Thursday, October 9, 2014

Delicious, Easy, Never Lumpy Turkey Gravy: GAPS, SCD, Paleo Friendly

Thanksgiving holiday is just around the corner. A great opportunity to count our blessings and to let our loved ones know how much we appreciate them. Even if we can't be together for a meal we can celebrate so many different ways.

If a turkey dinner is in your plans, you will be making it with a gravy. There are no gravy making kits that are safe. 
So how can you do this in GAPS, SCD or Paleo and be safe, without losing any deliciousness?

Here is a GAPS gravy that is easy, delicious and never lumpy. 

I experimented a lot (as I've been teaching, cooking and eating SCD/GAPS since 2005), but found my inspiration from my mother who is an excellent self taught home cook, and Elaine Gottschall and her book Breaking the Vicious Cycle, a book I still use quite often. The aim is to find flavour and thickening. The onions have flavour and they have pectin, which thickens hot fluids without lumps. The reserved vegetables that were roasted under the meat, turkey or chicken, are caramelized and very flavourful. I view the water left behind from boiled vegetables as a secret ingredient for flavour boosting, not something to throw out. The dehydrated vegetables found in "Herbamare" or "Mrs. Dash" are commonly used as a salt substitute because they give flavour without relying on salt, so the end product is lower in salt but just as delicious if not more so. (This is the way to go for those who are looking to lower their salt intake.)

And it is easy, because there are no special ingredients you don't already have in your kitchen. Except maybe the dehydrated herbs and vegetable powder which you can pick up later as an important part of your GAPS, SCD,or Paleo pantry. All you need is a stand or immersion blender. 

Ingredients for stock used in gravy: Start while poultry (or any meat) is roasting.
1 litre or 1 quart of homemade chicken or turkey or vegetable stock
2 large onions with or without poultry giblets

Ingredients for gravy:
Stock with soft cooked onions
Reserved roasted vegetables (onions, carrots, garlic, celery or any herbs) from under the roast 
Roasting pan drippings, reserved
Seasoning from 'Herbamare' or 'Mrs. Dash', NO SUBSTITUTION, to taste, 1-4 tsp, optional
Sea salt and pepper 
Extra filtered or pure water to make up consistency to your liking

While the poultry is roasting I make the stock by cooking the onions. I almost never have homemade turkey or chicken stock available so I try to save all the vegetable water from any veggies I cook on that day or in the few days before. This is something my mother taught me. I may have potato, or cauliflower, or green bean, or celeriac or carrot water for the stock. You need about 1 quart or 1 litre. Add 2 large onions (and giblets if available) and simmer the onions, uncovered until they are very soft, 20 minutes to 2 hours. 

The next step, the making of the gravy takes place in the roasting pan or the pot used to cook the onion, and basically you put all the gravy ingredients listed above in one pan, puree and heat, on top of the stove. 

When the roast is finished cooking it needs to be set aside about 10-15 minutes to rest. Now I loosen every last bit of pan drippings and mix them with the onion/veggie water. You could also use the pan drippings from any vegetables you have roasted as a side dish, such as brussels sprouts, or acorn squash, and put that in too. I usually pour the onion water into the roasting pan but you could pour the drippings into the pot with the onions. Then I add the vegetables that were roasted under the turkey into the same drippings pan, with 1-4 tsp of “Mrs. Dash “ or organic 'Herbamare' (both gluten and carb free) and salt and pepper to taste. You can also use fresh herbs, but I can't vouch that bottled spices are gluten free and may contain MSG without you knowing it. Then I use an immersion blender to puree. It should be smooth and thick. Add water to make the consistency to your liking. 

Heat when ready to serve, so it is hot and at its best. 
If it needs reheating it does not go lumpy or limp. 

I always get good comments on this gravy.  It is has a nice look about it, rich in colour, and thicker than “au jus” and can be almost as thick as wheat flour gravy. It goes nicely over mashed garlic cauliflower or mashed celeriac root, both always a hit around here.

For another version of gravy see Elana's Pantry for her "Herb gravy". 

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone 
To Your Health
Dr. Barbara


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