Friday, March 25, 2011

How to Make Gluten Free "Okie" Gravy

I don't actually know the technical name for this kind of gravy. My mom's friend from Oklahoma had us out to visit one time and her mother made this gravy for a big family dinner, and forever after it's been Okie gravy. I hope that's not offensive or anything. We love our Okies, and it's way easier than saying Oklahomans.

Anyway, I was showing my 12 year old how to make gravy the other night, and it dawned on me that a lot of people probably don't know how to make gravy or are afraid to because they might mess up. I decided to show how I do it and, to ease your anxiety, I'm going to also point out all the things I did wrong when I made this here batch that I took pictures of. Perfect gravy is elusive, but imperfect gravy can still complement a meal.

First of all, I made a batch of pork chops that I breaded in egg and Dr. Schar's gluten free bread crumbs with a little salt and pepper. I usually brown them on both sides in some canola oil and then turn the heat to low, cover them, and steam until the pork is cooked through. I turn them once during cooking. When you remove the meat from the pan, the leftover drippings are the flavor base for the gravy. Heat the oil/drippings over medium heat until they start bubbling.Mistake #1: I used too much oil in the pan when I browned the chops. I should have taken out a couple of teaspoons of it so the gravy wasn't too greasy. Oh, well.

Next, you need to get the little browned bits of meat off the bottom of the pan so they can make the gravy flavorful and delicious. This is called deglazing the pan. This can be done with whatever liquid you want to make the bulk of the gravy with, such as water, wine, stock, or in this case, milk. I added one cup of milk and whisked the bottom of the pan to get the drippings to release. Heat this mixture to a boil.

Get out your Kingsford's cornstarch and add 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup of water in a mug or liquid measuring cup. You just need something with a handle so you can whisk and pour at the same time. Mix them together until the cornstarch is dissolved. This is called a roux. Pour a little bit of the roux into the gravy and whisk it constantly while it's boiling and see if it gets thick enough. If not, add a little more until you get the consistency you desire.
Mistake #2: I added all the cornstarch mixture because I wasn't focused on the gravy, I was focused on the boys fighting over the XBox in the other room. The gravy was too thick.There are two things most people forget to do when they are making gravy. One, they stop whisking and it gets lumpy. Two, they forget to taste it. Taste the gravy and season with salt and pepper until it meets your standards.
Mistake #3: Because I used too much oil to begin with, it diluted the flavor of the drippings so the gravy was a little weak.
However, I fixed my last two mistakes by adding a little bit more milk to make the gravy thinner, and I added 1/2 teaspoon of Chicken Better Than Boullion and that brought the flavor right up to where it needed to be. Imperfect gravy, still delicious. You can see in this picture how thick the gravy is on my potatoes. But I don't mind it thick as long as it tastes good.

I hope this helps someone out there who has been gravy-phobic until now. You can do it! Gravy awaits you! Happy eating!

2 comments:

  1. Um, cornstarch and water is called a slurry not a roux. But your gravy sounds delicious. This makes be want to be more adventurous with gravies. They are a little intimidating to me.

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  2. Mmmmmm....that looks just plain delicious. I wanna come to YOUR house to eat...and I'm not even allergic to wheat! Love your blog. pattiesclassroom.blogspot.com

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