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Hard boiled Eggs in Gravy

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http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5725...

I like hard boiled eggs in dishes from sauces to curries. Something is just yummy about this, and it crops up in many cuisines. In this thread I read about an interesting idea of putting hard-boiled eggs in gravy, such as for a Thanksgiving turkey meal. I am wondering which US regions these types of gravies belong to (the posters mention Northern Florida, Georgia, and Texas...is this more broadly Southern as well???) And also what does such a gravy look like, what else goes in it? A good recipe would be nice.

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  1. Years ago, I lived in New Mexico; my friend who was from Texas put eggs in her gravy, which I found odd. The gravy was light brown like a turkey gravy but it had chopped hard cooked egg in it. Sorry, I couldn't bring myself to eat any because back then, I wasn't open to eating strange looking things but those that were from the area found it to be normal & they loved it. I can tell you that I never have seen it in the southeast states (I live in NC)

    1. It sounds like it would be very good with the sausage gravy usually poured on biscuits.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mucho gordo

        the idea sounded frankly awful until I read this muchogordo.
        your idea really does sound good.

      2. Somebody once made me a meatloaf stuffed with whole hard boiled eggs in the middle. Topped with a thick rich gravy, it was wonderful.

        5 Replies
        1. re: ipsedixit

          I'll second that...my late mom always had hard boiled eggs embedded in the meatloaf she made, and it was delicious with the gravy .

          She also put sliced hard boiled eggs in her lasagna al forno, as per a traditional recipe given to her by an Italian friend. I'm not sure which region of Italy that particular embellishment is common to, but it was sure good in combination with the tomato sauce in the baked lasagna. On those rare occasions when I put a lasagna together, I still include the hard boiled eggs...just wouldn't be 'right' without it!

          1. re: The Professor

            I used to be served that often at "red gravy" restaurants in Rhode Island. My guess would be the cooks were Italian-Americans who came over from the southern part of Italy where the poor folks lived. (Have to say I didn't like it, but then I don't like HB eggs.)

            1. re: The Professor

              My Sicilian born Grandmother would also add hard cooked egg sliced to the Lasagna al Forno as well as to some of the red sauces then left whole.To my recollection we only had it for Easter. . On other times at school recess lunch ,on a Monday she would poach eggs in the sauce leftover from Sunday and serve it with Italian bread also left over .The Italian kids returned to school with sauce stains on their shirts and around their mouths well at least the boys did.

            2. re: ipsedixit

              I used to do that and made the meatloaf w/ Jimmy Dean sausage mixed w/ the ground beef and a heavy gravy. It was like breakfast for dinner. Now that I think of it, it's like a deconstructed/reconstructed sausage gravy and eggs.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                I read a recipe for this once and decided it sounded good enough to try.
                made it for dinner, husband loves meatloaf so I thought no worry here.
                he piled into it, looked at me and said, "please don't do this again."
                I said, "agree".

              2. Gravy with hardboiled eggs is very common in southern GA. I was born and raised there and was an adult before I realized that some people DON'T do this. It is basically a regular turkey stock gravy, with chopped or sliced hardboiled eggs in it.

                2 Replies
                1. re: karenfinan

                  I'm from Texas and it's pretty common in home cooking here, although I've never seen it in any resturants. It's especially big with giblet gravy. Also, my roommate is on the Candida Diet right now, so I've been immersion blending chopped HB eggs, roast onions/garlic, and gelatin with drippings/stock to make gravy instead of startches when he's in a smothered sort of mood. We like it a lot and I can't help but feel it's a bit healthier, so we might never go back to roux/corn starch thickening once he's off this weird diet.

                  1. re: karenfinan

                    I grew up in Georgia, and that was the way my mother and grandmother made turkey gravy. They raised chickens during WWII and also added chopped hardboiled eggs to chicken pot pie fillings. It was a way of stretching the protein. I still have my mother's ration coupon booklet.

                  2. This rings a faint bell. Seems like I've eaten giblet gravy with a hard boiled egg in it. I have no idea where or when. This had to have been when I was a child. If the old memory is correct, it had to have been at Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner where we ate roast turkey.

                    1. My grandmother made a giblet gravy with hard boiled eggs mixed into it. It was a fairly thick gravy that had a pretty creamy texture, and a golden hue to it. She said that she got most of her recipes from a few old recipe books that her great-grandmother left her, back when she was learning how to cook in the 30's, in Mobile.

                      It was a pretty simple gravy. I recall that she had us crumble up cornbread for her, and then she'd add that along with diced onions, and eggs to the roasting pan with arrowroot, stock, and giblets. That was pretty much all she put into the gravy (salt and pepper also).

                      As for being a Southern dish, I suppose it could be. I honestly can't recall ever having hard boiled eggs added to gravy outside of the South, and even then that was limited...

                      1. I've lived in many northern and midwestern states, and I never heard of this until I moved to Texas.
                        I'm horrified by the bastardization of something as lovely as turkey gravy.

                        17 Replies
                        1. re: FoodChic

                          Bastardization? Kind of harsh, no?

                          1. re: sueatmo

                            No, I don't think so.

                          2. re: FoodChic

                            That is harsh, FoodChic. I grew up in Texas and that is the way my Mother and all of her friends and relatives prepared their giblet gravy. I must say that I never liked it, but would not label it a "bastardization" of turkey gravy. I have lived in all the southern states and for the most part, that is also the way giblet gravy was prepared in those states.

                            1. re: FoodChic

                              I'm with FoodChic. I can't stand hard-boiled eggs, and until seeing this thread title on November 19, 2011, I had never heard of such a desecration. I did learn about people putting HBEs in lasagne this year, courtesy of Chowhound, but never HBEs in gravy.

                              For me, it comes down to this: why would you put something in your food that smells like farts (to put it nicely)?

                              1. re: Jay F

                                Because if you cook them right, they don't smell like farts?

                                1. re: kerrough

                                  Maybe to you they don't. I've actually never made one. I suspect, however, that HBEs may be like cilantro. Some people experience cilantro as a soapy flavor and others don't (I don't, my best friend does). Some people think HBEs smell like ****, some people don't.

                                  Trust me, if HBEs smelled to you like they do to me, there's just not a way in the world you would put one in your mouth. And it isn't a matter of "Oh, well, you've just never eaten *my* HBEs." I have never encountered a single one I thought belonged on the table instead of in the toilet. Obviously, many other people -- most? -- perceive them in a very different way.

                                  1. re: Jay F

                                    Totally agree, Jay! Totally agree.

                                    1. re: FoodChic

                                      You rock, Chic.

                                2. re: Jay F

                                  I wouldn't even think of making a lasagne al forno without slices of hard boiled egg layered in. That's the only way I ever had it growing up!

                                  1. re: The Professor

                                    Do you warn people ahead of time who've never had your lasagne?

                                    1. re: Jay F

                                      No. I can't think of any reason why I should.
                                      If they're fussy eaters, the egg slices are intact enough that they can remove them from their portion. Some have found the inclusion of the eggs unusual but no one ever thought it was weird enough not to try it.
                                      And no one ever fished them out, either. :-)

                                      1. re: The Professor

                                        <<And no one ever fished them out, either.>>

                                        Probably not. I would decline outright.

                                        Lasagne is my single favorite food. HBEs are my single least favorite food. I would never have imagined the combination of the two. Combining chocolate and gutta percha seems more natural to me. Or raspberries and spitballs.

                                        Do you make your lasagne the mozzarella/ricotta way, or with Bolognese, Parmigiano-Reggiano and besciamella? Do you roll your own or use the boxed variety?

                                        1. re: Jay F

                                          No problem, Jay...we all have our likes & dislikes.
                                          The lasagne I make (based upon my mom's) is with mozz, ricotta, and I suppose the sauce part is rather like a Bolognese. In addition to the dreaded hard boiled egg slices layered into it (LOL) we'll sometimes include slices of sausage as well. It is a fairly rich and hefty rendition of Lasagne Al Forno. I've used both boxed lasagne sheets and home rolled ones (definitely preferring the later, but perfectly satisfied with the former as well).

