829 Southdrive

829 Southdrive

A New Jersey state of mind

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


The basis by which all gravies are measured should be
the stock used to form the body of the sauce.  You can
 thicken wine with roux and call it gravy, but you're 
missing the point. Gravy needs to possess the flavors 
extracted from the meat that was cooked in the first place.
Usually, you remove the meat from the saute or roasting
pan, and then you de-glaze that pan (remove any 
caramelized bits left from the cooked meat) with some 
kind of wine, vinegar, stock, or even water.  This creates 
the start of the pan-sauce, or gravy.  Once reduced 
somewhat, it's time to add the broth or stock, usually
derived from the same type of animal, although these days
most stocks are interchangeable with their service to the
main course, even with many fish items.  (I love seafood 
with a meat glaze, but that's just me.)  

Then comes the thickening part.  If you're a purist, which
I am most of the time, cooking down, or reducing the sauce,
is the best way to concentrate the flavors.  When you've
used bones in your stock that contain gelatin, you can 
achieve a certain natural glossiness from that stock after
it's been boiled for some time.  The gelatin concentrates 
and naturally makes the stock more viscous, eliminating the 
need for thickening agents.

2 quarts of turkey stock.  Next stop, the Nutmeg State.
The pickins will be the foundation of dinner on Tuesday.


  1. BD

    smells yummy.Safe travels.


  2. Baydog, we live in a world that has gravy, and that gravy has to be stirred by chefs with spoons. Who's gonna do it? Me? Me, Baydog?

    You have a greater responsibility than I can possibly fathom! I weep for all the hours it takes to make a proper gravy. I have that luxury. I have the luxury of not knowing what you know: that reducing, while time-consuming, probably saved the gravy. And your existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to me, saves the gravy! I don't want the truth, because deep down in places I don't talk about at parties, I want you in that kitchen! I need you in that kitchen!

    You use words like "roux", "de-glaze", "pan-sauce". You use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. I use them as a punchline! I have neither the time nor the inclination to figure out how the heck you de-glaze a pan.

    I can't handle the broth!

    1. Baydog is the gravy master, but that is the very least of his prodigious culinary talents. A mere bag of shells. We are relying on his passion for incomparably appetizing surprises to begin the daylong celebration of OFD here in CT.

    2. ... and while we are on the randomly intersecting topics of food preparation and Jack Nicholson, remember this scene?

  3. Holy cow, that looks good.

    Hey, as long as you're giving cooking hints, got a good pleasant pheasant brine?