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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I cannot make good sauce or gravy. I need help. I don't know what to add to it. It is usually too floury. I generally start with 1/4 c of butter or fat, melted, and 1/4 c of unbleached white flour, whisked in. Then I add milk for white sauce or stock for gravy. Sometimes I will add sour cream or mayonnaise to the white sauce, or cheese for cheese sauce. But everything is always so bland. I do add seasonings, but I don't know what or how much. Sometimes I use Worchestershire sauce, mustard powder, paprika, thyme, oregano, marjoram, basil, coriander seed... not all at the same time <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> Salt and pepper, of course. But I don't know how much to add, or what seasonings go best with what sauces, yk? Dh will eat anything if it is in a good sauce, so this is my secret weapon for healthy eating in our home. (We do NT/traditional foods.)<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/help.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="help">
 

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First off, the floury-ness: are you cooking the roux (the fat and flour) at all, or adding the liquid straight in? To take away the floury taste, you need to cook the roux, stirring, for a while. As long as you can stand it, basically. It will eventually get nice and dark brown (although you don't need to do it that long). Blend in your milk or stock slowly, a little at a time, and it helps to have them warmed before adding them in, too.<br><br>
I wouldn't use sour cream or mayo for any warm sauce unless the recipe called for it. Seems like that might curdle easily, and you don't need it. When I make a cheese sauce (as for mac & cheese), I add a dash of worcestershire, a dash of tabasco, a little garlic powder, and salt and pepper. And cheese, of course. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> For other sauces, well, it depends on what they are. Maybe a good traditional sauce cookbook from the library could help you out? Or look up some recipes on <a href="http://www.epicurious.com" target="_blank">www.epicurious.com</a> -- I bet they have good sauce recipes.<br><br>
For gravy, I often cheat and put in either a package of gravy mix <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">: or some GravyMaster (comes in a little brown bottle) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">: I have a hard time getting flavorful gravy too. For Thanksgiving this year, we are going to do something I read about in Gourmet last year, which is to get a head start by roasting turkey wings (bought separately) for the drippings, a week or so in advance. That way you can make your gravy before the turkey comes out of the oven and make sure to get it right, and save the big turkey's drippings for the next batch of gravy, and so on.<br><br>
I am not familiar with the NT way of eating, so forgive me if any of these suggestions are out of line! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/innocent.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shy"> But I hope they help. And if it makes you feel any better, sauces are something LOTS of cooks (even professional chefs) struggle with. Keep at it, and try the library.<br><br>
Good luck!<br>
~Nick
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
oooh, this is great, thanks! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/notes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notes">:<br><br>
I haven't been cooking the roux -- in fact, I usually add the liquid (a little at a time, I am doing *something* right) as soon as the fat & flour are mixed. I like that stage, though -- when I use butter, it smells like shortbread :LOL I was worried about burning it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"><br><br>
I do have one recipe that calls for mayo, and sour cream is one of the few things that seem to help the taste. I do wait until the last minute to stir it in, though.<br><br>
Thanks!
 

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For lovely gravy:<br><br>
Mix a little flour in some cool water (or stock) in a cup. Mix until smooth. It should be about as thick as heavy cream, not a paste. Set this aside.<br><br>
You have your pan drippings (remove any excess fat first with a fat-separating pitcher, if need be) from your roast....<br><br>
Over medium heat, whisk in a cup of white wine to deglaze the pan (which means to remove all the little yummy, browned bits of concentrated goodness that are stuck to the bottom of the pan).<br>
Add some dried thyme and a bit of finely minced garlic.<br>
Simmer for a minute, to cook off the alcohol.<br>
Add stock (homemade, or low-sodium canned) if you need more gravy than you have.<br>
To thicken it, whisk in a bit of the flour/water slurry at a time, simmering for a minute to see whether you’ve thickened it enough yet before adding more.<br>
Taste for thyme and pepper levels.<br><br>
Note: If it tastes “blah” (which it rarely will with beef, pork, or turkey, but it may with chicken (less intense flavor and a shorter roasting time), I add a little bit of “better than bouillon” soup base, rather than salt.<br>
Is it health food? Absolutely not. It does, however, cause amazing, flavorful gravy.<br><br>
Hth,<br>
alsoSarah<br><br>
Are you cooking any aromatics with your roasts? (Leeks, carrots, celery,a bit of garlic, shallots, etc.)<br>
They really help to flavor the pan drippings nicely....
 
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