Nanna’s gravy

Nanna’s gravy

By
From
Meat
Photographer
Dean Cambray

When it comes to real comfort food, you can keep your fancy jus and your restaurant-inspired reductions: nothing beats nanna’s gravy. And no matter how much she’s overcooked the vegies, somehow her gravy always makes up for it. Let’s be clear from the start; this isn’t a thin, refined sort of gravy at all. It’s thick and tasty and you need lots of it to pour over your roast potatoes and meat.

Much of the flavour for nanna’s gravy comes for free, from all the stuff that’s left in the bottom of the roasting tin. The body of the gravy comes from flour, or from squishing some of the vegies through a sieve – and damn it all, sometimes from both!

The best thing about Nanna’s gravy is that you can knock it up pretty easily while the meat is resting in a warm place. Here’s how it’s done.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

  1. First, pour away most of the fat, leaving just a little in the bottom of the tin with the roasting juices. If you’re going with the flour-thickened version, sprinkle in a generous teaspoon of flour, and stir over a medium heat to make a gunky brown paste. Alternatively, chuck in a cup of mixed diced vegies – carrot, celery, onion and garlic – and stir well.
  2. Whichever method you’re using, at this point you need to put the roasting tin back into a very hot oven for about 10 minutes, until the paste darkens, or the vegies colour.
  3. Next, return the tin to the stovetop and slosh in a cup of wine, stock or water. With a wooden spoon, stir everything about vigorously, reaching right into the corners and making sure you scrape up all the crisp bits of goodness that are stuck to the bottom of the tin. Cook over a medium heat, stirring continuously, until the mixture thickens.
  4. Add more stock, or the cooking water from your vegies, until the gravy reaches a consistency you like. You do need to let it bubble away for a good 5 minutes or so – especially if you’re using flour. And don’t forget to taste the gravy to see whether it needs a bit more wine, a pinch of salt or pepper, or even a touch of mustard or a spoonful of redcurrant jelly (this is especially good with roast lamb).
  5. When you’re happy with your gravy you can pour it through a fine sieve, using your wooden spoon to squish through as many of the vegetables as you can. Alternatively, for an authentic ‘nanna’ touch, don’t strain your gravy at all – a few chunky bits won’t worry anyone, and they’ll taste delicious.
Tags:
Meat
Adrian
Richardson
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