How to Make Mushroom Gravy
A mushroom gravy is one of the most versatile sauces in the culinary world. It can elevate the flavors of your mashed potatoes, meatloaf, and steak, among other dishes. What some people do not know is that it is so easy to make. Here’s how to make mushroom gravy from scratch.
Choose the Mushrooms
Start by choosing the right mushroom for your sauce. Unfortunately, there are no limitations as to what kind of mushroom you can put into your gravy. There are those who use wild, edible fungus. Others will use the button or Cremini variety. It can be fresh or canned. Of course, the main issue with canned mushrooms is that they may already have additional substances that you are not aware of.
Regardless of the type of mushroom to use in the making of the sauce, it is important to slice them in uniform thickness. This is where the question of washing or rinsing these ingredients comes in.
It is okay to rinse whole, unsliced mushrooms. They can still absorb water into their flesh. However, the amount of water they can absorb is almost negligible. Make sure to dry them completely before slicing. This will help avoid introducing excess moisture into the exposed flesh.
If you bought them already sliced, then there is no need to rinse. You will only introduce more moisture into the flesh. This can have a negative effect on the consistency and flavor of your mushroom sauce.
Understand the Basics of Making a Roux
Before we start making our mushroom sauce recipe, it is important to gain an understanding of the basics of making a roux. This is nothing more than the thick mixture of flour and butter. The rule is pretty simple. You only need to heat or melt one part of fat. You can then add an equal part of the flour. The key is to never let up on the stirring. This will help remove lumps and create the classic roux consistency.
When it comes to the choice of butter, some will go for unsalted varieties in the making of their homemade mushroom gravy. This gives them better control of the saltiness of their sauce. They can always add a little amount of salt into the mixture at a time. There are also those who prefer using ordinary butter. This allows them to put as little salt as possible in their mushroom gravy.
You can also use different animal fats and oils if you want. However, clarified butter remains one of the best ingredients when it comes to making a roux.
As for the flour, all-purpose flour remains the most common ingredient used in the making of this recipe. You are free to experiment with other types of flour. As long as you know the basics of making a roux, then it should be fine.
An Easy and Delicious Mushroom Gravy Recipe that Will Wow Your Family
There are four basic ingredients for a delicious mushroom sauce: mushrooms, butter, flour, and stock. In this recipe, we will be using beef stock. However, you are free to use other types of broth. Use chicken or vegetable broth if you wish. If you are yearning for a creamy mushroom sauce, you can add milk to the mixture before you start simmering it to thicken.
- 16 ounces of mushrooms
- 1 quart of beef stock
- ¼ cup of butter
- ¼ cup of all-purpose flour
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Salt to taste
- Fresh thyme leaves (optional)
- Rinse the mushrooms if you bought them whole. They will not absorb that much water since their flesh is not exposed. Make sure to rinse them very well before slicing them. If you bought mushrooms that are already sliced, then there is no need to wash them. It is important to brush them to remove any debris from their surfaces.
- Pat these fungi dry using clean paper towels. Ensure that they are completely dry before you start slicing them.
- Get a large saucepan or a large skillet and heat this over medium heat. Melt about two tablespoons of butter. Wait for it to become foamy. Sauté the mushrooms for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle a little salt to taste. Make sure to stir the ingredients every now and then until they turn golden brown. Watch the liquid as it evaporates.
- When there is very little liquid left in the pan, you can add the rest of the butter and the garlic. You can also skip the garlic if you do not like your sauce to have that garlic taste or use only a clove of it for a mild garlic flavor. Sauté for a minute, making sure to melt the butter. Turn up the heat to high.
- Pour the all-purpose flour and whisk to help remove lumps. Continue stirring the flour mixture for 5 minutes. Add a cup of the stock and continue stirring. This will help incorporate the beef stock with the flour mixture. You should see the mixture start to thicken.
- Pour the rest of the beef stock and continue whisking until you get a uniform consistency of the sauce. Season the sauce with fresh thyme leaves and black pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil before lowering the heat to about medium-low.
- Continue stirring the mixture until it thickens. This will take about 20 to 30 minutes.
A Few Tips for Making the Perfect Gravy
- Add onions to the mixture if you want your mushroom sauce to have a well-balanced flavor profile.
- If you want a thicker gravy, you can crank up the heat to medium instead of medium-low. You can also add more stock if you wish the sauce to have a thinner consistency.
- Beef broth can create a rich sauce. Chicken broth can add a deeper flavor to your gravy than vegetable stock.
- Feel free to add a few slices of oyster or shiitake mushrooms in your sauce. This will help improve the texture, while also adding visual interest.
- Use parsley, sage, or rosemary to complement the flavor of the thyme.
Making a homemade mushroom gravy is a cinch. All it needs is a little patience, especially in stirring the mixture to the desired consistency.