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  • FIRST POST
    • Ticklemouse
    • By Ticklemouse 13th Mar 05, 4:58 PM
    • 4,896Posts
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    Ticklemouse
    Decent gravy please.
    • #1
    • 13th Mar 05, 4:58 PM
    Decent gravy please. 13th Mar 05 at 4:58 PM
    Hiya fellow Ol' Stylers

    In my quest to rid my household of as many additives as possible, I have stopped using gravy granules and started making my own gravy. I always did use the meat and veg juices, just bunged in the granules and maybe a splosh of wine and all was hunky-dory.

    However, I have made a lamb and a chicken gravy to date using cornflour to thicken and they have not been a great success. Is my mistake in using cornflour instead of ordinary flour?

    You recipes and tips gratefully received.

    Thanks
    TM
Page 1
    • Bogof_Babe
    • By Bogof_Babe 13th Mar 05, 6:24 PM
    • 10,230 Posts
    • 16,809 Thanks
    Bogof_Babe
    • #2
    • 13th Mar 05, 6:24 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Mar 05, 6:24 PM
    I wonder if you can still get Bisto powder? My mum always used to mix a couple of teaspoonsful of Bisto with the same of cornflour and a little water, mix well and add to the meat and/or vegetable juices, stirring constantly to thicken.

    Must admit, being a vegetarian household (mainly), we just use the Bisto veggie granules nowadays, but I do remember when I was about 9 and ill in bed with something or other, mum asking me what I fancied to eat, and me saying "gravy" and getting a bowl of just that! The real McCoy. It was gorgeous .
    I haven't bogged off yet, and I ain't no babe


    • Jolaaled
    • By Jolaaled 13th Mar 05, 6:26 PM
    • 1,038 Posts
    • 2,504 Thanks
    Jolaaled
    • #3
    • 13th Mar 05, 6:26 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Mar 05, 6:26 PM
    my mum makes the best gravy on the whole planet!
    First she makes a roux, using fat skimmed off the joint juices after it's been roasted, together with plain flour. The roux is cooked for about 2 mins, then the juices are all added to this, together with water. This is then simmered for about 5 mins. Makes fab gravy!
    • foreverskint
    • By foreverskint 13th Mar 05, 6:35 PM
    • 1,003 Posts
    • 919 Thanks
    foreverskint
    • #4
    • 13th Mar 05, 6:35 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Mar 05, 6:35 PM
    when you roast the meat place it on a trivet of chopped carrots onions celery,
    deglaze the pan with a little water on top of the hob to lift all of the caramelized juices stuck to the bottom of the pan.

    make a roux and add the juices and vegetables and add some stock. cook for a few minutes and strain.
    The vegetables that you have roasted will add the "missing flavour" from the granules.

    If you prefer a darker gravy add some gravy browning, which is just a caramel colour all natural (or it used to be ).

    You can add things such as wine or redcurrant jelly to change the flavours, especialy nice with lamb.
    hope this helps
  • AP22
    • #5
    • 13th Mar 05, 6:37 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Mar 05, 6:37 PM
    To thicken any sauce, just mix some plain flour with some cold water. Slowly pour into near boiling sauce and keep stirring! Luvly Jobly!!
    • MATH
    • By MATH 13th Mar 05, 7:05 PM
    • 2,931 Posts
    • 5,603 Thanks
    MATH
    • #6
    • 13th Mar 05, 7:05 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Mar 05, 7:05 PM
    Can you believe in the US there is no such thing as instant gravy, granuals or powder. No instant custard either I make my own gravy on Sundays using the roux method posted above but use instant in the week (no very often cos we don't eat many trad meat 'n' 2 veg dinners). If you're gonna make your own make a real big batch and freeze/chill for the days you aren't roasting a suitable joint.
    Life's a beach! Take your shoes off and feel the sand between your toes.
  • trafalgar
    • #7
    • 13th Mar 05, 7:08 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Mar 05, 7:08 PM
    I wonder if you can still get Bisto powder? .
    by Bogof_Babe
    yes you can
  • greenlogo
    • #8
    • 13th Mar 05, 9:42 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Mar 05, 9:42 PM
    When I've made gravy, I've used the Roux method discribed here, but in detail:

    Pour the meat run offs into a gravy separator - so I can use just the meat juice and not lots of fat to make the gravy.

    Make up a pint of stock, or have some warmed stock to hand

    Put the pan with the meat juice on a hot ring on the hob

    sprinkle on a little plain flour (I've used self-raising in a pinch and it was ok) and stir in slowly, continue to do this until a loose paste is formed

    KEEP STIRRING!! and let the flour cook off for a couple of minutes - it will darken a little.

    Stir in a little stock at a time (any lumps can be stirred out, just keep at it and they'll go eventually - the slower you add the stock, the less lumpy it is) until the desired consistency is reached.

