It’s not very often that I make gravy. But it’s Father’s Day, we were having grilled lamb, and what better sides could go with it but mashed potatoes and gravy? So, while my daughter, Alex, was making kani salad, I made onion gravy.
The default way of making gravy is to start with a roux. That means cooking equal parts of butter and flour. But this is onion gravy so chopped onion was added to butter and flour. The amount of flour was also adjusted so that it’s a little less than the amount of butter. That’s to make sure that the roux stays stirrable throughout the cooking.
The mixture was cooked with occasional stirring until the flour was toasted to a dark amber and the onion bits were starting to caramelize. I don’t normally time the process. I just trust my eyes and my nose to determine if the roux is ready for the broth.
But, as a helpful guide, I checked the EXIF data of the photos and it took exactly 17 minutes from the time the flour was intergrated into the butter to the time I started pouring vegetable broth. Yes, patience is required because you need the roux to turn a dark brown to make gravy.
As I poured the broth with one hand, I stirred with the other. Yes, it looks lumpy at the start. But as you keep pouring broth and stirring, the lumpy mixture will transform into a beautiful gravy.
The gravy is ready once the mixture thickens to the consistency that you prefer. Some like their gravy really thick while others prefer something more pourable. Just remember that gravy thickens some more off the heat so you want it to be on the thin side before you take the pan off the stove.
But I do two more things to the gravy before serving it. First, I drizzle in a couple of teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce to give it a deeper flavor.
Second, after turning off the heat, I plunge in an immersion blender to liquefy the visible bits of onion. It’s an optional step but I like my gravy smooth with the bold flavor of caramelized onion, a little tang from the Worcestershire sauce and the nutty aroma of flour that had fried in butter.
- Melt the butter in a pan and stir in the chopped onion.
- Pour in the flour, all at once, and stir until pasty in appearance.
- Over medium-low heat, cook the roux with the onion, stirring once in a while, until the roux turns a deep brown.
- Pour the broth in a thin stream using one hand while stirring with the other.
- Cook, stirring, until the gravy thickens.
- Taste. Add salt and pepper if your broth is underseasoned.
- Stir in the Worcestershire sauce.
- Off the heat, plunge in an immersion blender to liquefy the onion bits.
- Taste one last time and adjust the seasonings, if needed.