Homemade gravy is one of my favorite ways to spice up a pot of creamy mashed potatoes. Not that my sister or my oldest feel like mashed potatoes need anything extra but the rest of us LOVE a flavorful gravy.
Learning how to make my own gravy was defiantly a learning curve. Growing up we rarely had gravy and when we did it came out of a can so I had no real experience with how to make a smooth lump-free gravy.
That is why this was on my list for home ec lessons with the kids. I feel everyone should know how to make homemade gravy be it for mashed potatoes or to spice up rice or overly dry meat gravy is one of those great tools you have available to help make sure your family is full and content even as the prices of food is skyrocketing.
What makes a great gravy?
The best gravies are flavorful and smooth. To have a really great gravy you want to take the time to smooth out as many lumps as you can and use some simple trick to keep your gravy from getting lumpy in the first place.
How to thicken the gravy
Gravy can be thickened with one of many thickening agents. Flour is the easier to come by but perhaps the hardest to use. Corn starch is a popular option as well as modified corn starch, such as clear gel often used in canning. For those looking for a healthier option for thickening gravy, you can use arrowroot powder.
One secret to thickening soups and gravies that many people do not know is using mashed potatoes. You can store leftover mashed potatoes or even take a bit from the pot you just made to help thicken your gravy though you will want to be sure your potatoes do not have any lumps.
How to prevent lumps in your gravy
The best way to deal with lumps in your gravy is to prevent them from forming in the first place. This can be done by making a slurry before adding your thickener to the gravy. To do this mix your flour, starch, or another thickener with a little bit of cool water and mix until completely smooth.
When you mix the slurry into your gravy the lumps will already be completely gone. Sifting through a fine mesh flour sifter can make it easier to get a smooth slurry.
How to get lumps out of your gravy
Is your garage already lumpy? Sometimes you make your gravy only to discover that it clumped up giving you a lumpy gravy. This can be difficult but not impossible to fix. Take a fine mesh strainer and strain your gravy through it to remove the unwanted lumps.
If you only have a few small lumps you can chase them down with a fork to break them apart individually. Once smooth no one will know it was ever a lumpy mess.