    Chicken and turkey gravy benefits from a little lemon juice to bring up the flavour

    Beef gravy benefits from some very chopped up sauteed onions

    Pork gravy benefits from a teeny bit of apple sauce

    hth
    Pre O/S: what's a vitamin? Does it begin with the letter e?Now: I'm not eating any of that pre-made rubbish...
    • Ticklemouse
    • By Ticklemouse 13th Mar 05, 10:02 PM
    • 4,896 Posts
    • 5,486 Thanks
    Ticklemouse
    • #9
    • 13th Mar 05, 10:02 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Mar 05, 10:02 PM
    Thanks for your replies. I think I'll go down the roux path - have to say I have always HATED bisto. I did look for gravy browning in my local Tesco's today but they've stopped doing it. Mind you, I seem to remember it contains things I'm trying to avoid - hydrogenated veg fats or propylene glycol or something.

    I was thinking that I must get myself a decent gravy separator. I used to have one many moons ago but it split, so maybe I'd be better off trying to find a decent glass one. I'll have to look for it in the same shops that do wooden carving boards - can't seem to find one of those either!
    • Becles
    • By Becles 14th Mar 05, 6:45 AM
    • 12,878 Posts
    • 26,242 Thanks
    Becles
    I wouldn't buy a wooden chopping board.

    They are easily marked with grooves from your knives, and wil soak in juices from veg and meat. Once the surface gets rough with knife grooves they are very difficult to clean properly. All sorts of nasty bacteria will start living in the grooves. It's an ideal place for them to breed - nice warm kitchen and food supply from the absorbed juices.

    I used to work in a food microbiology lab, so I'm well aware of what nasties can grow in the kitchen. I'd never have a wooden chopping board in my kitchen. I've got a glass one which cleans easily after use.
    Here I go again on my own....
    • Debt_Free_Chick
    • By Debt_Free_Chick 14th Mar 05, 7:01 AM
    • 13,149 Posts
    • 9,492 Thanks
    Debt_Free_Chick
    Bear in mind that you need a certain amount of fat to make a roux - which is just flour mixed with fat and "cooked" a little to remove the raw flavour of the flour.

    Personally, I don't drain any fat off the meat juices to make gravy. I just put the roasting tin on the hotplate and stir in a tblsp on plain flour. Stir constantly. Add stock slowly, stirring continuously. If it helps, use a whisk ... but it's the stirring that removes any lumps. Don't add the stock in one go.
    • Curry Queen
    • By Curry Queen 14th Mar 05, 8:45 AM
    • 5,482 Posts
    • 3,081 Thanks
    Curry Queen
    I wouldn't buy a wooden chopping board.

    They are easily marked with grooves from your knives, and wil soak in juices from veg and meat. Once the surface gets rough with knife grooves they are very difficult to clean properly. All sorts of nasty bacteria will start living in the grooves. It's an ideal place for them to breed - nice warm kitchen and food supply from the absorbed juices.
    by Becles
    That's not actually true, and wooden chopping boards are much safer to use than plastic or acrylic which do harbour all the nasties when the plastic surface has been damaged by knives. There is a reason, which I can't remember the details from the top of my head but heard it discussed on tv the other, which is something to do with the wood contracting and expanding when wet and killing off the bugs (I must google for details) and despite butcher's being banned from using wooden blocks at one point, they overturned the rulings as they proved they were more hygienic to use.

    Back to gravy ... if you place your joint of meat on a bed of sliced onions when roasting, the onions will caramelise and give you the browning you need so you don't need bisto powder or whatever.

    What I do is to place the meat on a bed of onions and veggies to roast. Remove meat when cooked, leaving onions/veggies in tin, and remove any excess fat (saved for dripping) then add some wine to deglaze the tin and boil till reduced to a thick syrup, mushing the veggies into it and season. Then add boiling water (usually the water I've cooked any veg/potatoes in) and if necessary thicken with a little cornflour, although it's usually thick enough without. Strain it into a serving jug and voila! ... yummy gravy
    "An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will"
    ~
    It is that what you do, good or bad,
    will come back to you three times as strong!

    • kazd
    • By kazd 14th Mar 05, 8:54 AM
    • 1,120 Posts
    • 434 Thanks
    kazd
    I wouldn't buy a wooden chopping board.

    They are easily marked with grooves from your knives, and wil soak in juices from veg and meat. Once the surface gets rough with knife grooves they are very difficult to clean properly. All sorts of nasty bacteria will start living in the grooves. It's an ideal place for them to breed - nice warm kitchen and food supply from the absorbed juices.

