Nom Nom Paleo

Umami Gravy

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Okay, gang: Thanksgiving’s just one week away, so here’s Part 5 of my Nomtastic Thanksgiving series! Just tuning in? I’ve already got you covered for turkeyBrussels sprouts, cran-cherry sauce, and mash—and today, I present to you: a flavor-packed, make-ahead Umami Gravy! 

Umami Gravy by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Yep, this is a rich, thick gravy that you can pour on EVERYTHING. I love my Easy Paleo Herb Gravy and my Slow Cooker Roast Chicken & Gravy, but this recipe’s the one you break out for company. 

Traditionalists may scoff because there are no turkey pan drippings in this gravy, but by using bone broth or rich chicken stock, you can minimize your game-time kitchen chaos by making this gravy a couple of days before Thanksgiving. You simply reheat it just before you go into Feast Mode. (I don’t know about you, but this lady hates frantically cooking against the clock.) 

Plus, this gravy is packed with carefully selected ingredients that boost umami: savory bone broth, tomato paste, dried and fresh mushrooms, and fish sauce. Once all these flavorful ingredients have simmered, simply purée everything together and voila! Thick gravy! 

Umami Gravy by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Umami Gravy keeps in the fridge for several days, and is a great item to keep in the freezer for everyday meals. Just cook up your favorite quick-cooking protein and simmer it in this fantastic gravy. 

Ready for the recipe?

Makes 3 cups

Ingredients:

  • ½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (or fat of choice)
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon fish sauce
  • ½ pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups bone broth or organic chicken stock
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Here’s how you make it:

Rinse the dried mushrooms with cool water and place them in a small bowl. Add enough water to cover the mushrooms and set aside for at least 30 minutes to soften.

Umami Gravy by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

In a medium saucepan, melt the ghee over medium heat. Add in the onions and sauté for 10 to 15 minutes or until translucent.

Umami Gravy by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Then, drop in the tomato paste and fish sauce.

Umami Gravy by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Don’t worry—the smidge of fish sauce doesn’t make your gravy fishy; it just amps up the umami. (Don’t know what umami is? Read this!)

Umami Gravy by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Stir to evenly distribute the umami boosters…

Umami Gravy by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…before dumping in the sliced mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms until the liquid is released and evaporated, about 10 minutes.

Umami Gravy by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

In the meantime, fish the reconstituted porcini mushrooms out of the bowl of water, and roughly chop them up.

Umami Gravy by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Add the garlic to the saucepan, and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.

Umami Gravy by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Then, mix in the reconstituted dried mushrooms, pour in the broth…

Umami Gravy by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…and drop in the thyme sprigs.  

Umami Gravy by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Increase the heat to high and bring the gravy to a boil.

Umami Gravy by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Decrease heat to medium-low to maintain a strong simmer/low boil, and cook until the gravy has reduced by half, about 30 minutes. Be patient—you want half of the liquid to evaporate in order to concentrate the flavors. Plus, you don’t want the gravy to be thin and watery once blended.

Umami Gravy by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Remove from the heat. Take out the thyme twigs and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Using an immersion blender or a regular blender, purée the gravy until smooth.

Umami Gravy by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Seriously good gravy.

Umami Gravy by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Umami Gravy by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Now get cookin’—and stay tuned for a Thanksgiving wrap-up post tomorrow!


Looking for more recipes? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPad® app, and in my cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel, December 2013).