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hey, its thursday tip time .. . LETS TALK GRAVY!!

mad max beyond eggdomemad max beyond eggdome Posts: 8,133
edited 10:24AM in EggHead Forum
ok, we've only got two weeks to go till thanksgiving. .. .so just how do you make great gravy. . ..if you follow the detailed instructions provided in the link, you should have no problem. . .and rather than rehash those directions here word for word, let me touch on a couple of key topics, and most important, how to avoid or work through common mistakes and problems...[p]1. the ingredients....obviously, good rich gravy comes from good rich ingredients. ..and like i say, if you've followed the mad max turkey method, you will have everything you need for fabulous gravy.. .so. .. .[p] a/ make your own turkey stock using the parts that come in your turkey. ..want to make an extra big pot of stock?. .buy a couple of extra turkey necks for the stock pot ..and make sure you let that stock simmer all day to get the best stock possible ...if you aren't interested or don't have the time to make stock, then at least use chicken broth (canned)for the gravy. . .don't just use water, if you do that, the gravy will be less tasty no matter what else you do ...[p] b/ make sure to utilize all of the drippings from the bird and the roasting pan (and separate the fat as shown). ...really work that stuff into your roux.. .that is really where the flavor is achieved .. .[p] c/ keep that whisk going, and going, and going. .. .you have to keep whisking from the moment you start, in order to avoid scorching the drippings/butter/flour during the initial part of the process, and then, as you add the wine and start adding the stock, to avoid any lumps. . . even before adding the stock, you should have a nice smooth pasty roux working for you ...dont' worry if it gets too thick at this point, as you start adding the stock it will smooth out for you. . .[p]common problems/issues folks have with gravy and how to avoid them. ..[p]1. burnt tasting gravy. i said above, from the minute you put the pan on the stove, keep stirring. ..its ok for your roux to brown, but don't let it get burned. ..a little browning of the roux just adds to the final rich color of the finished product[p]2. floury tasting gravy.. don't have to use a lot of flour to achieve good creamy gravy. ...with two sticks of butter, 1/2 a cup of flour is more than sufficient for about 3 - 4 quarts of good smooth gravy. ...need it a little thicker? . .i'll talk about that in a minute[p]3. watery gravy .. .make sure you a) use enough flour for a good roux, and 2) make sure to use stock (either home made turkey or canned chicken) rather than just water . . [p]4. lumpy gravy. ..this is an important one. .. .folks get worried that their gravy is too thin, and so often think that to thicken their gravy, all they have to do is sprinkle some flour into the pot and it will thicken it all up ... .unfortunately most of that flour will simply congeal into little flour balls that all the whisking in the world won't break up. ... .so if you need to thicken your gravy, first take a tablespoon or so of flour or cornstarch, put it in a separate bowl with some of your stock, and stir it into a nice thick paste that is lump free. ..then you can add some of that paste a teaspoon full at a time to your gravy, whisking it well into your gravy will be lump-free that way. ..and you can keep doing this until your gravy is exactly the consistency you want it to be. ..[p]5 gravy too salty. ..remember that your gravy will already be benefitting from the stuff you roasted your bird in, so if you brined the bird, or other wise salted it in any way, don't go adding more salt to the gravy till its almost finished and you've taste tested it first. . .same goes for pepper and/or any other herbs you might want to add. . ..[p]remember, your gravy should compliment your bird, not overwhelm it. it will already have had the benefit of the same herbs/spices/etc you roasted your bird with due to what's in the drippings. . ..[p]so go ahead and make your own gravy, you won't be sorry, and you'll be the hit of thanksgiving. . .and a great gravy will make for a truly memorable meal for everyone. . .it doesn't matter how good your turkey and stuffing are, if the gravy is mediocre or pedestrian, it will cover up the the turkey and stuffing. ..but if the gravy is great, folks will really remember it and comment on it. . .and now you know how to do it. ..[p]next thursday, final thoughts and pulling it all together. ...[p]as always, here is the mad max turkey link[p]enjoy


