Good Gravy for The Good Non Meat Eater
This recipe sticks to certain cooking principles and then goes a little off the beaten path.
Initially you are employing the same methods to get ‘flavour’ as you would should a hunk of meat be involved, so you will brown the vegetables and you will use the ‘Holy Trinity Of Veg’ (angelic hoards in blissful voice here) of Onion, Carrot and Celery!
Then we will add a wine vinegar reduction to give that depth and perfume that you get in a good gravy.
And the big secret to any good gravy (and no one wants to say it because it is cheap and so unglamorous) is that you use vegetable water (from the boiled veg for that dinner) carrot is good, but without any doubt the best vegetable water is cabbage water … it’s just true, don’t be angry .. I’m just the messenger.
1 onion sliced
2 carrots sliced
2 sticks of celery sliced
1 dssp sunflower oil
1 bay leaf
1 tsp brown sugar
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp Engervita flakes (Nutritional yeast flakes – his is optional but its very nice and savoury)
1 lt vegetable water (cabbage, sprout, carrot, bean, broccoli or cauliflower are all good)
2 vegetable stock cubes or 3 tsp Marigold veg boullion
wine vinegar reduction
250 ml dry white wine or red wine
1 finely diced shallot (if you like but not essential here)
125 ml white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 sprig of Tarragon or Thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried)
4 black peppercorns
Fry the veg in the oil over a medium heat for 10-12 mins so they soften and start to brown.
Add in the flour and mix it into a paste that you can build you gravy from
using the vegetable water stirred in and brought to the boil in between additions until all the liquid is added.
Allow this to simmer for 10 minutes while you make the wine reduction.
You choose if you want to use red or white wine, if I use white I add Tarragon, for red I use Thyme.
Add everything into a small pan and bring to a fast boil for about 5 minutes, until you have 3 -4 tablespoons of a nice thick liquid.
Add it straight into the gravy and stir well.
Strain it though a sieve and serve!.
Come and see me on Saturdays’ at Bermondsey Square Farmers Market in Southwark. It’s just off Tower Bridge Road, a short walk from The White Cube, Southbank and Borough Market.
All new customers will get a lovely washable cotton shopper as a ‘Thank you and please come again next week’ (Whie stocks last!)
Every Friday at about 6 pm GMT I publish photos of the items I have cooked for market. Have a look at the Facebook page.