Damn Good Gravy

It’s hard to find a really good vegan gravy recipe.  Most tend to taste like tamari which is nice – but not quite true to my childhood memory of gravy.  This rendition doesn’t taste much like those old brain-clips either: but the texture and silkiness do it justice and the flavour has a lot of depth and complexity.  It’s a great topping for mashed potatoes, for roasted vegetables, plain cooked beans – anything that needs some extra sauciness and comfort foot upgrade on a cold (or not so cold) evening.  Warning – it is long to make.  But the great things in life can’t be rushed.  Certainly not a good gravy.

Yield: 1 cup, on the big side (the recipe scales up well if you need or want more)

What you need:

  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons toasted teff flour (to toast teff flour, place it in a cast iron pan over medium heat and stir pretty constantly until it’s darkened by a few shades and has a deeply toasted aroma, remove from heat and let cool – and yes, it must be teff flour if you want the dark brown gravy colour)
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon garam masala (home-made preferred)
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary powder (sage powder also works nicely)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups strong mushroom stock (unsalted)

What you do:

  1. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat.  When hot, add the oil and teff flour and stir until a uniform paste forms (a whisk is good for this and the rest of the recipe).  Add the garam masala and rosemary powder and stir to mix.
  2. Slowly whisk in the mushroom stock, a bit at a time, until the liquid is homogeneous.  Add the salt and stir again.
  3. Bring to a boil, cover, lower heat, and let things bubble/simmer for 35 – 45 minutes.  Stir/whisk semi-regularly to avoid things sticking to the bottom.
  4. The gravy is ready when there is no longer any graininess from the flour when you taste it.  The sauce will also have a deep, rich colour, unctuous texture and lovely sheen.  If needed or desired, thin with a bit more stock or water.
  5. Remove from heat and pour it over stuff with reckless abandon.

Variations:

  • Sauté some minced onion or shallot in the oil before adding the teff flour;
  • Add some roasted or pressed garlic to the sauce at the same time as the salt;
  • Switch up the spices or the stock to change the flavour profile.

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