The brave new red gravy adventures of Annaliese

By • October 30, 2010 • 31 Comments



Author Notes: Last week I stashed away some of the pan drippings from my roasted duck in the cavern of my freezer. Usually that just gives the item an extended stay of execution before I eventually just chuck it curbside about a year or so later. However, the lucky duck got a second life this time instead. I also had some of the stock that I made in the rear of my fridge, which is pretty close to being in the freezer....I mean things back there actually do freeze. So with those ingredients at hand, I set off upon my gravy escapade, much like my paella adventure last week. Tackling the brown bits does take an inordinate amount of bravery in my book, so I consider this recipe to be almost a red badge of ceremonial courage.Sagegreen

Serves 4

  • 1/3-1/2 cup brown bits and pan drippings from a roast such as duck or turkey
  • 1/2 cup red wine, pinot noir or malbec recommended
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 cardamom pod, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground sumac
  • 1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika, sweet or smoked
  • 1 bay leaf
  • kosher or pink Himalayan salt to taste
  • fresh milled pepper to taste
  • 2 cups homemade stock, (stock that has gelled for you is best)
  • 3-4 tablespoons Cornelian cherry or sour cherry jam
  • 1-2 tablespoon homemade unsweetened apple sauce with cinnamon (mine from Roxbury Russets)
  • lemon zest and lemon juice if needed
  • about 2 tablespoons or so of sifted flour
  1. After chilling the brown bits and drippings from the roasting pan until the fat rises to the top in solid form, skim off as much fat off the top, as much as you possibly can.
  2. Heat the brown bit drippings in a braising pan. Add the red wine and spices, whisking like a dervish. The mini whisk becomes your magic wand. A spooky dark concoction will bubble up in the pan. When reduced by about half the volume, stir in the jam and simmer slowly.
  3. When bubbling, pour in the broth. Vigorously simmer; let this reduce. Add strained, homemade applesauce and continue to simmer. Taste the balance. If there is not enough acidity, add lemon zest and fresh lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Strain the liquid, however you are best equipped (chinois,cheesecloth, sieve). You can see my primitive method in one photo. Wring out the flavors by pressing with a wooden spoon. Return to a simmer in the pan. Season again.
  4. Depending upon how thick and velvety the gravy is becoming, sift in some flour to finish and thicken to your liking over medium high heat. This may approximate 2 tablespoons, more or less. If by some chance you want this thin, you could leave the flour out, but I think it also helps temper the intensity of the flavors. When thick enough, test for taste; season if needed. When just right, transfer to a gravy boat and sail on to the table. My version yielded just over one cup.
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Tags: fruit, savory, spicy, tangy

Comments (31) Questions (0)

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over 3 years ago onetribegourmet

Love your gravy recipe, very flavorful!

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks, onetribegourmet!

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

I keep coming back to this...it sounds really amazing with sweet, sour, spicy and warm notes. I bet it was delicious with your leftover duck. You never cease to amaze me with your interesting flavor combinations/fantastic recipes Sagegreen!

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

I love all your combinations, gingerroot, too! Thanks.

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Your flavor combinations and colors are so interesting!

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks, drbabs. Btw I will be at an opening (featuring art from recycled materials) which includes two of my works on Nov 20th in Chelsea at the Viridian Gallery: http://www.viridianartists...

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Oh, I wish I could go, but I will be away at a conference that weekend!

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over 3 years ago jelyapt

I met you at the Mount, and I'm now one of your fans on this website. I've been a "follow the recipe with a few minor changes type of cook," but I plan to try to follow your creative lead as I read more of your recipes. Good luck with this one. Sounds interesting.

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks, jelyapt. You have encouraged me to frequent Lenox more often! So glad you are jumping in to this site. It is really inspiring to see what everyone comes up with each week.

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over 3 years ago cheese1227

I am so sorry I did not make it up to The Mount (so was my Mom, as she lives in Lee and would have loved to see my kids!). I need to get on the mailing list....

