I am shamelessly using the word ‘beefy’ in this recipe title because honestly that’s exactly what it reminds me of – the rich, dark gravy you’d have drowned some roast beast in.
(Yes, I call it roast beast. I’ve always called it roast beast, even when I wasn’t a vegan. It just sounds kind of cute, doesn’t it?)
If you’re looking for a smooth lightly-colored gravy to use with your Thanksgiving dinner or whatever, this probably won’t be the one for you.
The richness in this gravy is due to the mushroom ‘broth’ which comes from reconstituting some dried wild mushrooms. Dried wild mushrooms can be pricey but if you buy them in bulk (like I did at Costco last year) they will last indefinitely stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. I have mine in my basement storage pantry and they’ve lasted going on two years now. You can also order dried wild mushrooms from Amazon in smaller quantities.
You can use fresh herbs in this recipe but dried are okay too. As much as I wish I was the kind of person who always had fresh herbs on hand, I just am not. So I tend to go for dried herbs in stuff like this anyway.
The wine in this recipe gives it a nice rounded flavor with a bit of a bite. The alcohol in the wine cooks off so it’s not like you’re going to get drunk off the gravy. But if for some reason you’d rather not use alcohol, I would suggest trying an non-alcoholic red wine or a splash of good quality cooking sherry (that is de-alcoholized – we can buy it in the grocery store here in Canada) and a bit more of the mushroom broth. I’ve never tried making this gravy with those substitutions but they are my ‘best guess’ suggestions.
As far as gravies are concerned this one is low in fat and does not contain any oil or butter substitutes. It’s definitely got a bit of saltiness though – from the broth and the Braggs. You won’t need to add any extra salt for seasoning. Just add the pepper and give it a taste to see if you need a bit more. If you’re concerned about the sodium content you can opt to use water instead of vegetable broth and that will reduce the sodium considerably. Alternately, if you make your own homemade vegetable broth you can make sure it’s not as high in sodium.
This gravy is something you can make ahead and reheat to serve later. Just bring it to a gentle simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally. I’m sure you could also microwave it to reheat it, but I rarely use the microwave so I am lousy with giving advice on how to use it.
So what would I serve this ‘Beefy’ Vegan Mushroom Gravy with?
Pretty much anything and everything. In the photos I made a version of my Lentil & Walnut ‘Meat’ Loaves with mashed potatoes. This gravy went over top of it all.
I think this gravy would be an awesome base for a vegan pot pie or in a Shepherd’s Pie.
- 4 oz. dried wild mushrooms
- 1½ cups hot water
- 2 cups vegetable broth, divided
- 1 cup finely diced onion (about 1 medium)
- 4 – 5 cloves garlic, minced finely
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme (2 tablespoons fresh, chopped)
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary (1 tablespoon fresh, chopped)
- ¼ cup good quality red wine (such as Merlot or Malbec)
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons Bragg’s liquid soy seasoning (or gluten-free tamari)
- ¼ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- Place dried mushrooms in a small bowl. Pour hot water over and let mushrooms steep for at least 30 minutes, until softened. Remove mushrooms from water and rinse gently, then set aside. Strain the mushroom liquid through a coffee filter to remove any dirt or debris, reserving the strained liquid.
- Dice the reserved soaked mushrooms finely.
- In a small bowl, combine nutritional yeast, cornstarch and Bragg’s. Whisk together until smooth. Set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add ½ cup of the vegetable broth, diced onions, minced garlic and herbs. Sauté about 5 minutes until the onion begins to soften.
- Add the diced mushrooms and red wine. Sauté an additional 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the nutritional yeast mixture one teaspoon at a time, stirring in until fully combined.
- Add the reserved mushroom liquid to the remaining vegetable broth. Pour in a steady stream a little at a time, stirring until fully combined. Let the mixture thicken slightly before adding a bit more broth.
- Once all the broth is added to the mixture, add black pepper. Stir and taste. Adjust seasoning as needed.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often.
- Serve hot.
Are you a gravy lover? What would you serve this gravy over?
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