Gravy 3 Ways: Traditional, Gluten/Dairy-Free, and Vegetarian

GRAVY FOR EVERYONE

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The things you do for your family, amiright? This year, due to dietary restrictions and for the health of my loved ones, I'm making 3 different varieties of gravy - a traditional gravy, a gluten and dairy free gravy, and a vegetarian gravy. Le sigh. I'm starting the day before to make it easier on myself, but in reality, making gravy is pretty easy when you make a gravy starter like I do.

Yes, the secret is a gravy starter! You can make this the day before in a flash. In essence, it's just a roux combined with stock. Simple to re-heat, or keep low on the stove if you make it the day of Thanksgiving. When you're ready to turn it into the real deal, you simply add turkey stock and the brown bits from your turkey pan and flavor til it's perfecto. Or, if you go the vegetarian route, you can add brown bits from whatever veggie main you've maid (prob mushrooms, or something).

Let's get started first with my personal favorite: traditional gravy, made with butter, flour, homemade turkey stock, chicken stock, and a whole lotta love.

TRADITIONAL GRAVY

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups turkey or chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • Brown bits from turkey pan
  • Black pepper and salt
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce

PROCEDURE

1. The base for your gravy is a roux - a combo of butter and flour that thickens up stock. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a pan over medium-low heat. Once melted, quickly stir your flour into it with a whisk and stir continuously for about 5 minutes to cook the flour. You'll want to get a roux a nice light, golden brown color. It should kind of expand and look like a science project in your pan. It should smell nice. If you burn it, start over.

2. Once your roux is cooked, add chicken stock in a steady stream while stirring. Turn up the heat and bring the mixture to a boil then a simmer. Your gravy base will start to resemble gravy as it thickens over the heat. You can season a bit here but I always hold off until my turkey stock is done and I add the liquid and brown bits from my turkey pan. Let this cool and put in the fridge if you're making it ahead, or keep it warm if it's close to dinner time.

3. To make turkey stock (I highly recommend doing this in addition to using chicken stock in the base) brown your turkey bones in butter, then brown  onion, carrot, celery in the same pan. Put everything back in the pan, along with black pepper and parsley stems, then add water to cover and cook for about 2 hours. Strain and ta-da: turkey stock!

4. When it's dinner time, get your gravy base back on the stove and to a simmer. You'll want to add some turkey stock to make it taste like turkey gravy, and you can deglaze your turkey pan (only if the bits aren't burned) with some white wine. The brown bits may be so flavorful that you'll want to add them to your gravy just a bit at a time until your gravy is the right flavor. You may not even need to season with salt, but I do add black pepper generally. I also add a hit of fresh lemon juice, and a dash of Worcestershire. Then, it's gravy time.

 

GLUTEN-FREE / DAIRY-FREE GRAVY

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 tablespoons Earth Balance (to replace the butter)
  • 6 tablespoons gluten-free flour 
  • 4 cups turkey or chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • Brown bits from turkey pan
  • Black pepper and salt
  • Squeeze of lemon juice

PROCEDURE

In this gluten-free and dairy-free gravy, simply follow the directions for the traditional gravy but use Earth Balance instead of butter, and gluten-free flour instead of flour. The roux on this one may require a bit of management on the proportions since we aren't using traditional ingredients. You'll want the consistency to be like a thick paste before you add stock. ALSO - CUT OUT THE Worcestershire sauce in this one - most are NOT gluten-free.

I'll assume if you're eating a dairy-free gravy, you won't be adding butter to your turkey pan for brown bits, so feel free to add these to your gravy for flavor.

 

VEGETARIAN GRAVY

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups veggie stock
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • Small amount of white wine
  • Black pepper and salt
  • Brown bits from your main veggie dish

PROCEDURE

For a vegetarian gravy, follow the recipe for traditional gravy, but use vegetable stock in place of chicken/turkey stock. When it's dinner time, deglaze the pan used to make your veggie main to get any brown bits off the bottom, and add to your stock a bit at a time until it's really tasty. Season and you'll be ready to go!

-side note, a keen reader just told me Worcestershire sauce also contains fish sauce so it isn't vegetarian so don't add to your gravy. Who knew?!