Thursday, December 12, 2013

The EASIEST Way to Make Gravy or Sauce!

A few years ago, I wanted to learn how to make gravy because of numerous reasons, one being GRAVY IS YUM. I googled "how to make gravy from scratch" because how else do you learn how to do something? I found a lot of complicated recipes that called for making a roux by first sautéing flour in butter (which is harder than it sounds) and then adding liquid while whisking the pasty roux and blah-blah-who-has-time-for-that?
Over the years I discovered a REALLY easy way to make gravy and sauce so I'll share it here in case you ever get the craving for gravy or just for some gravy know-how (especially during holiday season!).

First start with some liquid and some form of fat (yes, I said FAT...it's gravy for crying out loud!)
Below I have the liquid left over from making a roast in my crock pot. You could also use water, melted butter, and a bouillon cube, or you could sauté something (onions, mushrooms, chicken, whatever) in some butter or oil (preferably not vegetable oil...because, ew.), then scrape the pan and add water to that. You want seasoned liquid and fat mkay? Bring it to a low boil or simmer.

Like so.
While your liquid is getting up to temp, grab some cornstarch. Ok, I realize that my super cheap box of cornstarch is not really healthy, BUT it's all I had! You could also use tapioca starch if you prefer. I don't really measure when I do this...it's all trial and error. It's probably 2:1 water to cornstarch, and really depends on how thick you want your gravy or sauce to be! Completely dissolve the cornstarch in the water so it has a milky consistency.
Now take your bowl of dissolved corn starch and slowly, SLOWLY whisk it into the simmering liquid from before. It should start to thicken immediately. Just keep pouring until you get the desired consistency, keeping in mind that the gravy will thicken as it cools. You don't want to get smart and think you can skip a step by pouring the corn starch directly into the simmering liquid. Nope, you can't. Well, you CAN, but you will end up in CLUMPY GRAVY CITY...and I really don't think that's a place you want to be.
You can let the gravy simmer longer to make it thicken more (the more water that evaporates out of the gravy, the thicker it will be). If it's too thick, you can always add water to thin it out.
Now pour it over your food and enjoy!!
If you are one of those people that NEED very specific directions...I'm sorry! Cooking for me is all about experimentation. Maybe the next time I make gravy or a sauce I will actually measure things and make an update to this post. Once you understand the basic concepts behind it, play around a little and figure it out on your own! It's not like cornstarch, water, and seasoning is going to break the bank!
Have fun!!
-Michelle