Gravy is nothing but fat, flour, and flavour.

Mmm flavour.

A gravy made with good ingredients has the right depth of taste.

Without this, it can end up just being salty, and that’s a let-down.

The texture is an important factor too – not too runny, but not too thick either. Served hot enough to keep the fat flowing.

Gravy starts from a classic roux and traditionally leverages the leavings from a roast to create a rich and savoury, medium thick sauce.

It’s the roux that gives you the body that is a must-have for gravy, and that is where the flour comes in.

A roux is simply flour cooked in fat, but you’ll be amazed by the difference the roux makes to the sauce – it will give it incredible thickness.

You want to avoid making paste – which is what will happen if you add liquid to flour before the flour has cooked in fat.

Making a sauce from a roux (if you do not speak French, just pronounce it roo, more or less) is an important foundational cooking skill, and should be a simple one to master.

It is also quite satisfying, since, like most amazing cooking skills, it takes the most basic (and inexpensive) ingredients and turns them into something wonderful.

The main thing to master is the level of doneness or brown-ness of the roux.

Step one to gravy is a white roux. You can see the thyme that was on the roast and came with the drippings.

This determines whether it will become a white roux-based Bechamel sauce for mac n cheese or Alfredo pasta, or whether you will have the golden or blonde foundation for a velouté or the brown roux required for cajun cuisine.

Since these different levels of roux depend on how long you brown it, just be sure to go slowly as you learn.

The best part? Any of the three will do for gravy.



Add broth, whisk rapidly.


Now you have gravy!


If you have the skill of making sauce from roux, you should not be intimidated by substituting the roux ingredients, and if you have never made roux, you will never know the difference if the first time you try it is with somewhat non-traditional ingredients – it will not be any more difficult.

Roux: Traditionally, you melt butter in a skillet and sprinkle flour into it.

It will brown as it bubbles.

Once the flour browns and bubbles, you slowly cook it then gradually, add liquid.

Liquids used could include either vegetable or chicken stock, wine or even milk.

That makes your sauce.

Use 1 part fat to 2 parts flour to 8 parts liquid, unless you want to use cornstarch or tapioca starch, in which case, use half as much as you would for flour.

For example, this would make 8 servings:

  • 2 Tablespoons drippings or coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup sweet rice flour or 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups broth

GLUTEN FREE TURKEY GRAVY

In the case of a gravy, the butter is swapped out of the roux, and we use drippings as our fat.

Because of this, you cannot begin to make the gravy until your turkey is complete, and resting (it should rest at least 20 minutes after is is out of the oven anyway, so you can use the 15 minutes you need to make the gravy in this window.)

Here is how it will go: Drippings are the fat that you use in place of butter.

Once they are fully melted in the pan on low to medium-low heat, then you slowly add twice the quantity of flour, slowly, sprinkling it in, whisking, adding more, a little at a time.

Then you cook the roux, for about 4 minutes, give or take, for a blonde roux.

You can go up to ten minutes, when you’ll reach the brown roux stage.

Now that the roux is done, to make gravy, add wine or broth, sometimes both. Then you season – salt, pepper, fresh herbs – what ever you like.

In order to have great gravy, you should have a tasty roast. This provides a tasty fat.

You should also use a tasty broth. My drippings and broth had plenty of herbs and flavour, so the gravy pictured needed no additional seasoning, it was just fat, flour and broth.

{If you need to know how to make broth please read this.}

If you are roasting a turkey, you will make turkey gravy, and if you are roasting something else, your gravy will also be different. I made duck for this gravy.

The only thing we do to make this recipe gluten free is swap out the all purpose flour for a gluten free flour. I recommend sweet white rice flour, but any gluten free all purpose flour that is not made with bean (some blends are mostly chickpea) will do.

You can also use cornstarch or tapioca flour or arrowroot starch but use HALF as much.

Rich duck gravy with thyme and sage.

Gluten Free Turkey Gravy Recipe:

Ingredients:

White rice flour, roast (turkey) drippings, broth, optional seasonings like fresh thyme and sage, salt and pepper.

Use 1 part fat to 2 parts flour to 8 parts liquid. I suggest 1/4 cup drippings to 1/2 cup white rice flour to 4 cups broth.

