The search is over: Vegan Mushroom Gravy
For a long time, I was on a quest for vegan gravy. Those little packets of gravy mix sold at the health food stores were okay in a pinch, but I wanted something homemade, rich and thick. I found several recipes, and soon realized there were many different techniques and approaches to vegan gravy—far more than the old "add flour to the drippings" approach of regular gravy.
And here's a thought...there's no reason why non-vegans wouldn't appreciate this gravy. And with healthy ingredients, rather than simply fat, flour and water, this gravy shouldn't be forbidden from any dinner table.
I served this with some seitan slices (I'm still searching for the perfect seitan recipe), which I smothered in amongst the tiny button mushrooms. While I was cooking, I kept sneaking pieces of seitan to eat, and realized it was the gravy, not the seitan, that was so tempting. So that's the recipe you get, at least until I perfect a seitan recipe.
This made almost two cups of gravy, plenty for four people. The ingredients cook down quite a bit, so don't be deceived by the amounts. I used button mushrooms, but if you use larger mushrooms, chop them roughly instead of slicing, for smaller, less obtrusive pieces.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups white mushrooms, sliced (button mushrooms are best)
2 shallots, minced
2 cups mushroom stock (made with dried porcini mushrooms, see note)
1/2 cup red wine
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon tamari (or soy sauce)
Heat olive oil in a large skillet. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms and saute over high heat, 8-10 minutes or until mushrooms are turning gold. Add the shallots, and cook 5 minutes more. Meanwhile, whisk 3 tablespoons flour into the mushroom stock, making sure there are no lumps.
Pour the red wine into the mushroom/shallot mixture. Let it boil down over medium heat about 5 minutes, careful not to let the mixture dry out completely.
With the heat on medium, whisk the flour/mushroom stock mixture into the skillet, about a half cup at a time. Add the thyme, salt, pepper, and tamari. Stir the mixture over medium heat until it's thickened and taste to adjust seasonings if necessary.
Serve immediately. It will thicken if left off the heat; if that happens stir in a small amount of soy milk.
Note: To make mushroom stock with dried porcini mushrooms, bring 2 cups of water to boil and pour over 1/2 cup loosely packed porcini mushrooms, in a glass measuring cup. Let sit for 15 minutes, then drain the mushrooms using a coffee filter, reserving the liquid. You can chop the mushrooms and add them to the gravy if you wish, or discard them, or save them for another dish. You can also use prepared mushroom stock cubes for this, although you may want to adjust the salt if so.