Saturday, 30 November 2013

Gravy from home made stock

I usually start some stock off the day before or in the morning if I am doing a roast dinner for a lovely rich gravy (that probably could qualify as a vegetable in its own right!)

This isn't a fixed list of ingredients or quantities, more of an average and great for using up vegetables that are no longer at their optimum. (But think about how the vegetable tastes and what it will add though; I avoid sweet stuff like parsnips or bitter veg like savoy cabbage, even if they will be part of the meal)

Remember everything is going to be boiled up and mashed, so chopping does not need to be delicate!

Chop a couple of onions and two or three carrots. Cut the stalk off broccoli (only if you have it, not essential) and chop. Add a softening tomato or two if you have some. Add four or five black peppercorns, a bayleaf and some parsley (dried or a good way of using up stalks of fresh).

Just cover the veg with water (a tall thin pan is better than a wide one), bring to the boil, put a lid on and leave on a very low heat to simmer for maybe an hour or so (it is surprising how firm carrots can still be after an hour; it makes me wonder how long my Gran cooked hers for to get them so squishy!). If you are making this in advance, turn off the heat after about half an hour and leave it with the lid on as it will continue to stew.

How involved you get next is up to you...

- you can either just pour off the liquid and use this

- but there is a lot of liquid in the veg, so you can also take a potato masher to them and pour some more off

- or it can be quite satisfying pushing the veg through a sieve for a really thick stock

(If you are roasting some meat, then pour off any fat and add the meat juices to your stock.)

Then just thicken the stock to make gravy in your usual way, with whatever seasoning and herbs. (I either use some yorkshire pudding batter, or some flour mixed with water; and add a bit of stock to this, stir smooth then add back to hot stock and whisk and bring to boil. Or cornflour)

I usually turn any leftover meat and gravy into a curry later in the week

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Please visit my Intro post for more about my blog and me - I hope you enjoy my recipes : )

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