Posted by Nicci | Recipes

See Recipes Below

While I was growing up the only time of year when we had 100% homemade gravy was for Thanksgiving. The rest of the year if we had gravy with our meal it was generally made from a store bought packet. But at Thanksgiving the gravy was made from turkey drippings. Some years the gravy was lumpier then others. My mom always tortured herself over that gravy. She would be busy around the kitchen trying to make the dinner perfect and just right. That gravy sometimes would be the straw that broke the camel’s back. If she got the gravy just right she would be really happy but if there were any lumps she would see it as “she ruined our holiday”. We would tell her that the gravy was fine and yummy as it always was lumps or no lumps. She would smile and dinner would go on.

So how do you make lump free gravy?

That was a question I knew never to ask my mom on Thanksgiving and forgot to ask her the rest of the year. I generally didn’t care because I liked packet gravy just fine. Then sometime in my early twenties I asked my mom one Sunday morning as we were making biscuits and gravy and sadly there were not country gravy packets in her pantry. So she showed me how to make from scratch corn starch gravy like her grandmother showed her years before.

After breakfast I asked her the dreaded question. That if she could make great from scratch gravy that morning with no lumps, then how come her Thanksgiving gravy was not always consistent.

Her answer was “nerves”. When you are nervous you do dumb things. That no matter how many times you have made a recipe from scratch before the minute you add in a deadline or jitters it’s like all those years of experience just fly out the window.

That made perfect sense to me. After all not only had I been cooking since a young age, I had been sewing since I was in the eight grade and I knew from experience that when I have a headache I need to just walk away from needles and thread and sewing machines. I have sewn the clothes I am wearing to what I am trying to create, I have cut patterns wrong, and I have put needles through my finger before just because I don’t feel well. So yes I knew exactly what she meant.

So how do you make lump free gravy?

Well the correct way is a variation of the two recipes below. You can make gravy either with corn starch or with flour. When you make it with flour the base of the recipe is called a roux. With a roux (butter and flour) you can create not just gravy but cheese sauces and have the base for creating a creamy soup. When you make gravy with corn starch you MUST mix the corn starch with cold water before mixing it into what you want to thicken up. If you don’t do this one simple step, if you forget you are using corn starch and try to create a roux like you would with flour well then you will have the lumpiest gravy ever. The moment corn starch powder hits hot liquid it immediately begins to react and turn into gooey misshapen tasteless lumps. If you somehow forget this with flour and add flour to a hot liquid sometimes you can stir fast enough to get rid of any lumps. Sadly with corn starch you are just out of luck because no amount of fast stirring has ever saved me when I get flustered and make this rookie mistake.

Quick Tip: If you are trying to thicken a soup and don’t want to use either corn starch or flour, add a few table spoons of instant mashed potatoes and stir till smooth. Potato starch is another type of thickening agent used in a lot of processed foods. This tip has saved me a lot when I haven’t used enough corn starch or flour for the base of my creamy soup. Adding in the instant mashed potatoes is a quick and easy no lump fix.

IMG_20150909_103926729

Gluten Free Sausage Gravy Recipe

Sausage Gravy Ingredients

½ pound of breakfast sausage or 4 pre-cooked turkey sausage patties

2 tablespoons of corn starch

2 cups of milk (water or broth)

¼ cup of water

Salt & pepper to taste

 

Step one: Brown the sausage

Breakfast Sausage: Grease your skillet with 1 tablespoon of oil and put on medium heat. Once the pan is hot enough brown the breakfast sausage. Set aside the browned sausage. Remove all but about 2 tablespoons of the sausage grease from the pan.

If you choose to use the pre-cooked sausage patties heat for 30 seconds to one minute in the microwave. Place patties in the food processor and grind until it resembles sausage crumbles. Use 2 tablespoons of butter in your pan.

 

Step two:

Melt the butter in the hot skillet. Add the 2 cups of milk.

 

Step three:

Mix the cornstarch with the ¼ cup of water and add to the milk and butter that is heating. Stir constantly over medium heat.

 

Step four:

As the mixture begins to thicken add the sausage, mix and serve with your favorite breakfast items such as biscuits or grits.

 

 

Regular Sausage Gravy Recipe

Sausage Gravy Ingredients

½ pound of breakfast sausage or 4 pre-cooked turkey sausage patties

3 tablespoons of flour

2 cups of milk (water or broth)

Salt & pepper to taste

 

Step one: Brown the sausage

Breakfast Sausage: Grease your skillet with 1 tablespoon of oil and put on medium heat. Once the pan is hot enough brown the breakfast sausage. Set aside the browned sausage. Remove all but about 2 tablespoons of the sausage grease from the pan.

If you choose to use the pre-cooked sausage patties heat for 30 seconds to one minute in the microwave. Place patties in the food processor and grind until it resembles sausage crumbles. Use 2 tablespoons of butter in your pan.

 

Step two:

Either use the 2 tablespoons of sausage grease or melt the butter in the hot skillet. Add 3 tablespoons of flour and mix with the melted butter. The butter and flour will clump. This is called a roux.

 

Step three:

Slowly add the 2 cups of milk continually stirring the mixture. The mixture will begin to thin out. Keep over medium heat until the mixture begins to thicken up again. Then turn the heat down to low.

 

Step four:

As the mixture begins to thicken add the sausage, mix and serve with your favorite breakfast items such as biscuits or grits.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *