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Nov 3, 2010 09:12 AM

Vegetarian Gravy?

I'm looking for a gravy that's completely meat/poultry/fish free, although dairy and eggs are fine. Does anyone have any gems?

Thanks in advance.

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  1. Cooks Illustrated has an All Purpose Gravy that is quite good that I make to add to my turkey dripppings gravy and to have on hand for when I run out of the scratch gravy when serving. It uses a blend of chicken and beef stock but you could probably try it with vegetable stock, maybe add more veggies/spices. I'd test before serving at turkey dinner to taste/adjust seasonings.

    You can find by searching " Cooks Illustrated All Purpose Gravy" on Google, here is one site - sorry, I can never get a web address to copy with an instant link:

    1. I usually make a mushroom gravy. I don't really follow a recipe per se, just throw sliced mushrooms, vegetable stock, garlic, onion, olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme into a pan and then add flour until the consistency is right.

      It's even nicer with a little bit of flat beer in it. Just use less stock.

      There's even a vegan mushroom gravy recipe here on Chow:

      7 Replies
      1. re: opehlia payne

        I should've mentioned that we hate mushrooms. And eggplant, should that somehow arise. ;)

        1. re: invinotheresverde

          Ah, that rules that one out then! :-O

          I do make gravy without the mushrooms when a family member who is allergic comes around, using ground raw cashews and a little tamari instead. That one is really good, too.

          I'll try to keep an eye on this thread and if you don't get lots of responses, I'll check some of my vegetarian cookbooks at home for other ideas.

          1. re: invinotheresverde

            I would have said a mushroom gravy, too! In lieu of that, I thought that chestnut might be a good flavor that would be amenable to a gravy. I found this - clearly you'd substitute the turkey stock with vegetable, but there is so much else going on, I don't think the flavor would suffer:

            1. re: katecm

              Now that sounds delicious! I'm going to try this as soon as I see chestnuts in the store. Without the butter or turkey juice, but still...

            2. re: invinotheresverde

              Are you serious?

              Even if you don't like mushrooms normally, I think they do add some really useful flavor and texture to vegetarian gravies, as well as a savory taste element. You should consider at least using stems, or maybe trying wild mushrooms if it's button mushrooms that you specifically dislike ("mushroom" is a pretty broad category - is it the taste or texture that bothers you?). I had pretty good luck with a frozen porcini and fresh chanterelle based gravy last year.

              Here was my rough method, written down after the fact. I realize it's kind of a weird way to build it in the pan, but worked Ok for me.

              frozen porcini, fresh chanterelles, fresh cremini mushrooms - stems, little bits, whatever
              1 onion, chopped finely
              2-3 cloves garlic, minced
              1-2 Tbsp margarine and / or olive oil
              ~ 2 Tbsp flour
              soy sauce
              veg stock
              nutritional yeast
              salt and pepper to taste

              brown mushrooms in pan in batches, removing each batch after browning
              deglaze pan with white wine after all batches are done, and reserve the wine. to the wine, add a little soy sauce and veg stock or water
              sauté onions in medium heat with a liberal amount of oil and / or margarine, until translucent / limp. add mushrooms and increase heat. add salt and fresh black pepper to taste.
              push onions to the side, add more oil and / or margarine, and add flour to create a roux. (I think this is an odd order to do things in, but it seemed to work quite well)
              add liquid and whisk with a roux whisk, adding more water or stock as necessary. add more black pepper and some nutritional yeast.

              If you make a non-mushroom gravy, I'd use a lot of stock and nutritional yeast to try and impart some of that flavor. If you just don't like the texture, consider using some mushroom broth or mushroom soaking liquid.

              1. re: will47

                Perfectly serious. Hate 'em, both flavor and texture.

          2. There's an onion gravy that I comes from a roast turkey recipe that would be easy to adapt to a vegetarian version. It's a bit sweet due to the onions, but I think it's delicious. In that recipe, sautéed onions and shallots are put in the roasting pan below the rack where the turkey is, with some broth; for a veg version, I'd just sauté them deeply - essentially make caramelized onions - then deglaze the sauté pan with white wine or dry sherry, add a good vegetable stock and some fresh thyme or sage, and simmer for a few minutes. Then the whole is puréed (you can do this with a hand blender if you have one). The onions give it body, so you don't need thickeners. I wouldn't be shy with the butter for sautéing, and you could hit it with a bit of cream in the end. I'd also add a bit of soy sauce or tamari to taste. (One reason mushroom gravies work so well is all the umami mushrooms bring, and I think you need something rich in umami, as well as the most flavorful broth you can make, to get good depth in a veg gravy.) As I said, this is a bit sweet due to the onions, so only works if you're okay with that. I think it's very nice.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

              Gosh, this sounds lovely. I'm picturing it on red meat, too!

              1. I make a roasted vegetable gravy with onions, leeks, garlic, celery, carrot and parsnip (I add mushrooms but you don't have to)...roast off in a pan in the oven drizzled with a bit of canola or other oil and seasoned with pepper until caramelized. Once the veggies are cooked, take the pan out of the oven and put onto the stove eye; deglaze with vegetable stock and white wine and bring to a simmer, scraping the bits from the bottom of the pan. Toss in a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme and cook until reduced by 1/3 of the original liquid amount. The amount of stock you use is dependent on how much gravy you want; remember to allow for reduction so add accordingly.

                Add both the veggies and liquid (in batches, if necessary) into a food processor or blender; puree until smooth then strain back into the pan. Mix a spoonful of cornstarch (I add 1 teaspoon per two cups of liquid) with a bit of stock or water; bring pan to a simmer and whisk in the cornstarch mix. Adjust seasoning with vegetable sea salt, pepper, and cumin. Simmer for two minutes or until thickened to desired consistancy.

                2 Replies
                  1. re: Cherylptw

                    I am definitely trying this one sometime, too!

                  2. Here is one I have used a few times. Instead of the 4 T. soy sauce, I prefer 2T Braggs Amino Acids. This is a starting point though as you can adapt the flavor however you wish. I'd give it a 7 out of 10 :)