Last time we went over how we put together an insanely good turkey for Thanksgiving dinner (see that post HERE). Now let’s talk gravy!
Gravy really isn’t that big a deal. In fact, you can get an amazing gravy out of a can or a pouch. But you know what? That’s such a waste, because if you followed that turkey recipe, you now have everything you need to create an unbelievable gravy that will blow your mind!
After you took the turkey out of the pan and covered it to rest, you had a roast pan filled with heavily caramelized vegetables, giblets, and drippings from the bird itself. Kudos! That’s pretty much it in terms of ingredients. However, it’s good to balance flavours a little more, so we like to add a little acidity and a little sweetness.
When you’re ready to brew up your gravy, set the roast pan on the stove to a medium high heat. You can add a little water or chicken stock if you think it’s getting too dry. To this pan, add a splash of balsamic vinegar (not too much), and about two dessert spoons of cranberry sauce. Grab a whisk and start whisking things around.
When the stuff starts to boil a bit, take out a masher (or use a sturdy metal spoon), and mash everything as best you can. The vegetables will probably mush up nicely…the neck bone probably not so much. Don’t worry about that. You’re just squeezing out flavour.
Sprinkle in a heaping spoonful of flour (you can use oat or tapioca flour if you prefer) and whisk that in. Let it absorb…you may or may not find lumps, but that’s OK. When the majority of the flour has disappeared, see if you need a little more. At this point, you can alternate flour or water, until you get about the consistency you’re looking for. Stir it all up well, reduce the heat to medium low, and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pour your gravy through a colander into a large pot to separate the biggest pieces. You can add the neck and giblets to your serving tray if you like — not everybody likes these, but Steve does enjoy picking at the neck while he’s cooking. Take a sieve or finer strainer and strain the liquid from the pot into your large measuring cup (or bowl, or smaller pot, or whatever). You may need to help it through with a spoon. This will remove any flour lumps and chunky spice bits, plus bits of veg and meat that might have gotten through the first straining.
Give it a taste. It probably doesn’t need any more help, but you can add salt and pepper if you like. At this stage, we just let the guests decide if it needs more (hint: it almost never needs more).