Jamie Oliver’s Get Ahead Gravy

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When making any roast dinner, gravy is often an after thought with a packet mix, but this year, for the ‘big roast dinner’ at Christmas I wanted to have a go at making my own and turned to Jamie Oliver for help! He made a get-ahead gravy on his Christmas TV show that could be made well in advance and kept in the freezer until the big day. So that’s what I did and I can honestly say, that it turned out great and I won’t be using packet mixes any more!

Jamie Oliver’s Get Ahead Gravy

Makes 1 Litre

Ingredients

  • 2 celery sticks, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, roughly sliced
  • 2 onions, peeled and quartered
  • 5 fresh bay leaves
  • 5 fresh sage leaves
  • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
  • 8 chicken wings
  • olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons plain flour
  • 60ml sherry or port (optional)
  • 2 heaped dessert spoons cranberry sauce for finishing

Method

Preheat your oven to 200C/440F/Gas 6 and put the vegetables into a sturdy bottomed roasting tray.

Scatter the herbs and star anise on top.

Then lay the bacon on to the veggies and herbs.

Break the chicken wings open and then bash the bones up with the end of a rolling pin to release more of their flavour and then put those into the pan. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle over salt and pepper and toss everything together.

Place the tray into the oven and cook for one hour, or until the meat is tender and falling off the bone.

Take the pan out of the oven and put it on the hob over a low heat, then use a potato masher to really grind and mash everything up.

By now I had to move everything into a saucepan for fear of burning everything on the bottom of my roasting pan, but I scraped off as much as I could, because that’s where all the flavour is! But Jamie’s recipe says to keep mashing, moving and scraping all the goodness from the pan as you go. Then you put in the flour. The longer you let everything fry, the darker the gravy will be.

When the flour is combined pour in 2 litres of hot water, turn up the heat and bring to the boil for 10 minutes until thickened, then turn down the heat to simmer for 25 minutes, stirring from time to time.

If you are using the sherry or port, you add that now (I didn’t)

Check the seasoning and then push the gravy through a sieve into a large bowl (mine went straight into the container I was freezing it in). Really mash everything through to get the maximum flavour out of all the ingredients, discarding anything let behind.

Cool it down to room temperature and then freeze until needed.

To finish it off on Christmas Day (or whenever you use the gravy!) take it out of the freezer in the morning to defrost whilst your turkey is cooking. When the turkey is cooked, lift it out of the pan and hold it up to let the juices run out. Spoon away as much fat as possible, then pour the pre-made gravy into the turkey juices. Bring to the boil over the hob and stir in the cranberry sauce. Skim away any fat that rises to the top. Strain the gravy again and it’s ready to serve!

I don’t have any photos of these steps as on Christmas Day, I completely forgot! So here’s the gravy poured over my Christmas dinner instead :D

If you want to make real gravy for your festive roast - and not something out of a packet - this make-ahead turkey gravy is the recipe for you! It is easy to make, and can be prepared in advance too - win/win! Perfect for Christmas or Thanksgiving!

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy

Yield: 1L/2Pts
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

While there are a lot of steps to this make-ahead turkey gravy, it is very easy to do - the end results are a delicious homemade gravy for your turkey dinner.

Ingredients

  • 2 celery sticks, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 3 carrots, roughly sliced
  • 3 onions, peeled and quartered
  • 5 fresh bay leaves
  • 5 fresh sage leaves
  • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • ½-2 star anise (depends on how much you like this flavour - you can omit if you wish)
  • 4 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
  • 10 chicken wings
  • olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons plain flour
  • 2 litres/4 pints boiling water
  • 2 heaped dessert spoons cranberry sauce for finishing

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 200C/440F/Gas 6.
  2. Put the vegetables into a sturdy bottomed roasting tray.
  3. Scatter the herbs and star anise on top.
  4. Lay the bacon on to the veggies and herbs.
  5. Break the chicken wings open and then bash the bones up with the end of a rolling pin to release more of their flavour and then put those into the pan.
  6. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle over salt and pepper and toss everything together.
  7. Place the tray into the oven and cook for one hour, or until the meat is tender and falling off the bone.
  8. Take the pan out of the oven and put it on the hob over a low heat, then use a potato masher to really grind and mash everything up as much as you can.
  9. Add the flour and stir until well combined with the vegetable and chicken mash. The longer you leave this all to fry, the darker the gravy will be.
  10. Transfer to a large saucepan and add the boiling water.
  11. Boil for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat and simmer for a further 25 minutes, or until thickened and reduced.
  12. Check for seasoning, and adjust if required.
  13. Place a metal mesh sieve over a bowl and pour the gravy through, mashing everything to get as much flavour as you can from the vegetables, and chicken. Discard the mash once you have sieved all of the gravy.
  14. Cool down for 10 minutes and place in an airtight container in the fridge - use within 3 days.
  15. You can freeze the gravy too - once cooled completely place into a freezer-proof container or bag, and place into freezer.

To Finish Off The Gravy

  1. Remove from freezer to defrost while turkey is cooking.
  2. When the turkey is cooked, drain all the juices from the bird into the cooking pan, and set turkey to rest.
  3. Skim off as much fat as possible from the roasting pan, and then pour in the make-ahead gravy.
  4. Place the roasting pan on the stove top (or transfer to a saucepan) and bring to the boil. Stir in the cranberry sauce, and skim off any fat that rises.
  5. Transfer to a gravy boat and enjoy poured over your turkey dinner!

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