Instructions:

  1. Assemble your broth, herbs and seasonings as your turkey cooks.
  2. Warm the broth up to remove the chill, if it was refrigerated.
  3. When your turkey is done, transfer it to a cutting board to rest.
  4. Loosen all the browned bits from the roasting pan, using some stock if necessary.
  5. Set a colander or sieve over a large bowl. Pour the bits/drippings/ contents of the roasting pan through the colander. Keep the drippings that end up in the large bowl.
  6. Let the fat rise to the top of the bowl, then spoon off 4 Tablespoons or a 1/4 cup of fat/drippings.
  7. Transfer fat to a large saucepan over low-medium heat.
  8. Make a roux: When the fat is completely heated to a liquid state in the pan, sprinkle (do not dump) the 1/2 cup of sweet rice flour or 1/4 cup of cornstarch into the pan a little at a time and cook, stirring constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon, until the flour turns golden to caramel in colour, about 4 – 5 minutes.
  9. While cooking the roux, transfer the rest of the fat to a container for disposal, such as an old empty jar, but retain the dark roasting juices and drippings underneath.
  10. Pour the dark roasting juices into a measuring cup and add broth until you reach the 4 cup mark.
  11. Once the roux is golden, gradually, slowly, add the 4 cups of hot broth to the roux, whisking constantly to prevent lumps.
  12. It will thicken fast! Don’t let it create lumps, keep adding broth.
  13. If it needs more flavour, add your fresh herbs and some seasonings. You can also use water to thin.
  14. Bring it all to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low.
  15. If it gets too thick, add more broth o water. Taste and season.
  16. If there are chunks of browned matter, fat or gristle in the gravy, you can pass it through a sieve or mesh strainer before serving, or spoon it into the gravy boat, leaving the chunks behind.

GREAT VEGAN GRAVY

As gravy is simple, it replies on great ingredients to carry it.

Since the essential ingredients to perfect gravy are usually delicious drippings and stock, so if you are not making anything that will provide drippings, or stock, such as a roast turkey, duck, beef, chicken or sausage, or you are making vegan gravy, you’ll need to provide a delicious fat and flavourful vegetable stock.

As we have said, for vegan gravy, you are missing the tastiest and most crucial ingredient, the drippings! Therefore, the base of the gravy must get its flavour elsewhere.

This is why I recommend soaked dried mushrooms and caramelized sauteed onion for your flavour base, and a good splash of wine to boost the flavour. In a pinch, the organic Better than Bouillon vegetable base can offer you a bump of flavour as well

Gluten Free Vegan Gravy Recipe:

Ingredients:

Refined coconut oil, dried mushrooms (porcini) in small pieces, diced sweet onion, broth, flour (all purpose or white rice flour for gluten free), fresh sage and thyme, wine (optional).

Use 1 part fat to 2 parts flour to 8 parts liquid. I suggest 1/4 cup coconut oil to 1/2 cup white rice flour to 4 cups broth.

Instructions:

  1. Soak the dried mushrooms in the broth. Assemble your herbs and seasonings and dice your onion as you soak your mushrooms.
  2. Heat one tablespoon of coconut oil in a saucepan and then saute your onions on low until caramelized.
  3. Remove onions to a blender.
  4. Heat the rest of the coconut oil in the same saucepan over low-medium heat.
  5. Make a roux: When the fat is completely heated to a liquid state in the pan, sprinkle (do not dump) the 1/2 cup of sweet rice flour or 1/4 cup of cornstarch into the pan a little at a time and cook, stirring constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon, until the flour turns golden to caramel in colour, about 4 – 5 minutes.
  6. Remove mushrooms from the broth.
  7. Gradually, slowly, add the 4 cups of broth to the roux, whisking constantly to prevent lumps.
  8. It will thicken fast! Don’t let it create lumps, keep adding broth.
  9. Add the mushrooms and your roux to the blender with the onions and blend until smooth. Taste.
  10. If it needs more flavour, add your wine, fresh herbs and some seasonings. You can also use water to thin.
  11. Before serving, warm it up again on medium low.
  12. If it gets too thick, add more broth or wine. Taste and season.
  13. If there are chunks of mushroom, you can strain or leave them in.

Voila!

You know how to make a gluten free and vegan friendly gravy!!

About Dana Green Remedios

Holistic Nutritionist

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