Recipe provided by Lauren Chandler, Chef Instructor, MSW
Leading up to the holidays, I am frequently asked, “What gravy do I serve the vegans and gluten-free guests when traditional gravy includes meat drippings and flour?” This mushroom gravy recipe is the answer. It’s rich, creamy, and if there are leftovers, it can be thinned out to transform into a filling mushroom soup.
Crowd Pleasing Many Mushroom Gravy
Makes about 4 cups
1 ounce dried mushrooms
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil (or butter)
1 ½ pounds yellow onion/2 large onions, roughly chopped (about 6 cups)
4 cups mushroom broth
12 ounces fresh mushrooms, roughly chopped (about 5 cups) (I like using a variety of mushrooms that include Chanterelles)
Grade B maple syrup
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl with one cup of simmering water. Set aside and let soak until softened.
Melt the olive oil or butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and stir to coat. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, until the edges of the onions start to turn translucent and golden, and some of their edges turn brown. Continue to cook without stirring for 1-2 minutes, until the onions start to stick to the pan. Lower the heat to medium and stir in ¼ cup broth, freeing the onions from the bottom of the pan and scraping up the fond (the sweet brown bits) and mixing it into the onions.
Continue to cook, stirring once or twice in the first minute, then let cook untouched for another 3-5 minutes, until the liquid evaporates and the onions stick to the pan again, then add another ¼ cup broth. Repeat this process until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 40-45 minutes, then add the fresh mushrooms.
Lift the rehydrated dried mushrooms out of the liquid, reserving the liquid, and add them to the pan, and cook for about 10 minutes, until the fresh mushrooms are cooked through.
Remove from the heat and use a ladle to transfer the mixture to the blender, being sure not filling the blender pitcher more than ¾ of the way full. Add the soaking liquid from the dried mushrooms (being sure not to pour in any dirt that settled to the bottom of the bowl – you may filter through coffee filter) and blend until smooth. If the mixture is too thick to blend, add more mushroom broth. For a thinner, soup, add more broth or water, for a thicker gravy, add less. Be careful when pureeing the hot contents, and make sure to cover the blender with a kitchen towel and press down firmly to avoid any over flows.
Transfer the puree back to the pot, stir in the vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper to taste.