All Photos: Wendy Goodfriend
I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to Thanksgiving. I want the turkey, the stuffing, the cranberry sauce, the mashed potatoes, the yams, and of course, The Gravy (don’t worry, in addition to this starch-fest there are plenty of green veggies thrown in, but those tend to change year to year). Gravy just takes all of this over the top and makes it oh-so-decadent.
Generally, I make my gravy at the last minute, using drippings from the turkey along with the turkey stock I’ve bubbled away for hours and the shredded meat from the neck. But I thought I’d switch it up and offer a new option: wild mushroom gravy. This is a simple but chunky gravy, full of the deep richness of mushrooms.
You can easily make this vegan by subbing olive oil for the butter and using vegetable stock. You can even make this gluten-free by swapping out the all-purpose flour for sweet rice flour. If you’d like a less chunky gravy just stick an immersion blender into it at the end and whiz away to your desired level of smoothness; run it through a sieve if you really want it to be smooth, you’ll still retain all that delicious flavor.
Recipe: Wild Mushroom Gravy
4 tablespoons butter
1 small yellow onion, very finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and very finely chopped
10 ounces mixed wild or cultivated mushrooms, such as porcini, trumpet, maitake, matsutake, chanterelle, and/or cremini, finely chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup dry sherry
About 2 1/2 cups turkey, chicken, or vegetable stock, plus more as needed to thin the gravy to your desired consistency
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add the onion and carrot and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender and browned, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, thyme, a glug of olive oil, and a pinch of salt and sauté, stirring, until the mushrooms release their juices, become tender, and the juices mostly evaporate, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
In the same saucepan, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Add the flour, whisking to remove any lumps. Slowly add the sherry, stirring, until smooth. Slowly add the stock, stirring, until smooth. Simmer for about 5 minutes, then return the mushroom mixture to the saucepan, stirring to combine. Simmer until the flavors come together, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper and serve.