Mushroom gravy – gluten free
Today I reluctantly accepted Winter had arrived after prolonged enjoyment of Summer-like conditions – known as the magic of May. Also known as the warmest May on record.
After latest weather reports predicted intermittent rain during the coming week, I knew our time of “having it good” had come to an end.
So, rather than admit defeat and pull the blankets over my head, I took my friend Wayne out for a surprise birthday breakfast at the beach. The sun made a tranquil entrance over the sea and bathed the sand and nearby apartments in gold, long enough for us to enjoy our breakfast. Not long after, the sky became shrouded in grey and has remained so since.
Now that Winter is here, it’s time to start thinking of comfort food. Delicious, hearty fare that sticks to your ribs and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. From curries and pies to soups and baked dinners with lashings of gravy drizzled over the top.
Speaking of gravy, I happen to have a gluten free version of mushroom gravy to share with you. Arrowroot is used to thicken it (found in baking section of supermarkets for under $2). If you can’t find it, you can use cornflour (or cornstarch) instead. Make sure you mix it in a little cold water first to make a slurry before adding it to your sauce. Do not keep it cooking for too long after it has thickened.
Hope you enjoy. Now, where are my ugg-boots?
- 1 tablespoon oil of choice (I used macadamia oil as it has more of a buttery flavour than other oils)
- 1 brown onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 4 cups sliced Swiss brown mushrooms
- 3 cups vegetable stock (I used organic stock cubes)
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder thinned in a small amount of water
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 level teaspoon dried thyme)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- Pepper to taste
- Heat oil in a large pan on low heat and add the onion and garlic. Cook until onion is translucent.
- Increase heat and add the mushrooms, stirring until remaining juices have evaporated and mushrooms have decreased in size . Allow to sit in pan without stirring until mixture becomes caramelised. Be careful not to burn the mixture.
- Next you want to de-glaze the pan with the stock. This helps loosen the caramelised stuff on the bottom of the pan which adds flavour. Add half a cup at first, stir, and then add the remaining stock and bring back to a boil.
- Reduce heat, add DRIED herbs (if using) and simmer for 10 minutes or until mixture has reduced.
- Transfer to a small saucepan. Using a hand held stick blender, pulse 2 - 3 times to smooth out sauce, making sure some mushrooms remain whole. Return to heat.
- Add the arrowroot mixture to the saucepan and stir for about 1 minute until it thickens. You can add more if your sauce is not thick enough. Remove from heat.
- Add a generous grind of cracked black pepper, some sea salt if you feel it still needs it and any fresh herbs you're using.
* For best results when caramelising use a pan that is NOT non-stick.
* Swiss brown mushrooms are better to use than button as they are more flavourful.
* Do not overcrowd the pan as the mushrooms will end up stewing instead of caramelising.
* You can use different herbs depending on your meat of choice. Eg) Use fresh, sliced sage leaves for roast chicken dishes or use fresh or dried rosemary for lamb dishes.
* If using fresh herbs, do not put them in until the end so they retain their fresh flavour.
* If your sauce is not thick enough after using the tapioca mixture, add more in 2 teaspoon increments (slightly thinned with water) to ensure you get the correct thickness.