                                          The inclusion of the egg is evidently a regional thing (the friend that my Mom got the recipe from was from Italy) but I'm not sure exactly what region...although based on the Bolognese-ish sauce, I suppose that region could be a candidate; I can't say with certainty, though. It became such a family staple that its origins hardly matter in the end. And even regionally, one can safely bet that ingredients and techniques vary from family to family and I suppose even mutate as they are passed along.
                                          In any case, it remains one of my favorite 'special occasion' dishes.

                                          1. re: Jay F

                                            I don't put HBEs in my lasagna, but I put many eggs in my ricotta to make it uber fluffy and yummy.

                                            1. re: FoodChic

                                              Of course. But you don't first render the eggs fartinaceous.

                                              I have three questions for anyone who cares to answer:

                                              (1) What is your single favorite thing to eat?
                                              (2) What is your single *least* favorite thing to eat?
                                              (3) How would you like to eat them together in a mashup, so to speak?

                                              1. re: Jay F

                                                Someone just told me about turkey gravy with noodles. And they put the gravy with the noodles on their mashed potatoes, turkey, etc. All I could do was ask why this ever needed to happen.

                                                1. re: FoodChic

                                                  My mother used to serve roast beef with mashed potatoes and noodles which were cooked with the beef drippings, so that they formed a gravy-like sauce. The whole family (except me) LOVED to put the noodles on top of the mashed potatoes and chow down. Now, I like my carbs as much as the next person (and back then I actually ATE carbs, LOL), but I never understood the concept of putting starch on top of starch.

                                3. My Tupelo, Miss. born Mother always made giblet gravy with turkey.

                                  She made stock from the neck (usually acquired extras for this). Stock was strained and the meat reserved and chopped fine. Finely chopped celery and onion were added to the liquid and simmered. Vegetable still had a slight amount of bite - not totally softened.

                                  About the time that the turkey came out of the oven and was resting she would add a little of the stock to crumbled HB egg yolks and mix it until it was smooth. This was added back to the stockpot. They gravy was stirred intermittently. If it needed to be thicker a slurry of corn or tapioca starch was added. The finely diced HB egg whites were added shortly before serving - time enough to warm them but not over cook them. The reserved chopped meat is added back with the egg whites.

                                  Seasoned to taste - she used just salt and pepper IIRC.

                                  The consistency was thinner than a roux gravy but had more body than a sauce.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: meatn3

                                    In southeastern Georgia, the giblet gravy had chopped boiled eggs in it and was made with turkey dinners to ladle over dressing.

                                    1. re: meatn3

                                      We used to eat just this gravy every Christmas at my grandmother's house!!! I am English - as was my grandmother, but my grandfather came from Texas and they lived in Dallas for some time after they married which I suppose is where she learned to make it.

                                      I've certainly never heard of such a thing here, and lately I've been investigating.

                                      We haven't had that gravy since she died and I miss it! Not just because it was delicious - and only came out once a year - but it was a palaver to make, and the memory of my grandmother making it on Christmas morning (while the family tiptoed round her in fear for their lives!) is so vivid that I can almost smell her kitchen as I think of it.

                                      I was so excited to read your post that I created my own account just to comment on it.

                                      1. re: Tisiphone

                                        One of things I most love about discussing food is how it is woven so tightly into our memories. Sometimes a smell or a taste bring a past moment instantly to mind. Other times a mention will recreate perfect recall of a flavor and the event when it was experienced.

                                        Giblet gravy will always be associated with my mother in my mind. She has not been able to cook for several years now. I have prepared it with her supervision for a few holiday dinners, which seems to give her pleasure and feel a part of the preparations. When the gravy is served everyone calls it "Mom's" gravy, regardless of who prepared it!

                                        I see below you are thinking of ordering Craig Claiborne's NYT Cook Book. I was looking at that recipe recently and it is very similar to my mothers. I think you will be pleased...it is always wonderful to revisit a taste associated with happy memories!

                                        BTW, C. Claiborne was born quite to close to the area my mother is from - so perhaps it is the same regional recipe?

