Mustard Gravy

Occasionally I plan to make a pan sauce after browning meat and find that the fond in the bottom of the skillet is just too blackened to make a good sauce. I came up with this “gravy” after a recent meal featuring skillet seared pork chops. The chops were nicely browned however the fond in the bottom of the pan was too far gone to use. Luckily pork and mustard have an affinity for one another so this recipe did the trick. It was also tasty on the roasted broccoli we served.

Mustard Gravy
Servings: 1 1/2 cups
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 6 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 Tbsp. water
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. whole grain mustard
  • 1 cup hearvy cream
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 Tbsp. rendered bacon fat (or other softened solid fat, such as butter)
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Combine the flour and fat in a small bowl to form a paste. This is called a beurre manié and it will be used later to thicken the sauce. If you don’t have bacon fat then unsalted butter could also be used.
  2. Add the Worcestershire and water in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Add the mustards, whisk to combine and simmer over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. The mixture will reduce slightly in volume.
  3. Stir in the heavy cream. Allow the mixture to return to a simmer and add the burre manié you made in the first step. Whisk the sauce until it is fully melted and incorporated.
  4. Allow the sauce to simmer for another minute; it should thicken into a nice sauce.

Note:
Don’t be scared off by the beurre manié. You can use any softened solid fat, such as butter or even the odd tablespoon of Crisco. Use a fork, or the back of the spoon, to press the fat into the flour until it is well combined. The idea is that the fat-coated flour particles will melt and help thicken the sauce as it simmers. Additionally the fat added at the end will add a soft sheen, similar to the effect of finishing a sauce by whisking in cold butter.

Advertisements

Bacon (Fat) Gravy

This is a simple gravy, really. In place of fat rendered from a cooking roast I’m using something we always have on hand, bacon fat. It makes a flavorful gravy that goes great with lean pork such as a loin roast.

Bacon (Fat) Gravy
Servings: about 2 cups
Prep time: 1 minute
Total time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. bacon fat
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. potato starch
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 cups broth (chicken, pork, veggie, or just water)

Directions:

  1. Mix the flour, starch and pepper in a small bowl until well combined. Set aside.
  2. Melt the bacon fat in a small saucepan over medium heat. When melted sprinkle in the flour and whisk it until there is no dry flour remaining. Cook for about 1 minute, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
  3. While whisking add the broth in a steady stream. Whisk until the roux is incorporated. Lower the heat to low and allow it to come to a simmer.
  4. Simmer for a least a minute to allow the thickening power of the roux to activate. Taste for seasoning and adjust as desired.

Notes:
If you have drippings or juices from resting meat feel free to add them to the gravy either with the broth or just before serving.

I like a peppery gravy so I added more freshly ground black pepper at the final tasting. Salt wasn’t really necessary as there’s a fair bit in the broth and probably some in the bacon fat.

Soup with vegetables and chicken

You wouldn’t think titling a recipe would take several minutes and yet this one did. This isn’t a classic chicken soup nor is it a vegetable soup with chicken added. Well maybe it is the later though I think the chicken plays an equal role with the veggies.

This is what I think of when I want soup for dinner.

Soup with vegetables and chicken
Servings: 6-8
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced small
  • 2 ribs celery, diced small
  • 1 medium onion, diced small
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced small
  • 2 Tbsp. bacon fat (or more olive oil)
  • 10 oz. mushrooms, brushed clean and quartered
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 8 cups water
  • kosher salt & black pepper
  • Parmesan cheese for grating (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil in a large dutch oven or soup pot over medium high heat. While it heats pat dry the chicken thighs and season both sides salt & pepper. Add the thighs to the pot and brown on both sides, 3-4 minutes per side. The chicken should release easily before turning. If you need to give more than a gentle tug let it be. When both sides are browned remove the chicken and set aside.
  2. Drop the heat to medium and check the oil level. If you have more than tablespoon drain a bit; less than a tablespoon, add a bit. Add the onion, celery, carrots and sweet potato. Toss with the oil, season with salt & pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes. Scrape the bottom of the pan from time to time to loosen up some of the fond from browning the chicken. When the veggies have begun to soften (4-5 minutes) set them aside with the chicken.
  3. Add the bacon fat (or remaining olive oil). When melted/heated add the mushrooms. Toss with fat and cook for 1-2 minutes to add a bit of color.
  4. Return the chicken and veggies to the pot. Add the thyme, rosemary and water. Cover and bring to a boil.
  5. Uncover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove the chicken thighs and chop into 1/2″ pieces. Return the chicken to the pot and taste for flavor. Add salt & pepper as needed. A little paprika might be nice as well.
  7. Dish it up and grate a bit of Parmesan cheese on top.

Notes:
You may ask, what is a small dice? I went with somewhere around 3/16″. There wasn’t a ruler involved, that’s just what it seems like now looking at a ruler as a sizing guide.

The sweet potato became a bit mushy. It wasn’t bad, just a bit overdone. I could use a larger dice in the future or add them later in the cooking process.

Yes, you can use chicken broth or stock if you like. Be careful of the salt content in store bought ones.