the bouquet garnis and check that all the veggies are cooked because you will be using an emersion blender to purer everything together. If you are using the veg recipe, remove the bouquet garnish but still purée all veggies in your stock including the dried mushrooms.
- Whisk a quarter cup of corn starch into a cup of water to make a smooth paste to add to the stock but be sure it’s not lumpy. Put the pot back on the stove and bring to simmer until it starts to thicken.
- Allow to cool again and put back in fridge to give a final taste the next day. I find that stocks and soups taste better the next day when all the flavors have incorporated.
- The next day, out back on stove to reheat and taste again for salt and be sure to ask for a second opinion so as not to go overboard on the salt.
- If too thin, make another slurry but only add half at a time. You might not need the other half if too thick add more water one ounce at a time. Finally add the half and half or nut milk and finish with butter or olive oil to give it a nice sheen by whisking it in.