                                    2. I have been in all regions of the USA, but had never heard of adding HBE to gravy until this thread.
                                      We did have Greek neighbors when I was growing up. The live in grandmother made a wonderful braided Easter bread with a shell on hard boiled egg hidden in the middle. Now that is a fond memory!

                                      1. When I was very young, my grandmother used to put small HBE in the gravey. They were about 3/4" in diameter. I was too young to ask about the origin of them!

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: subal

                                          Maybe quail eggs?

                                        2. I'm from Alabama and my family has been here since the 1830s and we've always had boiled eggs in giblet gravy. So did everyone else I knew growing up.

                                          1. A very interesting thread. I am always a sucker for social history and genealogy showing up in cooking. Have never lived in the South or even traveled there much and had never heard of eggs in gravy. However, hardboiled eggs in curry sauce is a very common dish in England---basically a gravyish cream sauce with curry in it, then eggs, all of it served on toast. I wonder if there is some historic commonality shared by this dish and the "eggs in gravy" in the American South.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Querencia

                                              I'm a sucker for this type of stuff too. I love food memories and traditions.

                                              I have NEVER heard of this before (and I talk about food with people all the time, even the dealers in Vegas) - but clearly it happens. I think it would be very tasty, I love HBE but just can't imagine it during Thanksgiving. So out of my "food box" for Thanksgiving.

                                            2. Craig Claiborne's NYT Cook Book has a Turkey Giblet gravy recipe with a Hard Boiled egg included(optional).

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: King of Northern Blvd

                                                THANK YOU!!!!! Amazon here I come.....

                                              2. One minute ago I left this thead and went to food.com where somebody is searching for an old German recipe for hardboiled eggs served in a sweet and sour sauce. Small world.

                                                1. I have some vague memory of sometime, long ago, having HBE in gravy; I do clearly remember watching Paula Deen put HBE in her gravy.

                                                  1. Yes Paula Deen has a recipe with eggs in her gravy. First time I heard of adding eggs to gravy. My family is from Kentucky and never had it. Here it is http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/pa...

                                                    1. Ok I'm looking for egg gravy that is yellow and you put on toast. It's not made out of giblets . It's a creamy yellow and I'm not sure but may have curry in it

                                                      1. Not exactly the same thing as gravy, but one of my favorite meals from childhood was my mother's creamed eggs on toast - hard boiled eggs sliced into a basic bechamel sauce with plenty of black pepper, served over torn-up slices of white toast. It's the same idea as creamed beef on toast (aka shit on a shingle), but with eggs instead. Super delicious. Frozengator, this may be the dish you're thinking of - curry powder would be a nice addition, as would saffron (both would contribute a yellow color).

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: biondanonima

                                                          I'm from Mississippi (but in Florida now) and wouldn't even *consider* making turkey gravy without HBEs in it! That's the way my mother and grandmother always made it. For chicken gravy they're optional, but for Thanksgiving you HAD to have the eggs in it! :)

                                                          1. re: biondanonima

                                                            creamed eggs on toast - hard boiled eggs sliced into a basic bechamel sauce with plenty of black pepper, served over torn-up slices of white toast.

                                                            I grew up on this stuff too. My mother was from the midwest and we had creamed everything!

                                                          2. If it's alright with Paula Deen it's alright with me:

                                                            http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/pa...

                                                            1. I was raised on Giblet Gravy as a traditional Thanksgiving compliment to the turkey and mashed potatoes. I can't imagine that traditional dinner without it. The only thing I want to mention is that Giblet Gravy is old time "Soul Food."

                                                              Mind you, "Soul Food" is all about where you're from, or more to the point, where your ancestors were from - NOT about the color of your skin. During the 1800's and early 20th century, families were very frugal because they had to be, so they wasted nothing.

                                                              This is evident in Giblet Gravy, because it contains all of the organ meat that came with the Turkey. Folks also did whatever they could to "S t r e t c h" the food, adding things that were readily available and economical - Like EGGS!

                                                              So, eggs in gravy are not a new thing, but a wonderful traditional staple - at least in my family heritage!!