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 Gravy

Change Page: < 12 | Showing page 2 of 2, messages 31 to 42 of 42
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VibrationGuy

  • Total Posts: 229
  • Joined: 12/7/2002
  • Location: Seattle, WA
RE: Gravy Thu, 06/12/03 7:25 PM (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Bushie

VibrationGuy, you obviously have had some culinary training. Please let me ask a couple of questions.

1) I don't bother separating the grease from the drippings anymore, and I haven't experienced negative results. What is the benefit of doing that in terms of the finished gravy?

2) I'm not familiar with the "mounting" technique (biting my lip here, trying not to think of the obvious mental picture...) What does that do?

I appreciate any info you can share.


The reason I separate the drippings is so that I can use the fat to make roux, and not risk the flour seizing up in nasty lumps due to moisture. You could just cook the water out of the drippings, but this runs the risk of burning the flavor-y bits. Also, given my proclivity towards meat with large volumes of surface fat and excessive marbling, the drippings I get from a roast can be extremely fatty - upwards of 30% most times. Thus, there's usually more fat than I need for the gravy. (Don't throw it out; it's nice to saute potatoes in).

As for mounting, it's a clever trick of emulsifiers. Butter is rich in compounds known as phospholipids (lecithin would be one specific phospholipids). Thanks to their structure, phospholipids like to help oil and water hang out together without separating. So, whisking a few cold chunks of butter into a hot sauce or gravy makes it hold the fat without a dreaded oily sheen appearing on the top, makes the sauce smoother, and adds that nearly-unctuous texture that I crave. I'd say for huge cast-iron chicken fryer full of turkey gravy, I'd use about 3 oz. of butter (3/4 of a stick) cut into six pieces, added one at a time, and for two cups of gravy, probably 2 T., as three hunks.

And no, I haven't had culinary training, per se; I grew up around big eaters and great cooks, in a culture of good food (I've never, for example, tasted Hamburger Helper, and Kool-Aid *never* entered our house). Both of my parents are scratch cooks, my maternal grandmother is a fantastic baker, her husband is a PhD in Food Science and a serious food geek as well, and my late Great-Aunt was the child of Greek restauranteurs, and a passionate foodie herself.

On the subject of gravy being a dying art, I agree wholeheartedly. It's a darned shame, too. It's not rocket science to make gravy.

I remember a Christmas a few years ago at Grandmother's house. Grandmother was relaxing, the baking done, the table set. Dave (her husband) was getting things ready to go on the table, and decided he'd be in charge of the gravy making. Mother, realizing that Dave was going to use slurry rather than roux (the one exception to her slurry fetish is her turkey gravy, based on Grandmother's recipe). We both knew this was Just Not Right (mom's logic, btw, is that turkey isn't "rich" enough on its own for optimum gravy, but she refuses to carry this logic forward and recognize the much leaner beef and pork now being produced), so as Dave turned his attention to other matters, mom distracted him as I tossed in chunks of butter and whisked everything to glossy perfection. When Grandmother complimented Dave on the "nice, rich" gravy, Mom and I couldn't keep from howling. Aaah, a family brought together by fat.

Eric
 
#31
    Bushie

    • Total Posts: 2902
    • Joined: 4/21/2001
    • Location: Round Rock, TX
    RE: Gravy Thu, 06/12/03 7:32 PM (permalink)
    Thanks for the advice, Eric! And, thanks for the good story, too!
     
    #32
      fdm813

      • Total Posts: 114
      • Joined: 5/2/2002
      • Location: Roanoke, VA
      RE: Gravy Fri, 06/13/03 2:47 AM (permalink)
      Please don't ban from this site,but I like the sausage gravy at McDonalds. I know that's a awful thing to say but considering the stuff that is available in local resturants, with a few exceptions on the other side of town, it is quite tasty. It is also less then 5 mins. away. Since I cook for one it's tough to make gravy in that small portion.
       
      #33
        emsmom

        • Total Posts: 955
        • Joined: 3/23/2004
        • Location: Gastonia, NC
        RE: Gravy Fri, 03/26/04 1:18 PM (permalink)
        I myself prefer the brown gravy. Cooking the roux to the desired shade is tricky though. You have to be really careful. Years ago,
        my Mom used to make gravy with fatback (salt pork ) but with all the health warnings, we now just use Canola oil. What I really like is fried chicken gravy, make after I fry my chicken in Canola gravy and use the crumbs from the chicken in the gravy. Now thats comfort food.
        Personally, I don't like sausage gravy, but I do like chipped beef gravy. I brown by flour into a roux, add the jar on dried beef and let sizzle for a minute or so, then add my milk and water.
         
