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Mushroom Gravy

I have recently started taking a several times per week 3.5 mile walk. This is the only thing that stands between me becoming a poster child for the Lard Ass Society of America. Around Thanksgiving I was listening to my favorite James Beard Award Winning Radio Program (yes, there is a James Beard Award for food radio programs) The Splendid Table and there was a whole segment about Thanksgiving food for vegetarians. Now, generally I am not a fan of vegetarianism for me. I have no problem with other people being vegetarian as long as it does not impact my eating habits so I kind of tuned out until I heard Mollie Katzen mention Mushroom Gravy from her book The Heart of the Plate which sounded unbelievably tasty in spite of being vegan. I made a few tweaks because I am not a vegan, and the result is a pretty awesome sauce that goes really well with a nice piece of rare meat, chicken, etc. I haven’t tried it on pancakes but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was awesome on those as well.

  • Medium (about 3 quart) sauce pan
  • Small bowl
  • Whisk
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely minced (1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 lb Oyster mushrooms, stems removed, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 quart chicken stock (You can keep it vegetarian by using vegetable stock, I just don’t usually make that)
  • Soy sauce to taste
  • Black pepper
Time: About an hour
Yield: About a quart and a half of awesome sauce
  1. Place medium saucepan over medium heat for about a minute, then add the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Toss in the onion and sauté until the onion softens a bit
  2. Add garlic, and stir until you start to smell the garlic, about 30 sec-1 min
  3. Add mushrooms and salt, stir to distribute, and cover the pot. Cook over medium heat until the mushrooms cook down and give off a visible amount of juices stirring every minute or two. This should be around 10-12 minutes.
  4. While the onions are cooking, place the cornstarch in a small bowl, and slowly whisk in about a cup of the stock, keeping the mixture is smooth.
  5. Add the rest of the stock into the mushroom mixture and let it come to a boil. When it boils, turn the heat to medium-low, and slowly add the cornstarch mix, stirring constantly.
  6. After about 5 minutes add the fresh herbs and stir.
  7. Cook until the mixture is glossy and gently thickened, about 5-10 more minutes. Add soy sauce to taste, if desired, and season liberally with black pepper.

You can serve this hot right away (I recommend pouring it over mashed potatoes) but I think it actually tastes better the next day. It will keep for a week in a tupperware style container in the fridge and should freeze well though I have not given that a shot yet.