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Author Notes: When you switch to a grain-free diet, one of the recipes you lose is a thick and delicious gravy. You try and settle for a little extra broth, but it's not the same. Well, all of that changes today. This gravy tastes better than any gravy I've had in my life, and it's 100% grain-free. It's inspired by the late food writer Laurie Colwin. My recipe is very different from hers, but twenty years after she died, I read her book Home Cooking. In it, she mentions the idea of a vegetable gravy ~ an idea that is simply genius. —Phoenix Helix
- 2-4 pounds chuck roast (either with or without a bone is fine)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 carrots, chopped in large chunks
- 2 stalks celery, thickly sliced
- 2-4 garlic cloves, whole
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 branches fresh rosemary
- 1/4 cup broth (or water)
- salt & pepper
- Put all the veggies and herbs in a crock pot. (If you don't have a crockpot, preheat your oven to 250 degrees and use a lidded casserole dish or dutch oven instead.)
- Pour ¼ cup broth on top of the vegetables. (This small amount is intentional; the meat will release its own juices.)
- Season all sides of the roast liberally with salt & pepper, and place on top of the vegetables.
- Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours, until meat can be shredded with fork.
- When done, lift meat out of crockpot onto a plate and make the gravy: Pour the liquid from the crockpot into a large glass measuring cup (or a bowl). Add half of the cooked vegetables and puree with an immersion blender. To increase the thickness of the gravy or strengthen its flavor, add more of the vegetables. Taste as you go. (If you don't have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender instead.)
- The meat cooks down quite a bit, making approximately 4 servings per 2 lb. roast & 8 servings per 4 lb. For leftovers, you can put the meat and gravy in one container, tossing to blend before refrigeration. This keeps it moist and flavorful, and makes reheating a breeze.