A rich, dark vegan gravy that everyone will enjoy.
Being a vegan, or just trying out more plant-based recipes, opens a doorway into new flavours and techniques. Making this gravy is simple and really flavourful, it’s actually not that different from making other gravies really.
We all like our gravy in different ways, taste it at the end, add more balsamic, jam, salt or yeast extract (marmite), depending on the balance of flavours you prefer. If you can’t get your hands on shallots, a white or red onion will also be fine.
Proper gravy for a proper roast dinner
Making your own gravy is an essential part of any roast dinner, for me, it’s a ritual. I love making gravy, packing all those big flavours into one little pot.
Gravy has always been one of my favourite things about a proper Sunday roast, I also like mashed swede (very important addition) and crispy roast potatoes. Yorkshire puddings are also well up there. In fact, let’s face it, is there a less than awesome part of a roast, when done well?
We’re having this gravy with our Portobello Mushroom Wellington with Toasted Walnut and Rosemary Stuffing, Christmas dinner 2018 sorted.
This deep and rich gravy will go perfectly with any Sunday roast. There are so many vegan centrepieces nowadays for a Sunday roast style dinner, we don’t just have to toss a coin between nut roast or Wellington. Sometimes I feel like experimenting with a roast dinner, playing with flavours, adding spices, getting a bit cheeky. Other times, I’m a staunch traditionalist. I’m happily contrary like that.
Such is my commitment to the Beach House Kitchen, I took these pictures out in the garden in fading winter light, in the rain and wind. Wrapped in a poncho. I’m actually surprised at how normal they look whilst trees were bending and the wind was howling. Got away with it! I just had to share this post before Crimbo, gravy is important!!
I’ve said it many times, there are absolutely no down-sides to going vegan, you can live deliciously, any time of year!
When I run cooking workshops, most people’s reaction to making a really tasty gravy like this is, “What do we do with all the leftover veg?!” After the gravy has been passed through a sieve, the veg is all leftover. I’ve suggested making a pastie or pie with it, but really, most of the flavour and texture has gone, it’s like a dark veg mash really. Not that appetising, but if you want to, go for pasties!
Gravy is, of course, always best served piping hot, a tip is to pour boiling water from a kettle into your gravy boat/ jug before filling with gravy.
Taste your vegetable stock before adding to the soup, it’s important it’s not too strong or too weak. Just right!
If you feel that the gravy is lacking flavour, add a pinch of salt. It’s amazing the difference one or two pinches of salt can make!
Gluten-free version – opt for gluten-free cornflour, yeast extract, wine, balsamic vinegar and vegetable stock. Check the labels.
Shallot and Red Wine Gravy – Vegan, Gluten-free
The Bits – For 4-6
3-4 large shallots or 1 large onions (sliced)
1 large carrot (sliced)
1 stick celery (sliced)
1 large sprig fresh rosemary
2 big bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
100g chestnut mushroom or 1 big portobello mushroom (chopped)
175ml vegan red wine
1 ½ -2 tbs dark cherry jam, cranberry sauce or blackberry jam
2 teas yeast extract (known to some as Marmite)
2 tbs cornflour
1 tbs tomato puree
1 ½ tbs balsamic vinegar
700ml vegetable stock
Cooking oil (I use cold pressed rapeseed oil)
In a large saucepan, over a medium heat, add 1 tbs cooking oil, then the shallots, celery and carrot, plus the fresh herbs and bay leaves. Cook slowly for 20-25 minutes, until the shallots are golden, stirring regularly.
Mix your cornflour with a few tablespoons of water, until it becomes smooth.
Add the mushrooms, wine and jam to the pan, stir and cook for 3 minutes, making sure your scrape up all the caramelized bits on the bottom of the pan (great flavour there!!).
Then add the tomato puree, vinegar and yeast extract, cook and stir for a minute, then slowly add the vegetable stock. Pour in the cornflour, whilst stirring, and bring to a boil. No lower the heat, simmering gently for 20 minutes.
Pass it through a sieve into another pan or bowl, using a spoon to squeeze out all the precious flavours.
Taste and season with salt if needed. Serve hot with your favourite roast dinner of Christmas feast.
Shallots are long and slender members of the allium family, along with onions and garlic. They generally have a lighter flavour than onions and I find them perfect for roasting in a tin.
They are more nutritious than onions, high in vitamin A and not bad for vitamin C. Shallots contain good amounts of minerals like iron, calcium and copper.
They also contain a chemical called Allicin, which is basically anti-bacterial anit-viral and good for the heart and can even help prevent cancer.
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