homemade onion gravy

sometimes called cognac gravy, this recipe comes from Ina garten, the barefoot contessa.  gravy is another one of those recipes that is handed down in families or if you are like me, i try different techniques until i feel mastery of one.

this gravy recipe is excellent.  it does not have lumps and the technique used by Ina makes certain that it does not.  it can be adapted to taste, and varied according to preferences.  i made this recipe for our thanksgiving turkey this year.  if you don’t like onions, you won’t like this gravy.  if you don’t like onion pieces in your gravy, you won’t like this gravy.  it has a very flavorful onion taste and bits of chopped cooked onions that give the flavor an excellent depth and character.

to make the gravy:  in a large saute pan, cook 1/4 cup of unsalted butter with two large sliced white onions.  i cooked them slow at medium low for about 15 minutes, browning lightly and stirring. Ina suggests not to rush this step, because as the onions cook slowly, the flavor increases.  next, sprinkle 1/8 cup of flour into the pan and add a teaspoon of salt and and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.  whisk the flour and ingredients for about 2 minutes to make certain the flour is incorporated and cooked.

next, add 1-2 cups of hot chicken stock, which i made from bouillon cubes.  add the amount you desire to make the amount of gravy you desire. additionally, add 1 tablespoon of cognac, brandy or red wine.  i used wine. i cooked the stock for about 5 minutes, bringing the mixture up to a boil, allowing it to thicken a bit.

to even improve the quality of the gravy more, add one tablespoon of heavy cream.  this step is optional, but i added the cream. it was an excellent addition.

the gravy can be made in advance, even the day before thanksgiving and heated slowly adding the cream just before serving if desired.  this gravy will keep in the refrigerator for several days.  it will not separate or change consistency.

this basic onion gravy can be used for chicken, beef, turkey or only served with leftovers the next day. it is wonderful on mashed potatoes and hot sandwiches.

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