Friday, November 26, 2010

The Best Mushroom Gravy

Okay, you guys: this is absolutely, hands-down, and without any question whatsoever the best mushroom gravy I have ever tasted. (As an added bonus, it is also idiot simple.) I was getting ready to start the gravy for Thanksgiving dinner, having purchased the necessaries for my mushroom gravy, when it occurred to me that a smooth texture might be nice, as opposed to the somewhat chunkier rendition I usually make. It struck me that - just as many curries begin with a paste of onions, chilis, etc. - making a puree of the vegetables might be the best approach. What can I say? The end result was like the distillation of shroominess; the very essence of rich, earthy, autumnal goodness. Suffice to say that I've found my new go-to recipe. The menu for today's lunch? A mountain of stuffing, surrounded by an ocean of gravy; possibly augmented by a small, offshore island of cranberry sauce. Yum.

Happy (day after) Thanksgiving!

The Best Mushroom Gravy
~ 1 10 oz package mushrooms, roughly chopped (I used babybellas)
~ 1 onion, roughly chopped
~ 2 tbsp. garlic, minced
~ 1 tsp. each: sage, marjoram, rosemary
~ A few grinds of black pepper
~ 2 tbsp. olive oil
~ 2 tbsp. flour
~ 2 tbsp. Better Than Bouillon "No Chicken" flavor
~ 6 cups strong mushroom broth (commercial, or made by soaking dried mushrooms in 6 cups boiling water for at least an hour, then straining. I did this with black trumpets, and it rocked)

~ Place the mushrooms, onion, garlic, and seasonings in a food processor, and reduce to a paste.
~ In a large, deep skillet or saucepan, heat the olive oil, then add the mushroom puree. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
~ Bring the mushroom broth to a boil, then stir in the bouillon, and mix thoroughly. (If you've made your own mushroom broth, discard the soaked mushrooms, or reserve them for some other use; they won't be needed here.)
~ Add the flour to the mushroom mixture, stir to thicken, then gradually begin adding the mushroom/bouillon broth, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Continue cooking, stirring often, for about 10 minutes, or until you have a smooth, brown, deliciously mushroomy gravy.
~ Serve hot, on top of everything.

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