Good onion gravy – the kind you want for bangers and mash – needs a touch of thyme. Really, just a pinch; use your fingertips, not a spoon.
I thought this was gonna be a sex thing.
Yeah, we all did. (Sigh)
Luckily, a nice gravy is the next best thing to sex.
Well, I do it this way, and I maintain you do get deep, rich, caramelized onions this way. For me, it’s closer to 12-14 minutes, but I don’t notice it tasting any different than the stuff I’ve made spending 2 hours (or whatever it was) baking in the oven or the pressure cooker method (and, in my opinion, deeper and richer). The always thorough and experimental Serious Eats has it down to a 15-20 minute method, with similar observations as me: "So with a couple of little tweaks, I’d managed to whittle down a 45-minute long procedure to not much more than 15 or 20 minutes, and to be honest, the flavor developed in that short amount of time is actually deeper and more complex than the standard, slow-cooked French onion soup method "
So, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.
Here’s some onions using that method at 12 1/2 minutes, according to my notes. Tell me that doesn’t look like caramelized goodness fit enough for French onion soup.
I was going to mention that, tho a lot of sausage has sage already? I dunno. Is there anything to know about preparing Sage? I have some Albanian stuff, I tried adding some, maybe a little browned with the flour would be good.
Fennel I use a lot in italian dishes or pizza sauce. Never thought about using it in sausage gravy, I’ll have to try it.
I use the dried version of both (ground sage and ground fennel seed). Some breakfast sausage is flavored with sage, to be sure, but I like the flavor so add more. The two herbs go extremely well together. Also, quite a bit of pepper.
This is what I do. I shoot for 1:1 fat to flour, and make a nice, thick paste. I let it brown, and then add the stock.
I also mutter, “Gravy is not a big, hairy spider. Gravy will not tie me up and throw me in the basement,” while I’m doing it. It helps.
Try it. It does not make “burnt” or “toasty” onions. It makes proper caramelized ones, with a deep, rich flavour, perfect for onion soup. But hey, if you wanna continue wasting your time for little to no difference, go ahead. Anyway, sorry for the derail.
In my family, we’ve never done anything beyond just adding cornstarch to drippings, and it seems to work well enough.
The one nice thing about the slower methods, especially the one where you just stick it in the oven for several hours, stirring it from time to time, is that they require very little babysitting, and work out well for larger batches. So there is a little bit of a trade-off in that you have to cook fairly actively with the high heat method. I originally learned the method from a French cook about two decades ago who used to make his French onion soup over high heat, and constantly building up the fond with water. His method would take more like 25-30 minutes, since he was doing a much larger batch and really got them dark. He used no broth whatsoever in the soup–just the resulting flavor from the the continual building up of the fond over high heat. Pretty amazing the flavor he got out of that. Spiked with wine at the end. I don’t think he used anything beyond salt & pepper in it, either. Great stuff.
Anyhow, back to the thread.
My mom always made a slurry of flour and water in a little jar before adding it to the drippings/broth that were already on the stove cooking in a pan. Seemed to work fairly well. If nothing else, one could probably use it to thicken up a loose gravy.
I make a roux in the microwave of butter and/or oil and flour. I make more than I know I’ll need, because the ingredients are cheap and I want to be covered.
Then I add it bit by bit to the finished liquid, whisking vigorously, until the gravy is just right. I try to err on the side of a little too runny because it’s going to continue to evaporate a bit and thicken up as it cools off.
In the interests of fighting ignorance, I’m going to try carmelized onion in sausage gravy today, have some Vidalia that need to be used up. Have to sacrifice, and take one for the team once in a while, it’s just how I roll.
You should make two batches, to compare. Poor you, having to eat TWO batches of caramelized Vidalia onions.
Pretty much what Chronos and Kimballkid said. My Grandmother, my Mom and myself always used 1 - 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to about 1/3 - 1/2 cup of water in a small jar, shake it up really good and add slowly to the hot liquid while stirring constantly so it doesn’t get lumpy. The hot liquid is usually giblet stock (heart, neck, etc. but not the liver) simmered with an onion for awhile and poured over the pan drippings. The pan would be over a low flame on a stove burner or two, and most of the fat would be skimmed off.
Well they sure make the house smell nice, I’ve been cooking them on low, no sugar added. I figure Vidalia should have plenty. About 1/2 hour to 45 minutes sound about right?
That’s one batch. The other batch should be cooked in 10 minutes using the above method. Then compare.
When doing the quick batch, don’t forget the magic pan, the magic water and a wooden spatula!
I hope both come out to your satisfaction.
Well… OK… But, not today, have things that need to get done, I mean other than laying around in an arteriosclerotic coma, er, nirvana.