My “Meat On The Side” philosophy, at its simplest, is about eating less meat and more veggies.
But if you want to get a little more complex, it's also about infusing vegetables into your meals--not just to make those meals more nutritious, but to elevate those dishes--to make them better.
For this mushroom gravy, I’m creating a super-rich, bold mushroom stock that will heighten your traditional turkey pan gravy to a gravy that tastes like it was made by a master chef!
And if you'd like to make a vegan version--which will still taste better than almost any gravy you've ever tasted--you can thicken it up without adding the turkey drippings.
Oh, and yes, you heard me right…VEGAN!
Your vegan or vegetarian guests will love this seemingly magic gravy they can pour over everything!
And you can still make a separate version with your pan drippings for the rest of the group.
Just sauté up some Portobello mushrooms with browned onions, garlic, thyme and, rosemary.
Add some rehydrated dried porcini mushrooms…
...And thicken with an oil and flour roux (vegan version), or add some flour to your turkey pan to create a traditional turkey dripping roux.
Then the only thing left to do is to prepare yourself (and your guests!) to lick this gravy straight off the plate!
servings: 2 1/2 cups gravy
- ½ cup dried wild porcini mushrooms (0.7 ounce package)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium Vidalia onion, finely diced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- One 8-ounce package sliced Portobello mushrooms
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- ½ teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- ¼ cup sherry vinegar
- 1 cup vegetable, turkey or chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Place the porcini mushrooms in a small bowl and cover them with 2 cups of boiling water. Set them aside and allow them to soak for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, salt, and pepper and cook until the onion browns (you want some color on them)—about 6 minutes. Then add the Portobello mushrooms and continue cooking the veggies until the mushrooms are very brown—about 6 minutes. Next, add the garlic, thyme, and rosemary and cook for 1 minute more.
- Pour in the sherry and then scrape the bottom of the skillet vigorously with a wooden spoon or spatula to loosen any brown bits so that they are incorporated into the mixture in the skillet. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated—about 2 minutes.
- Next, add the vegetable stock along with the mushrooms and liquid from Step 1, being careful not to pour all the mushroom broth liquid into the skillet as there will be sediment at the very bottom of the bowl that you will not want to use. Cook until slightly reduced—about 4 minutes.
- Strain everything and then set the vegetables to the side (save them for another use or simply serve them as a side dish). Be sure to push on the mushrooms as you are straining in order to remove as much liquid from them as possible.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and the flour to a large pan over medium heat and whisk to combine, then allow to cook for 1 minute. Add the mushroom broth, whisking as you go, and cook until thickened—about 5 minutes. OR (for the non-vegan version), add the mushroom broth to your turkey pan once you remove the turkey. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen up any brown bits, allowing them to become part of the broth. Then pour the broth and brown bits into a liquid measuring cup (or glass bowl) and let it sit until the fat separates from the broth (placing the measuring cup in the refrigerator will speed up this process). Once separated, remove 2 tablespoons of the fat from the top of the measuring cup and add it back to your turkey pan over medium heat, along with the flour (you can discard any additional remaining fat in the measuring cup, but be sure to reserve the broth). Whisk the flour and fat mixture to combine and allow it to cook for 1 minute. Then whisk in the mushroom broth from the measuring cup and cook until thickened—about 5 minutes. *Read the “Keep It Simple” note for ideas about how to make this for a large group.
- Keep It Simple - This is a very rich gravy that you can stretch for a large group—especially if you are combining it with turkey drippings and/or using a turkey or chicken stock instead of veggie stock.
- Also, for each additional cup of stock you use in this recipe, you will also need to use an additional 1 tablespoon of flour and 1 tablespoon of drippings/oil. For example, if you use 2 cups of stock instead of the 1 the recipe calls for, you will also need to increase the flour to 3 tablespoons and the drippings or oil to 3 tablespoons. Keep extra stock or water on hand to thin if necessary.