    I used to work in a food microbiology lab, so I'm well aware of what nasties can grow in the kitchen. I'd never have a wooden chopping board in my kitchen. I've got a glass one which cleans easily after use.
    by Becles
    I have a glass one as well, but they are flipping noisy and blunt your knives.
    • Ticklemouse
    • By Ticklemouse 14th Mar 05, 9:04 AM
    • 4,896 Posts
    • 5,486 Thanks
    Ticklemouse
    I have wooden, plastic and glass chopping boards and although the glass ones are easy to keep clean, I agree, they do play havoc with your knives. The plastic ones I shove in the dishwasher and my wooden one I usually keep for veggies but bleach regularly. What I really want is a carving board with the little metal spikes on. I have a metal one but don't like it at all. My ex had a wooden carving board and it was fab (the board, not the ex:rolleyes: ) Trouble is, I can't find one - will keep looking though.

    I also heard that info about wooden chopping boards being 'self disinfecting'. Isn't it something to do with the cracks closing up and starving the bugs of oxygen or something? Anyway, most of us lead too sterile a life anyway.

    As for the gravy tips, looking forward to my next roast ......Hmmm, beef I think next weekend.
  • jennyjo
    tesco are selling a pack of 2 hard plastic chopping boards in their value range for 39p at the moment, cheap enough to have a couple in the dishwasher and a couple in use,

    not a newbie now: but still be gentle with me
    • Cullumpster
    • By Cullumpster 14th Mar 05, 9:57 AM
    • 1,476 Posts
    • 826 Thanks
    Cullumpster
    I always cook my roast meat in lots of water with chopped onions and garlic, then when the meat is cooked it is lovely and moist and voila, you have your gravy just add a spoonful of gravy mix and stir it on the hob till it's nice and thick.

    I've been told by my o/h's kids that it's the best they've ever tasted . !!!
    • Curry Queen
    • By Curry Queen 14th Mar 05, 9:58 AM
    • 5,482 Posts
    • 3,081 Thanks
    Curry Queen
    I also heard that info about wooden chopping boards being 'self disinfecting'. Isn't it something to do with the cracks closing up and starving the bugs of oxygen or something? Anyway, most of us lead too sterile a life anyway.
    by Ticklemouse
    Yes!!! that was it ... glad someone else heard it too ... knew it had something to do with contracting/expanding wood but had forgotten the bit about starving the bugs of oxygen

    I agree about the "being too sterile" thing (as I mentioned in the other thread) and most of it is just basic common sense really. I'm always particularly careful with raw poultry, and no longer wash out chicken cavities as that just spreads bacteria (salmonella) all around the sink area, and always keep raw and cooked foods separate and properly stored in the fridge etc, but don't bother using all these anti-bac products as vinegar or bleach will kill 99% of nasties anyway
    "An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will"
    ~
    It is that what you do, good or bad,
    will come back to you three times as strong!

  • crispyduck
    Boards and gravy
    Do you live near a chinese supermarket or one of the big cash and carry type places (www.wingyip.co.uk, I think but just search for Wing Yip, Brum, London and Manchester), no need to ba a member and you save a fortune!

    Two inch thick fifteen inch round chopping board 7.50, just use a little oil(I use peanut or groundnut), BYU!

    Also they sell 5Kg bags of fresh Chicken breasts for 18!!!!! each breast is about 500-600g each and we bring them home and zip-lock them(they sell them too, dirt cheap!) one will easily do a meal for me and my other half!

    I can't go on enough about how many BARGAINS we get at wing yip, even down to sponge scouring pads for the kitchen!!!!!

    For the gravy, roux and add a little vermouth or madeira, yum yum!
    Tips are good, tips are good, you know that tips are good!
  • Galtizz

    However, I have made a lamb and a chicken gravy to date using cornflour to thicken and they have not been a great success. Is my mistake in using cornflour instead of ordinary flour?

    You recipes and tips gratefully received.

    Thanks
    TM
    by Ticklemouse
    I have never made 'proper' HM gravy so I'm no expert however, I did discover from here that when I was adding cornflour to sauces to thicken in the slowcooker I was doing it wrong.

    You have to mix the cornflour with a little water and mix it to a paste otherwise it goes all lumpy. HTH, unless you are already using it that way :rolleyes:
    When life hands you a lemon, make sure you ask for tequilla and salt
  • Jay-Jay
    I'm flippin starvin after reading all this!!!!!!

    I use cornflour because I find it quicker and easier than plain flour. You need to mix a couple of heaped tea-spoons of cornflour with a splash of cold water in a cup. Keep mixing until you're ready to add it to the gravy, then add slowly while whisking the gravy (the gravy must be simmering when you do this). Boil the gravy for a further few mins to get rid of the floury taste.

    Does anyone else add other things to their gravy? I always add a splash of Lea and Perrins to beef gravy and if any gravy needs a bit more livening up I add a half a teaspoon of Marmite.



    oh...BTW, I use a wooden chopping board for bread and veggies and a plastic one for meat, onions and garlic. I had a glass one but it was ruining my knives and SO NOISY!
    Last edited by Jay-Jay; 14-03-2005 at 10:49 AM.
    Just run, run and keep on running!

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