The last thing you want to do on Thanksgiving Day is rush to make a gravy from the turkey’s hot pan drippings while the rest of the dishes get cold. Instead, this make-ahead gravy, inspired by the one my friend Lauren Kuhn makes at her annual Friendsgiving, relies on a base of caramelized red onion and gets its body from flour, milk and vegetable stock. (Stock concentrate paste is an especially useful pantry staple to keep on hand to make stock quickly.) Nutritional yeast is an optional umami enhancer that adds nuance and a rich, cheesy depth. Keep this covered in the refrigerator until it’s ready to eat, then on Thanksgiving Day, reheat it on the stove or in the microwave. Drizzle it over everything.
- Serves: 2 persons
- 2tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
- ½teaspoon granulated sugar
- Pinch of dried oregano
- 2tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2cups vegetable stock
- ¼cup whole milk
- 1tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional, but very good)
- Freshly ground black pepper
Step 1Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sugar, and season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is browned and caramelized but not burnt, 10 to 12 minutes.
Step 2Add the oregano and flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour has been fully absorbed by the buttery onions, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Whisk in the vegetable stock and milk, raise the heat to high and, whisking occasionally, bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, still whisking occasionally, until the stock thickens into a loose gravy that thinly coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.
Step 3Whisk in the nutritional yeast, if using, and taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper as desired. Serve hot. (Alternatively, you can make this the night before Thanksgiving, cover and store it in the refrigerator, and reheat in the microwave or in a pot on the stove before serving.)