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Old 11-17-2015, 08:47 AM   #21
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You can also use veges to thicken the gravy. Dice up carrots, onion, celery and cooking in broth until soft, then use an immersion blender or a conventional blender (use safety precautions for hot liquids obviously) to pulverize the veges. I use that method a lot, works for any protein. You can always add some of the Tamari or other products to darken it.
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Old 11-17-2015, 09:34 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by medtran49 View Post
You can also use veges to thicken the gravy. Dice up carrots, onion, celery and cooking in broth until soft, then use an immersion blender or a conventional blender (use safety precautions for hot liquids obviously) to pulverize the veges. I use that method a lot, works for any protein. You can always add some of the Tamari or other products to darken it.
+1. I use that method for pot roast sometimes. After the beef is done, remove the veggies with a slotted spoon to a blender and purée.
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Old 11-17-2015, 11:24 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caslon View Post
As a thickening agent, cornstarch is a lot less expensive than arrowroot. I've used both and I didn't see that much better thickening effect with arrowroot over cornstarch. They both do equally well it seems to me. Arrowroot is so pricey over cornstarch. Is there an advantage?
From Cook's Thesaurus: Thickeners

Quote:
  • Cornstarch is the best choice for thickening dairy-based sauces. Arrowroot becomes slimy when mixed with milk products.
  • Choose arrowroot if you're thickening an acidic liquid. Cornstarch loses potency when mixed with acids.
  • Sauces made with cornstarch turn spongy when they're frozen. If you plan to freeze a dish, use tapioca starch or arrowroot as a thickener.
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Old 11-17-2015, 11:25 AM   #24
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I have had some luck with almond flour and coconut flour as thickeners after browning. Not as thick, but enough to be a gravy rather than soup.
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Old 11-17-2015, 11:31 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by puffin3 View Post
She could add a little 'Tamari' to darken the gravy. It's gluten free and organic. A few drops is enough. It won't give a soy sauce flavor if used sparingly. It will add a little salty note so it's a good idea to season carefully after the gravy is made.
We know the key to a good gravy is to start with a good flavorful stock. Use the fond.
Only some tamari is gluten free and organic. The organic ones usually cost more. The one I currently have is organic, but not gluten free.
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Thanks for all the tips, folks. I'll have a look for some of those products, in particular the dark stocks and the Tamari. I have also been getting to know a lady recently who has coeliac disease - diagnosed at 57, having been ill since she was weaned as a baby - who told me of a product she uses which is available in our supermarkets here.

Gillian
Be sure to check the ingredients on the tamari. Some tamari has wheat as well as the soy. The one I have at the moment has wheat.
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Old 11-17-2015, 12:13 PM   #26
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TL thanks for that connection to the starch information. I have a question. I often see pie recipes that recommend tapioca for thickening the juices of fruit pies.

Do you have to dissolve the tapioca first, do you buy the instant tapioca pudding, does it completely dissolve without those little beady eyes? I did read the whole part on the tapioca, but it did leave me a little confused.

I have never even had it in my home. Those little beady looking eyes have always been a turnoff for me. But I am ready to get over that. I don't like the way coating the fruit with flour can sometimes leave an aftertaste. Or maybe it is just my taste buds.
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Old 11-17-2015, 02:01 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Addie View Post
TL thanks for that connection to the starch information. I have a question. I often see pie recipes that recommend tapioca for thickening the juices of fruit pies.

Do you have to dissolve the tapioca first, do you buy the instant tapioca pudding, does it completely dissolve without those little beady eyes? I did read the whole part on the tapioca, but it did leave me a little confused.

I have never even had it in my home. Those little beady looking eyes have always been a turnoff for me. But I am ready to get over that. I don't like the way coating the fruit with flour can sometimes leave an aftertaste. Or maybe it is just my taste buds.
It's been a long time since I used tapioca starch, so I don't remember how it is used. It is sold as "tapioca starch" or "tapioca flour", so there are no little eyes.
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Old 11-17-2015, 02:06 PM   #28
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The gravy could be made with any thickener and then darkened. In Danish cooking something called "kulør" (it's a commercial product and means colour) is almost always used in gravy making. Some people don't want to use "kulør", because it has a number of weird sounding chemicals on the ingredient list. For those people, gastrique is recommended as a substitute. That would be a gastrique that has the sugar caramelized to very dark brown.
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Old 11-17-2015, 02:30 PM   #29
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If it has to be darker:
Attached Images
  
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Old 11-17-2015, 02:38 PM   #30
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It's been a long time since I used tapioca starch, so I don't remember how it is used. It is sold as "tapioca starch" or "tapioca flour", so there are no little eyes.
Thanks TL. I am going to look for it in next month's shopping spree.
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Old 11-17-2015, 03:02 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
If it has to be darker:
The OP wrote, "I have been trying to find a way to thicken chicken gravy and make it a nice dark colour."

Kitchen Bouquet ingredients (according to Google):
caramel, vegetable base (water, carrots, onions, celery, parsnips, turnips, salt, parsley, spices), sodium benzoate and sulfiting agents

Gravy Master ingredients (according to Google):
Caramelized Sugar, Caramel Color, Water, Hydrolyzed Soy and CornProtein, Apple Cider Vinegar, Salt, and Spices (Onion, Celery, Parsley, Garlic).

I understand that most people don't mind. I don't like artificial preservatives in my food and I find that some sulfites give an unpleasant, somewhat bitter flavour to food. I also don't eat soy for medical reasons. So, I thought I would find a homemade way to create something that would darken gravy and shared what I found. I don't know if Kitchen Bouquet and/or Gravy Master are available in Northern Ireland, where the OP is from.
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Old 12-29-2015, 07:01 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caslon View Post
As a thickening agent, cornstarch is a lot less expensive than arrowroot. I've used both and I didn't see that much better thickening effect with arrowroot over cornstarch. They both do equally well it seems to me. Arrowroot is so pricey over cornstarch. Is there an advantage?
Perhaps I should have entitled the thread 'Gravy Browning' as the thickening of the gravy is not the problem.

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Old 12-29-2015, 07:04 AM   #33
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GilliAnne - you say, in your OP, that you liked the browning of cornflour (by heating it) but that it didn't readily mix with the water. It occurred to me that you may have tried to mix it in with cold water (the conventional way with cornflour), however, if the cornflour has been heated it might respond better with hot water/stock. Just a guess - have you tried it this way too?
No, I haven't tried it that way at all, but will do - thanks for the suggestion!

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Old 12-29-2015, 08:05 AM   #34
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If it has to be darker:
Never seen this in grocery store.
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Old 12-29-2015, 01:54 PM   #35
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You can take cooked or roasted veggies (potato, carrots, etc.) and puree those to thicken the gravy. You can also reduce cream. Carmelized onions will darken the gravy.
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