Thanksgiving is a time to be reflect on all the things we’re thankful for throughout the year. It’s also a time to immerse ourselves in some seriously wonderful food! One of my favorite foods to eat during the Thanksgiving feast is gravy. It brings all the fabulous Thanksgiving food together into a harmonious plate.
Because I like to insert cheese wherever I can, here is a great, easy way to make your Thanksgiving gravy into a cheesy gravy!
Cheesy Thanksgiving Gravy
3 sprigs fresh thyme
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 sprigs fresh marjoram
1 bay leaf (fresh or dried)
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup of all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken or turkey stock (use home made for best results)
2 teaspoons ground coffee (instant coffee works, but use finely ground espresso for big flavor)
3 cups cold whole milk
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
A few grates of nutmeg
1 cup grated Cabot cloth-bound Cheddar (or any good sharp cloth-bound Cheddar)
Tight sealing jar
Make a bouquet garni by placing thyme, rosemary, marjoram and the bay leaf in the middle of a 12″ square of cheese cloth. Collect all four corners and tie with kitchen twine to enclose the herbs into a small pouch. Set aside.
Melt butter then add 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of flour. Cook till golden brown. Stir in coffee and then slowly whisk in stock. Add bouquet garni and let gravy simmer on low for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. Once gravy has reduced to about 1/3 of its original size discard bouquet garni.
Pour milk into a tight sealing jar with remaining 6 tablespoons of flour. Shake until contents are thoroughly mixed. Raise heat to medium and slowly whisk shaken milk and flour into gravy and continue to whisk until the sauce thickens and comes to a very light boil, about 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat back to a simmer and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Allow to simmer for 3 minutes longer. Stir in cheese and whisk until melted. If you are feeling extra cheesy, add an additional 1/2 to 1 cup of shredded cheese!
Keep hot in a thermos and serve over your mashed potatoes, turkey and whatever other sides need a dose of it.
Yields about 4 cups