What’s wrong with canned mushrooms? Bland and rubbery. Your gravy will not have real mushroom flavor if you use canned.
What’s wrong with broth cubes? Let me qualify. Some broth cubes and powder are good. Natural tasting and smelling. But the default broth cubes in this country are Knorr and Maggi, and they taste and smell so unnatural. In fact, the strong smell makes me flinch. And there’s so much artificial flavor that you will wonder why you can’t taste the mushrooms at all.
So, fresh mushrooms. White button mushrooms are used here. I cut them into slices about a quarter inch thick. No, not paper thin. And then, I cooked them in butter just long enough to brown them a bit.
The mushrooms were scooped out, more butter went into the pan and, once melted, an equal amount of flour was dumped in and stirred. Yes, it’s a roux. And making a roux means cooking the flour in fat which is butter in this case.
Because we’re making gravy here, the roux has to be cooked until it darkens and smells nutty. It takes time with occasional stirring. According to the EXIF data of the photos, it took twenty minutes over medium heat from the time the flour was stirred in until the roux had darkened sufficiently. Medium heat. Use low heat and the process takes forever; use high heat and it’s easy to burn the roux.
Next, we add bone broth. If you don’t have the time (or the skill or energy) to make bone broth (but, seriously, it’s just simmering bones), good quality bone broth is available in some Korean groceries. No strong seasonings so it’s neutral enough for making gravy.
How is the broth added? Pour in a quarter cup at first then stir into the roux until the liquid has been absorbed. Then, add the rest of the broth, a quarter cup at a time, stirring in between until you have a slightly thickened sauce.
Note that gravy thickens as it cools so it’s quite alright if the gravy appears to be on the thin side at this point.
Finally, add the mushrooms back into the pan, add a little Worcestershire sauce and stir. Boil gently for a few minutes before turning off the heat.
Real mushroom gravy
- Melt two tablespoons butter in a pan, add the mushroom slices, sprinkle in a teaspoon of salt and quarter teaspoon of pepper, and cook, stirring often, just until lightly browned.
- Scoop out the mushrooms and pour whatever liquid remains in the pan over them. Cover and keep warm.
- Melt the remaining four tablespoons butter in the same pan, add the flour all at once and stir until a thick paste forms (it will thin out after a minute or so).
- Set the pan over medium heat and cook the roux with occasional stirring until it turns brown and emits a nutty aroma.
- Stir in a quarter cup of bone broth until fully incorporated.
- Add the remaining broth, a quarter cup at a time, stirring after each addition.
- When the gravy is boiling gently, add the mushrooms (with the liquid), drizzle in the Worcestershire sauce, stir and leave to boil gently for two to three minutes.