I’ve shared gravy recipes before. There’s this mushroom-based gravy that is packed with rich, deep beefy flavor. I’ve also included a very ‘Thanksgiving-y’ type of gravy in my cookbook ‘Gluten Free Vegan Family Feasts‘.
It wasn’t until I was craving poutine (sigh, yes, I crave poutine occasionally) and wanted to make some like, right now that I decided to try my hand at making a simple gravy out of bouillon, water and cornstarch. Turns out, it’s dead easy. Dangerously so. Like, I can make poutine anytime I want to with ease. Levi can make poutine anytime he wants to, with ease. See why it’s dangerous?
The vegan beef bouillon you use will largely dictate how salty the gravy turns out. I suggest using 1 tablespoon of the powdered granules in my recipe but I’ve used other varieties and that was too salty, or too bland. The brand I used with the best results so far was Nutrimax Beef Flavored Soup Base. It’s labelled gluten-free and states that it is suitable for vegans. I’m sure any gluten-free and vegan beef soup base would work, just start with a little less than recommended, taste as you go and adjust accordingly.
The first couple times I made this gravy I used just cornstarch to thicken it. I didn’t mind the clear gravy instead of a nice thick rich looking gravy. I adjusted my flours and added a tiny bit of almond milk once and surprisingly the gravy was a nice thick opaque gravy rather than just shiny glossy and clear.
The key to thickening any sauce with any amount of starch or flour is making a slurry. What’s a slurry? No, it’s not just me after a few G&T’s. It’s what happens when you combine starch and liquid together to use in thickening stuff. You do not want to add the thickener (cornstarch, flour, etc) to the hot liquid by itself or it’s just going to get lumpy and nasty. You can make a slurry really simply by combining and whisking until smooth all the required ingredients – generally the starch(es) and a measure of liquid. In this recipe it’s the brown rice flour, cornstarch, non-dairy milk and 1/4 cup of water. You can whisk this together in a small bowl or use a little handy shaker thingy like the one I got from Tupperware* for making my (vegan) Shakeology on the go.
Want to win your own QuickShake from Tupperware? Make sure you scroll down to the end of the post.
I was thinking I’d do an entirely separate post all about vegan poutine – and I may just do that one of these days when I’ve perfected making some of my own unique vegan cheeses – but for now this post will have to do. Besides, all my gravy photos are of poutine so, why not?
Basically to make vegan poutine you need french fries – we often times make our own but in these photos I am using store-bought frozen shoestring fries (and substandard ones I might add, these ones were short and stubby and never really browned up); you need some sort of vegan cheese of choice – we use Daiya mozzarella shreds. With Daiya shreds I have always felt that ‘less is more’. If you get a bit overambitious with the shreds it can really be overpowering and goopy when it melts. Fight the urge. I like to layer my cheese shreds and fries and gravy in two layers, for optimal gravy coverage. If your gravy is hot enough the shreds will start to melt on their own. If you’re impatient (I am) and want immediate meltiness then you could throw the prepared poutine in the microwave for a quick turn – 30 seconds or a minute.
- 1 tablespoon beef-flavored vegan bouillon powder (make sure it's gluten-free too!)
- 2 cups hot water
- 1 tablespoon brown rice flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened plain non-dairy milk
- ¼ cup water
- fresh ground black pepper
- Dissolve vegan beef bouillon in 2 cups water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile combine cornstarch, brown rice flour, non-dairy milk and ¼ cup water in a shaker or in a small bowl with a whisk into a slurry.
- Once the broth has begun to boil, reduce heat slightly to a simmer and while whisking pour in the prepared slurry. Continue to whisk constantly while the mixture simmers and thickens - about 3 minutes.
- Season with pepper, to taste. Reduce heat to low and continue to simmer and whisk an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and serve immediately.
*My good friend Lindsey sells Tupperware and if you’re interested in purchasing a Quick Shake or any other Tupperware products, I think it would be swell if you use her personal site to purchase it. You can get your products direct-shipped to your home so even if you live far away from Saskatoon you can still support my friend’s biz. She’ll be very thankful!
In fact, Lindsey has given me an extra Quick Shake to give away to one of you guys – and I’m jealous because it’s in the new blue color instead of the lime green pictured above. All you need to do is click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. No hoops to jump through, no liking, sharing or tweeting required. This is only open to folks in the US and Canada. Contest closes on February 9th, 2014 at midnight. I’ll draw a winner at random and contact them privately.
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