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Old 11-20-2008, 11:14 AM   #1
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Cream gravy help

I thought cream gravy was just white sauce (bechamel?) made with the pan drippings instead of butter. Is that right? mine seems to be coming out with a marked "burnt" flavor.

I'm working on Chicken fried steak, and next Sausage Gravy.

Thanks, Eric, Austin Tx.

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Old 11-20-2008, 12:01 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giggler View Post
I thought cream gravy was just white sauce (bechamel?) made with the pan drippings instead of butter. Is that right? mine seems to be coming out with a marked "burnt" flavor.

I'm working on Chicken fried steak, and next Sausage Gravy.

Thanks, Eric, Austin Tx.
Yes, it's exactly the same. I always add a pinch of sugar to mine unless I'm making sausage gravy, which has enough sweetening in it already.
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Old 11-20-2008, 12:25 PM   #3
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The burnt flavor comes from overcooked fond, the little bits of meat and or dried/congealed juices that give the gravy its flavor. If you brown sausage, for instance, and then remove the meat from the pan, and then get your flour while leaving the pan over heat, then the fond can quickly burn. To avoid this, have your liquid (milk, cream, or water) ready to pour into the pan. Then when you remove the meat, immediately pour the liquid into the pan and rub gently with a suitable spatula to loosen the fond and dissolve any salts and juices into the liquid. Then thicken with a smooth slurry of flour and water, drizzled slowly into the boiling liquid.

Alternately, add the flour and enough fat to make a roux, into the pan immediately after removing the meat. Stir over medium heat until you get the desired color on your roux. Slowly add the liquid while whisking until you get the desired thickness.

Hope that helps.

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Old 11-20-2008, 02:36 PM   #4
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I burnt my sausage gravy the last time (nope, second to the last time) I made it--there is a fine line between lovely brown crispies on the bottom of the pan and nasty black charred bits.

It was the second to the last time because I had to make a new batch when the first batch burnt. My son was visiting, and life is not complete for him if there are no biscuits with gravy for breakfast.

I leave all the meat in my sausage gravy, and I usually sprinkle the flour over the meat when it is almost done. I allow the meat and flour mix to brown a little, then pour the milk in all once, stirring or whisking vigorously till it thickens. No lumps that way.
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Old 02-11-2009, 12:16 PM   #5
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Sparrowgrass here is how I do my sausage gravy. Kind of like Goodweed suggested also.

1. Start with a pkg. ( 1lb.) of pork sausage, Jimmy Dean, what ever, I usually use the mild or med. You can use hot or spicy if you like, that's all about the taste you like. Brown or cook the sausage in a big (4 or 5 qt.) pot, are a big (4 or 5 qt.) saute skillet with deep sides. This alouds you to make as much gravy as you would like. I use a big deep skillet. Cook the sausage over med heat until done, not burnt. At that time I take the skillet to the sink and with the spatula hold the sausage in the skillet and drain off the excess grease/fat that cooked out of the sausage.

2. Return the skillet with the sausage still in it to the burner. Grab the milk out of the frig. Pour milk into skillet. This cools the skillet down. How much milk to use? It does not matter. You will just thicken whatever amount you use. If you want allot of gravy (enough to reheat/use in the next few days) pour in allot of milk. I have used half a gallon when I have a big crew and want gravy left over. Start out with a pint or quart the first time.

3. Now add a dab of margarine/butter (big tbsp). Take your spatula and stir/scrape the botton of pan/skillet to loosen the fond just like Goodweed said. Now increase the heat to med/high. You want to bring the milk sausage mixture to a boil. You have a couple minutes now to make a slurry out of water and flour before the milk burns or boils.

4. While the mixture is heating up. You need to make a slurry out of cold water and flour. (Just like Goodweed talked about) Take a big deep (biggest one you have) plastic drinking glass. Put a couple of scoops (about a cup, cup and half) of flour in the plastic glass/cup. Go to sink and turn on the cold water on low/slow. With the glass of flour in one hand and a fork in the other. Start adding a little water while whisking the flour with the fork. You want to stir/whisk fast to keep the lumps down. Use enough water so your glass is about half full and you have a nice smooth slurry of flour and water mixed together. Whip it and mix it up real good, no lumps. That's why you need to use a deep, tall cup, no spilling. It should end up like a thin smooth milk shake. A slurry!

5. Return to skillet with slurry. Before the milk/sausage mixture comes to a boil you need to be slow stirring almost constantly. You don't want the milk to stick/burn. When the milk/sausage starts to boil, start slowly adding the water/flour slurry a little bit at a time to thicken the gravy. Stirring constantly while adding the slurry. Be sure to give the gravy time to thicken before adding more of the slurry. Let boil a minute or two after adding a little slurry than turn the heat down to Med/Low. Keep slow stirring constantly. Depending on how thick you want your gravy, you may not use all of your slurry mixture, sometimes I have half of mine left that I throw away. If you want thicker gravy use more of the slurry mix. I don't like my gravy like wallpaper paste, so I just thicken mine just a little. The gravy will also thicken more as it sits. I usually remove the gravy from the heat and let it sit on a cold burner for a few minutes before serving to see how much it thickens up. If your gravy seems a litttle to thick, you can always stir in a little milk to thin it back down.

6. You can save gravy in the frig. Heat up later. Thin by adding a dab of milk.

Hope this helps you out. I think this way will help you keep the lumps out by making the slurry (as Goodweed also suggested), and help with burning the fond by adding the milk to cool the pan/skillet down. Everyone loves my biscuits and gravy around here. Give it a try and let me know what you think please.
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Old 02-11-2009, 03:19 PM   #6
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Wow, I especially appreciate all this gravy advice. I LOVE gravy, of all kinds, but I can't make decent gravy to save my life. I'm going to give it another shot.
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Old 02-11-2009, 05:22 PM   #7
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Mayor gave perfect instruction for making pan gravy. I would only add that if you are going to make a large batch, you can season the gravy. For instance, if you are making sausage gravy, the main flavor componants of pork breadfast sausage are salt, sage, sugar, cayenne, and black pepper. Just a smidgeon of the cayene is needed. Add a little bit of the other seasonings, let cook for about four miutes and taste. Add more of the seasonings to get the flavor you want. Be careful with the sugar as it's easy to make the gravy too sweet.

If you are making a beef gravy, add onion, garlic, MSG (optional), salt and pepper to enrich the flavor. A1 sauce and Lee & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce are great additions to a beef gravy. You can also play with various flavors of liquid smoke, fennel seed, oregano, sweet basil, hot sauces, or pre-packaged season packets such as Washington's Deep Brown sauce (great product), soup bases, boullion, etc.

Don't be afraid to season a gravy or sauce. you can add curry spices, even melt cheese into a gravy (don't let this come to a boil whle melting the cheese or it will clump).

Be creative. Have fun with your sauces. Learn to make a proper Bechemel, and the derivitive sauces from it.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 02-11-2009, 09:23 PM   #8
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Giggler, I made Mama's sausage gravy the other day and it was so easy and delicious! The link is here.

Hope that helps...not that these other ideas aren't great, I want to try them as well!
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