Tonight, the 3rd in a series of school closures (with the 4th already decided–we’re home, again, tomorrow), I’ve been venturing out to cook things I no longer try on weeknights. Tonight, is Emeril’s Most Kicked-up Meatloaf Ever. To go with it, I’m making smashed red potatoes with garlic-infused cream. I had a big salad for lunch, so I’m not feeling too badly about the meat & potatoes overload. Anyway, as I began to think about a gravy for the potatoes and meatloaf, I decided that I’m just plain tired of PLAIN brown, non-holiday gravy. Really, I can do better. I think. So, I brought together thanksgiving-inspired flavors with an organic, boxed beef broth for an herb-infused gravy that my family’s going to LOVE.
2 T olive oil
2 carrots, scrubbed and cut into in large chunks
4 celery stalks cleaned and cut into large chunks
1/2 to 3/4 onion, also cut into large chunks
several small stalks thyme
1 large stalk rosemary
1 large stalk sage
(the last two are from my garden…uncovered from the snow…but if you’re getting these at the grocery store
in small stalks you may want to add more)
1 T peppercorns
Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven, then saute the onions, carrots, & celery about 5 min stirring occasionally. Add herbs, peppercorns & beef broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low & simmer 60 to 90 minutes. Strain solids from stock.
Make a roux: in a large skillet, melt 1/4 c. (1/2 a stick) butter, then add 1/2 c. flour. Whisk until flour & butter have combined and melted together. Add salt & pepper to taste.
Finish: Slowly whisk-in beef stock until it’s the desired consistency. Taste, then adjust seasoning as needed.