|Name:||Gravy Method||Contributor:||Tim Miller|
|Description:||General Theory of Gravy||Posted:||2004-04-14|
|Key words:||fried, roast, drippings, fond||Category:||Sauces|
a pan from which you've just removed a fried or roasted something
|Preparation:||You'll need stock. Use canned chicken if you don't have any. Not canned
beef stock, as it's way too salty. Bullion cubes and water will substitute
in a pinch, but again be careful of excessive saltiness.
After you fry something in the pan, those browned bits sticking to the pan
are what you need. They're called fond, dunno why, it's a French thing.
Make sure to drain out almost all the grease, leaving maybe 2 tablespoons.
You want to melt them into solution with alcohol (wine, whiskey, or brandy)
or water, but alcohol is faster. Be careful not to flame up. Yet!
So loosen all the bits in the pan w/ a fork as you melt them, to get them all.
Once melted into maybe 3-4 tablespoons of liquid, add your stock, 1 can
is plenty for 2 people. Boil stock down to maybe 1/2-1/3 volume, check and taste
that it's getting more concentrated, flavor-wise. If you want to add maybe
1/4 cup cream, milk, or unsweetened canned milk, BE SURE to remove from heat
FIRST. Otherwise you'll start Ricotta cheese.......but the milkfat makes for
creamy "mouth" taste.
Return to heat, stirring constantly. Re-taste. Adjust seasoning, but easy on
salt. Boil down a little more if it's weakened too much by the cream.
Mix about 2 heaping tablespoons cornstarch in about 1/4 cup cold water till it's
smooth, then add 1/2 to the sauce. Keep stirring, and as it boils it thickens,
add more if you need it thicker. If you add too much, just add a little water to
thin. It might take a little practice to get the proportions
right, but you'll soon learn "just how much" to add, depending on the amount
of liquid you have in your pan. The trick is to do it without any lumps, so
pre-mix the cornstarch in *cold* water first.
Again, adjust salt last. If you have the mashed potatoes a little salty,
you can balance that, with less in the gravy.
I make about a gallon of gravy like this with the Thanksgiving turkey. So
if you have a lot of fond, you can really go to town. Just adjust your
That's about it. Pretty simple, but with a million variations. Good
homemade stocks will yield the best sauces, but take time.
"Food of Love" indeed.......