Christine-28_small(1)

over 3 years ago cheese1227

And LOVELY gravy, sagegreen.

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks, cheese1227. It was a lovely event. At the end I was asked about working on Edith Wharton's kitchen garden as a possible future project. There are more writer and food events planned, too. Let's meet up there in the future!

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

It was great to get a signed copy and meet Amanda! Do get on the Mount's mailing list.

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over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

This sounds delicious, Sagegreen! I, too, love your creativity! Very inspiring. I must ask "what is The Mount?" We will be in Lee next week to visit grandpa, great-grandpa and great-great-grandpa, et al (at the cemetary.)

Christine-28_small(1)

over 3 years ago cheese1227

Oh, shoot. I just cancelled my trip to Lee owing to a leak in the bathroom that has turned into a complete remodeling job! I would have loved to have met up for coffee and scones. The Mount is Edith Wharton's old homestead that while I was growing up there was the home to the Shakespeare and Co acting troupe. They put on wonderful productions in the summer and then got grants to go into all the schools in winter. Since that troupe built it's own facility a few years, The Mount is recreating itself as a center for the written word and they do many seminars on food writing. I believe that connection happened through Julia Moskin, NYTimes food writer, who lives in the same building as someone on the Mount's board or something.

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks, mrslarkin. I will be visiting one of our family plots in the eastern stretch of the state (the "Holy Hood"). Bet you would really enjoy a visit to Edith Wharton's estate during one of your visits to Lee. And if Amanda returns there, we all will just have to meet up for that. Here is their amazing website: http://www.edithwharton...

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Yes, they just had an amazing food event featuring our Amanda with Molly O'Neill, plus Christine Muhlke, Judith Jones, and also World Barista Champion Michael Phillips with Oliver Strand. Wonderful gathering!

Christine-28_small(1)

over 3 years ago cheese1227

Oh, I stand corrected, it was Christine Muhlke who had the connection to The Mount board. At least, that was the story conveyed to the audience when I went to the "Future of Food Writing" event there in Oct. 2009.

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

OK, then. We will be meeting up at the Mount in the future for one of their food writing events!!!! Let's stay tuned. Sorry about your plumbing disaster, cheese1227!

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over 3 years ago Lizthechef

I will be there, indeed, as well so many others. Focus on your latest triumph - we will all be there to applause!

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks, Lizthechef. Btw, kudos on your wonderful new blog!

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over 3 years ago JoanG

What an unusual mix of ingredients. I love the way they all seem to come together. I have just recnelty purchased sumac for the frist time becuas you keep using it in your recipes!

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks, JoanG. I am really discovering more depth with sumac the more I work with it! I hope you will enjoy it. The color is transformative!

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over 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

I love your combination of sweet, acid and savory flavors! I am absolutely trying this one!

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks, ChezSuzanne. You will have to let me know what you think. My other recipe I am working on is a cranberry mole for turkey.

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over 3 years ago Lizthechef

OK, put me down for an autographed copy of your cookbook - you are one amazing and inspiring cook! Besides, we are both half-Hungarian, right ;)

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks. Well, my duck paella did not make the ep list, mind you, so I did worry it missed the mark. This gravy recipe does take some finessing and tasting to get the balance right. No cookbook plans yet: I still have a lot to learn! But if and when, you can bet there will be a Hungarian bent in there.

Kay_at_lake

over 3 years ago Kayb

Oh, MY! Sounds wonderful! I could almost lick the screen....

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks! The acidity of the fruit, wine and spice balances out brown bits pretty well. I didn't go the butter roux route with this one as I usually do.

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over 3 years ago dymnyno

This sounds so delicious that I could eat it right out of the pan! (and what was it supposed to be served with!)

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Thank you so much! I have two servings of duck meat left and now a ton of gravy, so it will be mix and match tomorrow.