        #34
          Rusty246

          • Total Posts: 2413
          • Joined: 7/15/2003
          • Location: Newberry, FL
          RE: Gravy Fri, 03/26/04 3:04 PM (permalink)
          quote:
          Originally posted by emsmom

          I myself prefer the brown gravy. Cooking the roux to the desired shade is tricky though. You have to be really careful. Years ago,
          my Mom used to make gravy with fatback (salt pork ) but with all the health warnings, we now just use Canola oil. What I really like is fried chicken gravy, make after I fry my chicken in Canola gravy and use the crumbs from the chicken in the gravy. Now thats comfort food.
          Personally, I don't like sausage gravy, but I do like chipped beef gravy. I brown by flour into a roux, add the jar on dried beef and let sizzle for a minute or so, then add my milk and water.


          I make my fried chicken/pork chop gravy the same way, by making a roux, I wonder though, what this type gravy would be like if you browned the flour in the oven as in Liketoeats story before making your roux. Would you need less stirring and cooking time for the roux,or should something's that not broken not be fixed??
           
          #35
            chickenqueen

            • Total Posts: 32
            • Joined: 5/24/2006
            • Location: havelock, IA
            RE: Gravy Sun, 09/3/06 6:07 PM (permalink)
            I know that this is an old thread but in response to the chocolate grave question my family is from the south and one of the things that my favorite aunt makes is chocalate gravy. It is sweet and delicious without being too sweet and she just served in on buttered biscuites for breakfast and it was a treat whenever I stayed there. I have made it before and it came out very well but a lot of my friends who were raised here in the north with not a lot of southern influence were apalled when I told them about it until I made it for them for a brunch. I thik that a lot of them were expecting something more along the lines of Hersheys syrup but chocolate gravy is thick but without as intense of a sweet flavor. It really is very good when made right and swrved simply on biscuits.
             
            #36
              SassyGritsAL

              • Total Posts: 1089
              • Joined: 10/27/2005
              • Location: Huntsville, AL
              RE: Gravy Tue, 09/5/06 10:56 AM (permalink)
              I make sausage gravy or gravy from bacon drippings every Sunday morning. I leave about 1/4 inch of the drippings in a fry pan and add 2 heaping tablespoons of flour to the drippings (at med. high temp). I take a fork and smash the gravy around the pan in the drippings until it turns med. brown, I then add milk (how much milk, depends on how much gravy I want). Start light and then you can always add more. I take a wisk and wisk away until the gravy becomes thick. This method works for me all the time, and I have never had lumpy gravy.
               
              #37
                SassyGritsAL

                • Total Posts: 1089
                • Joined: 10/27/2005
                • Location: Huntsville, AL
                RE: Gravy Tue, 09/5/06 10:57 AM (permalink)
                Oh yes, I forgot, I also add salt and pepper to the milk mixture.
                 
                #38
                  fabulousoyster

                  • Total Posts: 1855
                  • Joined: 11/17/2005
                  • Location: new york, NY
                  RE: Gravy Tue, 09/5/06 12:23 PM (permalink)
                  gravies and sauces can change an ordinary chicken cutlet into many different meals. Sometimes I think its all in the sauce.
                   
                  #39
                    tkitna

                    • Total Posts: 620
                    • Joined: 6/10/2004
                    • Location: wellsburg, WV
                    RE: Gravy Wed, 09/6/06 3:52 AM (permalink)
                    Man this thread hits home (even two years later). Its true, a good gravy is almost impossible to find when you go out to eat. I never really thought about it, but its true.

                    My mother has always made fantastic gravy whether it was brown gravy, chicken gravy, red gravy, squirrel gravy, etc,,,,always good. Wish I could duplicate some of them.
                     
                    #40
                      ann peeples

                      • Total Posts: 8317
                      • Joined: 5/21/2006
                      • Location: West Allis, Wisconsin
                      RE: Gravy Wed, 09/6/06 6:15 AM (permalink)
                      The only truly good gravies I have had when dining out at have been German restaurants....
                       
                      #41
                        oltheimmer

                        • Total Posts: 214
                        • Joined: 6/25/2006
                        • Location: Houston, TX
                        RE: Gravy Sat, 09/9/06 12:07 PM (permalink)
                        Of course one of the best things about gravy is that it's such a great diet food. As my dear departed father used to point out, any time you smother a dish with gravy, whether its cream gravy, sausage gravy, brown gravy, chili gravy or whatever, you automatically cut the fat and calories by half.... so ladle it on .

                        (and be sure to sop up all of it with biscuits or whatever).
                         
                        #42
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