  • GretlGretl Posts: 670
    mad max beyond eggdome,[p]My friend on the FoodWine List, Terry Pogue, posted her method of make-ahead gravy that I find pretty fool-proof, and takes the pressure off last-minute preparations. I roast the turkey parts either in the BGE or in the oven a few days before the holiday. I re-heat the resulting gravy on the stove while the turkey rests, and keep it warm in a small Crock Pot during dinner, refilling the gravy boat when necessary:[p]Terry's Make Ahead Turkey Gravy[p]Ingredients

    8 Turkey necks
    4 Turkey Wings -- cracked into a couple of pieces
    5 tablespoons Vegetable oil
    3 Carrots
    1 Bay Leaf
    10 Black peppercorns
    3 rib Celery
    2 Onions -- quartered
    5 quarts Water -- cold[p]Instructions
    If using turkey wings, halve at joints with a cleaver or large knife, then crack wing bones in several places with back of cleaver or knife. The turkey necks will add a gelatinous quality to your stock[p]Heat 1/4 cup oil in an 8- to 10-quart heavy pot over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. While oil is heating, pat turkey parts dry. Cook turkey in 4 batches, turning once, until a good dark brown, 8 to 10 minutes per batch, transferring to a large bowl (OR roast in hot oven or BGE until brown). Add browned turkey and onions and remaining ingredients to pot and bring to a boil over high heat, skimming froth as necessary. Reduce heat and gently simmer, partially covered, 3 hours.[p]Remove pot from heat and cool stock, uncovered, about 1 hour. Pour stock through a large fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl and discard solids.[p]Refrigerate overnight. Next day remove fat from the top of stock and use that to make your roux with equal amounts of flour. Cook for a few moments and gradually add the warmed stock while whisking to keep smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste and if you like you can enrich the gravy with a splash of cream or milk.[p]After you have roasted your turkey you can save that pan to make additional gravy for the leftovers since you can never have too much gravy.[p]Cooks' notes:
    Stock can be chilled up to 1 week or frozen in an airtight
    container 3 months.

  • Gretl,
    pretty similar to my gravy. . ..i've heard others say to use the fat from the stock or from the dripping instead of the butter to make the roux. ..might have to give that a try myself sometime, although i think the butter probably adds a more creamy consistency (notice i'm not bothered by the thought of using the fat per-se). ...[p]always good to hear from you. . .hope jim and your son are all well. ..

  • mojopinmojopin Posts: 200
    Max, the fat from the drippings IS mostly butter. You slather the bird with two sticks before it even goes in the egg LOL... That's what I used on mine for the gravy... I just separated the fat and made the roux from it. I couldn't waste all that schmaltz![p]-Jill
  • mojopin,
    yea, its a mix of butter and fat. . .may be time to update the site LOL . ...[p]ahhhh "schmaltz". . .my zade used to take straight schmaltz and smear it on his toast for breakfast. . .he lived to be in his 90s, so there must have been something to it ...

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 19,316
    mad max beyond eggdome,
    the fat makes a real nice tasting gravey if you make the roux from it, and then just before you bring it to the table float some butter slices on top and let them melt in.

  • mad max beyond eggdome,[p]My wife wants to make the gravy ahead as well. We had a little “incident” last yeay. How’s gravy freeze? I’m going to do a test run this weekend and figured I could make and save this batch for T day.

  • bbqdivabbqdiva Posts: 192
    heay 1/2,[p]oooooooooh, I'm liken' you thinkin' 1/2! I'm doing a test run this weekend as well. what a fantastic idea to freeze the gravy.[p]
    keep the good ideas comin'[p]Tish a.k.a bbqdiva

  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,770
    1/2,[p] How well it freezes is directly proportional to the distance between the stove and the freezer. The more distance the greater chance of it being consumed before reaching the freezer.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 19,316
    it freezes great and max's directions makes enough for a few thanksgiving dinners

  • 1/2,
    like the other said, sure, make it ahead and freeze it .. .if anything it will be thicker, so have some chicken broth handy to add to it when you reheat it to get it to the consistency you want. .. i typically make my leftover gravy go a long way, by continually adding some additional chicken broth to it, and using the chicken broth with a little flour for a thickener. . .probably end up doubling my original batch of gravy that way ....still tastes great though. ..

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