Shiitake Gravy — Extraordinarily Great

Shiitake Gravy — Extraordinarily Great GravyShiitake Gravy — Vegetarian & Gluten-Free or Not

Richly flavored and deeply colored, Shiitake Gravy puts the crowning touch on Thanksgiving Dinner. For a vegetarian feast, prepare the gravy according to the recipe. With roast turkey, be sure to add the pan drippings to the gravy.  And, for gluten-free gravy, replace the flour with rice flour or Bob’s Red Mill GF All–Purpose flour. Many options and each of them make an extraordinarily great gravy.

Shiitake Gravy — Extraordinarily Great GravyIn the East, Shiitake have long been considered as both a culinary delicacy and a medicinal mushroom. Shiitake add a depth of flavor and silkiness of texture unlike any other mushroom. The richness of the flavor and aroma of Shiitake Gravy also comes from taking the extra time to caramelize dried porcini mushrooms along with the other vegetables and herbs.

Herbed Sweet Potato & Quinoa Patties
This Thanksgiving, I’m serving Shiitake Gravy over Herbed Sweet Potato & Quinoa Patties. Shiitake Gravy would go equally well with Fresh Herb & Wild Mushroom Bread Stuffing, mashed potatoes and roast turkey.

Note: the recipe for these tasty vegetarian patties and more will be forth coming throughout the week.

Shiitake Gravy — Extraordinarily Great GravyShiitake Gravy — Extraordinarily Great Gravy

Inspired and adapted from a recipe from a Saveur video.
A bit complex to prepare, yet so worth the extra effort.

Shiitake gravy can be made in advance through step 6. Then complete it about 15 minutes before serving. Add an extra 5 minutes to the time if the sauce is cold when you add it to the mushrooms.

Makes 4 cups
Active time:  40 minutes
Total time:  1 hour 20 minutes

1 medium onion, ½-inch diced, about 2 cups
1 cup carrots, ¼-inch sliced
1 cup celery, ¼-inch sliced
¼ cup butter
Few sprigs fresh thyme
½ cup fresh parsley
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
Shiitake Gravy — Extraordinarily Great GravyStems from 1/3 pound fresh shiitake
1  large bay leaf
2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
1 tablespoon sundried tomato paste
10 twists freshly ground pepper
½ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unbleached white flour (or rice flour or Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Flour)
5 cups water
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 pound shiitake caps, sliced
1 scant tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  1. Prepare all the vegetables.
  2. Shiitake Gravy — Extraordinarily Great GravyAdd ¼ cup of butter to a 12” sauté pan over medium-high heat. When melted, stir in the onion, carrots and celery. Cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Shiitake Gravy — Extraordinarily Great GravyUncover the pan and add the thyme sprigs, parsley, dried mushrooms, shiitake stems, bay leaf, garlic, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Stir the mixture together and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until everything is deeply colored, about 15 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle over the flour and stir it into the vegetables. Cook another 5 minutes to brown the flour.
  5. Shiitake Gravy — Extraordinarily Great GravyRemove the pan from the heat and very gradually stir in the water, stirring in the browned bits on the bottom of the pan as you go. As each amount of water thickens, stir in more water. Put the sauté pan back on the flame. Simmer the sauce about 20-25 minutes till thickened.
  6. Strain the sauce through a strainer. Push down on the solids to extract as much flavor as possible. (Note: you can prepare the sauce in advance to this point and refrigerate it for a couple of days before continuing with the recipe.)
  7. Shiitake Gravy — Extraordinarily Great GravyAdd the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the same sauté pan. When hot, stir in the sliced shiitake. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Cook a couple of minutes until the shiitake are soft. Stir in the strained sauce and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat so the sauce simmers. For a non-vegetarian stock, stir in the pan drippings from roasting the turkey. Continue to reduce the gravy until it is the right consistency.
  8. Just before serving, stir in the balsamic vinegar and adjust the salt and pepper to taste.

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  1. Pingback: Quinoa Patties w/ Herbs & Sweet Potato for a Vegetarian Thanksgiving

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