Thursday, November 3, 2011
Good Brown Gravy
As everybody knows, in the South gravy is considered almost a beverage... at least a necessity alongside most meals.
I make great cream gravy, sausage gravy, red-eye gravy (or as my grandmother called it, red-bottom gravy), and at Thanksgiving I even make pretty good turkey gravy... but I'm not so good at beef gravy, or brown gravy... it usually ends up looking and tasting pretty much like cream gravy... and it's never the rich brown color I am trying to achieve. I don't know what my problem is. There are several recipes I make that I want a good, rich, brown gravy... my shepherd's pie, hamburger steak... to name a couple.
In the past I've gone with store bought jars of brown gravy, or those little envelopes of gravy mix, just add water. I've found a pretty tasty... and much less expensive alternative to my lack of gravy making skills... it's an instant powdered gravy you can make up in large batches and store in a good ol' Mason jar, spooning out the amount needed for any given recipe. It also works nicely for thickening soups and stews. It's not a perfect solution... it's not particularly healthy (what gravy is really!?!) and it's far from "all-natural," but it works for us. We like it.
Here's my version of instant gravy mix... in quantity!...
I mix (and this recipe is easily doubled, tripled... or more)...
1-2/3 cup cornstarch
6 Tablespoons (low sodium) beef bouillon powder (I admit, most of the time I don't use the low sodium kind)
4 teaspoons instant coffee crystals (gives the gravy a nice brown color)
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (sometimes I use white pepper, I like the flavor)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Simply combine all the ingredients and store in an airtight container (I use a wide mouth quart canning jar).
To make gravy, measure 3 Tablespoons mix into a saucepan. Add 1-1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil and simmer for one minute... instant gravy!
This stuff is great to have on hand... and if you are into long term storage items... it'll keep pretty much forever!
For a printable copy of this recipe click here.