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My make-ahead mushroom gravy owes its depth of flavour to the partially caramelised onions & leeks, liquid aminos, and paprika, as well, of course, to the mushrooms themselves. It’s thick and savoury, and is perfect with roasts, pies, sausages, mash, roast potatoes, etc.
Basically, if it’s in need of ‘meaty’ gravy, this is totally up to the job.
And speaking of meaty, my meat-loving friends and family all love this too. Some of them didn’t even realise that it’s vegan until I told them!
Blending mushroom gravy
I know that some people advocate straining the mushrooms prior to serving but I don’t. Why would you ditch the best part?
I just blitz the whole lot with my immersion blender, and have done with it.
Thickening the gravy
By the way, if you don’t have, or can’t get tapioca flour (tapioca starch), you can use cornflour (corn starch), rice flour, potato starch, or arrowroot in exactly the same way.
Tapioca is my preferred choice however, because like arrowroot, it gives sauces and gravies an almost translucent, glossy quality, whereas the other starches tend to produce more opaque sauces.
Porcini, or other dried mushroom powders can be used instead of shiitake. I just happen to have shiitake because it’s prevalent in this part of the world.
I’ve used several different types of mushroom powder in this gravy recipe over the years, and to be perfectly honest, it really doesn’t matter which you use. It’s just there to enhance the flavour of the fresh mushrooms.
If you don’t have mushroom powder, you can use a couple of tablespoons of mushroom ketchup or oyster mushroom sauce (found in Asian stores and online).
Or, if you have a high-speed blender, you can make your own by grinding up dried shiitake.
Homemade vegetable broth
Most of the time I make my own vegetable broth, simply because food frugality is in my nature, and I hate to waste anything.
You can of course, use vegetable bouillon (available from most supermarkets) but I have to admit that I really do prefer home-made. Not least because unlike commercial brands, it’s not loaded with sodium.
Making vegetable broth at home is beyond easy. I save all my peelings etc., and put them into a large plastic bag in the freezer (this also helps the freezer to run more efficiently because a full freezer is more energy-efficient than a half-full one). Then when I have enough to fill a stockpot, I chuck all the scraps into the pan, along with any bendy carrots and parsnips, and cabbage hearts that are lurking in the ‘fridge (oh, come on, we all have them!). A couple of litres of water and some herbs complete the mix.
I cover the pan, and then just let it simmer away for a couple of hours. After that, I strain the vegetable matter (which then goes into the compost bin once it’s cooled), and reduce the stock by about 25%.
And that’s it. No additives, no preservatives, no hard-to-pronounce chemical names. Just vegetables and water.
Here are the full instructions for how to make vegetable broth from scraps. It’ll level up your soup game, too!
Homemade mushroom gravy
As well as being really easy to make at home, and far more delicious than store-bought pouches, my mushroom gravy is both soy-free and gluten-free. It also contains no nuts or dairy.
It’s savoury and full of umami, as well as being warming and comforting. It’s the perfect accompaniment for roast dinners, pies, and mashed potatoes.
Why is it make-ahead mushroom gravy? Because you can keep it in an airtight jar in the ‘fridge for a couple of weeks, plus it freezes very well (for up to three months).
Why not make some soon? Whatever you have it with, I’m certain you’ll love it. Enjoy!