I’ve been searching for a gravy recipe I can do ahead of time, since by the time I have the turkey and sides ready to go on the holiday table, I’m usually too frazzled to successfully turn the pan drippings into gravy.
This one uses bacon drippings and tamari as a savory flavor base, and can be made the day before a holiday feast.
Recipe from Food 52.
- 3 to 4 slices of bacon, about 4 oz.
- 2 Tbs. butter
- 6 cloves of garlic, smashed
- 4 leaves of sage
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 3 Tbs. flour
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cups turkey stock (preferably homemade)
- 2 Tbs. tamari
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 2 Tbs. heavy cream (optional)
- Chives or parsley, for serving
Place the strips of bacon into a cold cast-iron skillet. Turn the heat to medium and let the bacon cook low and slow to render. When the bacon begins to sizzle and brown on the edges, give it a flip and let it cook until crisp on the other side. Once the bacon is crisp and the fat has rendered out, remove the bacon from the pan. You should be left with a few tablespoons of bacon fat and some crispy brown bacon bits in the bottom of the pan.
Keeping the pan at a medium heat, add in the butter to the bacon fat. Once the butter has melted, add the garlic and all of the whole herbs. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often, to flavor the fat with the aromatics. Once the mixture becomes super fragrant and just before the garlic begins to brown, remove the herbs and garlic while leaving the aromatic fat in the pan. It’s ok if some herbs leaves are left behind.
Add the onion and cook for another 5 minutes until super soft. Turn up the heat and add the flour to make a roux, and cook for a few minutes, stirring often. When the flour is just beginning to brown, using a whisk, slowly add the turkey stock into the pan. Stir in the tamari and pepper. Lower the heat and bring the gravy to a low simmer and cook until desired thickness. Taste and add salt, if needed. If you’d like richer gravy, add in the heavy cream. If you’d like a smooth gravy (no onion pieces), you can blend the gravy in a blender or with an immersion blender.
When you’re ready to serve, stir in some freshly chopped chives, parsley or a mixture of the two.