I’ve been talking about my friends, Heather and Bill, coming over with a bottle of Aviation Gin and the drinks we made. Of course, there was food. I made a roast beef. The problem with making roast beef is that they are trimming roast of most of the fat these days. If you cook up a round or similar roast, there just aren’t the fat and juices that let our mothers make great gravy. It requires a few tricks to make a richly flavoured gravy that is worthy of roast beef.
As the roast is not going to put a lot of juices in the pan, you have to add ingredients that will bump the flavour and give the rich undertones that you would normally get from the roast. I used sauteed onions and mushrooms to start laying the base flavours and then I add soy sauce, Worcestershire and sherry give more darkness and a complex flavour profile. You’ll note the recipe does not call for salt. There is lots of salt in the beef broth and beef soup base.
As I am not using the beef as the main source of flavour, I have the luxury of being able to put a lot of the gravy ingredients together in advance leaving more free time just before serving the meal.
I started in the morning of the meal (you could even do this the day before). sauteing the onions until they just start to get some colour. Then, I added the mushrooms and sauteed until the mushrooms were just soft.
I added the rest of the ingredients and brought the mixture to a boil. I reduced the heat and simmered for 10 minutes.
I let the mixture cool and put it in the refrigerator.
I rubbed some oil and herbs into the roast. I cooked it on a rack to let as much juice as possible gather underneath. I cooked it to medium, the preferred doneness of the guest of honour, Heather.
I removed the roast from the pan and tented it in foil.
I melted the butter over medium low heat in the roast pan. I added the flour and mixed with the butter and drippings. I stirred that over the low heat for 3 minutes.
I increased the heat to medium and poured the beef stock mixture into the the flour mixture while stirring. Bring this to a simmer and whisk for two to three minutes.
I poured the gravy into a gravy boat and carved the roast.
We served the roast with Copper Penny Carrots (I will post shortly) and a prior post, Mashed Potato Casserole.
This makes a great rich gravy with lots of deep rich flavours. It isn’t my mom’s great gravy but it is close.
The Old Fat Guy
- 175 ml (3/4 cup) fine chopped onion
- 250 ml (1 cup) fine chopped mushrooms
- 25 ml (2 tablespoons) butter
- 1 can condensed beef broth
- 750 ml (3 cups) water (if you have the water vegetables or potatoes were cooked in, use that)
- 10 ml (2 teaspoons) beef base (Oxo, Bovril or similar)
- 25 ml (2 tablespoons) soy sauce
- 10 ml (2 teaspoons) sherry (I use cooking sherry)
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) Worcestershire sauce
- 2 ml (1/4 teaspoon) pepper
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- Saute the onions in the butter over medium heat until they just start to get golden.
- Add the mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms are soft.
- Add the canned beef broth, water, beef base, soy sauce, sherry, Worcestershire and pepper.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- At this point, the liquid can be cooled and set aside for up to 24 hours, covered and refrigerated.
- Take the roast out of the roast pan and remove any excess fat which will not likely be necessary if using a lean roast.
- Melt the butter in the roast pan over medium low heat.
- Stir in the flour and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Increase the heat to medium.
- Add the liquid while stirring.
- Bring to a simmer and whisk for two or three minutes.