It’s all peaches and gravy at Once More with Veggies!
Like barbecue sauce, gravy is a condiment I never really warmed up to until after I went vegetarian. I always just preferred a little salt and pepper on my potatoes; and mashed potatoes were always flavored enough with butter and milk that I found gravy unnecessary. Even now it’s rare that I employ gravy. But last week I was making baked portobello caps with mashed potatoes, and figured the meal needed a little gravy to go along with it. And like barbecue sauce, I figured it’d be best to make it myself!
Fortunately I found this recipe for Easy Vegetarian Mushroom Gravy, and the title doesn’t lie – it is very easy, and makes plenty! To start, I chopped up a few white button mushrooms, measuring them in a 3/4 cup before chopping. It may be fun to experiment with other mushrooms, but buttons are great for a simple, earthy flavor that works very well in a gravy.
I then sauteed the mushrooms and chopped onion in a skillet on medium high heat with a whole lot of Earth Balance butter. The recipe calls for a quarter cup of margarine, and this results in a rich and tasty gravy. You could probably cut back if you like, but remember, this recipe makes a lot and unless you like drowning your food in gravy, you’re not going to be swimming in fat with this. Anyhoo, the mushrooms and onion needed to cook for a couple minutes, rendering them nice and soft (and the mushrooms shrink considerably during this step).
According to the recipe, you then reduce the heat to medium and add vegetable broth and soy sauce, and afterward, slowly add some all-purpose flour. Looking back, this is a part of the recipe I may change in the future. The flour tended to clump up when I added it, and while most of it dissolved, a lot of it remained in tiny dumpling form. In the future I may add the flour before I add my liquids, so that it can form somewhat of a roux which will then dissolve and make the gravy thicker. But you can try either way and see for yourself!
Once the flour was incorporated, I added sage, thyme, marjoram (all dry), salt, and pepper; and cooked it for about 10 minutes to thicken it. It never got super duper thick, so I may add some arrowroot powder or corn starch in the future. But the texture was thick enough to make a nice gravy that was good for potatoes. Once I finished cooking, I strained the gravy so as to remove the mushrooms, onions, and especially the little flour clumps that didn’t fully dissolve. I then had about a cup of mushroom gravy, ready to use!
Despite the few changes/concerns I cited above, I really liked this recipe because it allowed me to whip up some gravy quickly and not rely on canned or prepared gravy from the store. It’s also a perfect way to use up those older mushrooms you have sitting in the fridge!