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Garlic Gravy: Make it NOW!

November 8, 2013 | By | 1 Reply More

garlic gravy

Garlic gravy!

You know how people say, “The rest is gravy,” as if gravy is something of a bonus? I can see the logic in this, provided you have delicious, flavorful turkey and mashed potatoes, gravy should simply push the whole thing way over the top. But, too often, that’s not the case. More likely, the turkey is like a piece of brown plywood and the potatoes came out of a box. Whoever has committed such an offense is now trying to pass off this yuck as a suitable Thanksgiving dinner by slathering on some half-congealed gravy, probably from a jar. Ummmmm, no thank you.

Instead, why not start with a perfect roast turkey and elevate it to the stratosphere with a wonderful, homemade garlic gravy? Before you start thinking of all the reasons why you don’t want to make gravy from scratch, I’m going to tell you all the reasons why you should and why it should be this one, my favorite, adapted from the Big Sur Bakery Cookbook.

This gravy can be made now and stored in your freezer until the big day when it will just need to be reheated. Many homemade gravies rely on pan drippings from the turkey, but do you really want to wait for that? When my turkey comes out of the oven and is resting, I’m doing anything but: I’m frantically tearing about the kitchen making sure all nine side dishes are at the perfect temperature for serving, the biscuits are in the basket with the napkin over top “just so”, there are no cats eating the flowers on my beautifully set table, and that the turkey is going to be carved by someone while I’m pouring wine. And now someone wants me to collect the pan drippings, deglaze the pan and whip up a nice gravy? Are you out of your cotton pickin’ mind?! Not to mention, pan drippings are messy. By this time of the day, you’ll probably be wearing something that will not look better with droplets of turkey-scented grease.

garlic gravyThis gravy has zero risk for lumps. Most gravy recipes call for flour as a thickener, and you need to be vigilant and whisk constantly to prevent lumps. See above for further information about why this doesn’t work when you’re getting close to serving time. This velvety smooth gravy, however, needs no flour. It’s thickened by pureed vegetables for the perfect texture and color every time. And, if you have any gluten-free guests, they’ll be able to indulge just like everyone else.

Finally, but definitely most important, the flavor of this gravy can’t be beat. The garlic is triple-blanched to mellow it and remove any pungent bite and then it’s combined with sautéed vegetables including slightly caramelized onions.

Are you sold yet? If not, I can only assume that you’ve never had bad gravy or that you’ve never tried to make gravy in that small time window between taking your turkey out to rest and sitting down to eat. I do know that if you try this one, there’s no going back. If you’re invited somewhere for Thanksgiving dinner, you’ll be smuggling this in under your coat in a travel flask.

I make large batches of this gravy and freeze it because it’s perfect all winter on roast chicken and mashed root vegetables.

Garlic Gravy Recipe

Makes 2 quarts


25 cloves of garlic, peeled but left whole

3 Tbsp rice bran oil, or canola oil

2 medium yellow onions, roughly chopped

3 carrots, roughly chopped

3 celery stalks, roughly chopped

6 cups homemade or good quality turkey or chicken stock

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Step One:

25 cloves of garlic

garlic gravyTo triple-blanch the garlic, place the cloves in a small saucepan and add enough water to cover them. Bring the water to boil over high heat and strain the garlic, emptying the pan. Place the garlic back in the pan, cover again with cold water, bring to a boil and strain again. Do it once more and set the garlic aside.

Step Two:

3 Tbsp rice bran oil, or canola oil

2 medium yellow onions, roughly chopped

3 carrots, roughly chopped

3 celery stalks, roughly chopped

6 cups homemade or good quality turkey or chicken stock

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

garlic gravyHeat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add the onions, cooking about 7 minutes or until they’re beginning to brown. Add the carrots and celery and cook again for about 7 minutes, or until vegetables are soft. Add your reserved garlic, cook for about 7 more minutes. Finally, add the stock and deglaze the pan. Add 1 Tbsp of salt and 1/8 tsp pepper and simmer for 30 minutes.

Step Three:

Using an immersion blender, carefully puree the mixture. I prefer this method to a food processor because if the consistency isn’t quite right, it’s easy to leave it in the pan to simmer and thicken a bit longer or add a little more stock, if needed. Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if desired.




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Category: Fall, Food, General, Side Dishes

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