Caramelized Shallot Bacon Gravy.
Oh good gravy.
That was a terrible opening, no?
But I’m coming to you this Sunday with GOOD gravy. Last year on a Sunday before Thanksgiving, I shared my mom’s killer gravy recipe and a step-by-step post on just HOW she makes it. She makes the best gravy ever. Truly. It is always perfect: perfect in consistency, flavor and even appearance. It reheats well for days afterward, which in my opinion is totally huge for gravy.
Of course, much to her dismay, I had to trash up a version this year. I wanted to attempt a gravy with a different flavor and one that may not even necessitate using turkey drippings as a base so I could make it all.the.dang.time. YES.
And still use her method, because it’s the best. At least it gave us an excuse to eat gravy a few weeks ago?
But. Excuses whatever.
Now, if you’re weird about texture, you might want to puree the gravy so the shallots add the flavor but not the caramelized pieces. It’s totally up to you. You could probably even puree it with the bacon inside, but I mean, who doesn’t want crispy pieces of bacon in their gravy?
In other Thanksgiving news, I think I’m making a version of my lightened up green bean casserole and definitely my lightened up sweet potato casserole (it’s really just a coincidence that these both happen to be “lighter” versions and let’s be real, on the day I will probably add ten thousand pounds of brown butter) for the day. I really want to make these whipped bourbon sweet potatoes from last year that have crispy sage and bacon and a lot of other delicious things, so I actually might make them for dinner one day this week. But then I also want these cinnamon sugar hasselback sweet potatoes that have an oatmeal cookie crumble. WAH. It’s like two weeks of Turkey Day food so I can get my fill.
We might have to talk more about Thanksgiving later this week, huh?
If you’re looking for a deeeeelicious turkey and you have a smoker, you should totally make this applewood smoked turkey with cider bourbon gravy. Our smoker = love.
I’m totally down for a little love pot of gravy with two straws… if you are.
Caramelized Shallot Bacon Gravy
6 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
6 medium shallots, thinly sliced
1 cup chicken or beef stock
16 ounces cold water
3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
salt and pepper to taste
In a large stock pot, add the bacon and cook over medium-low until all the fat is rendered and the bacon is totally crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and place it on a paper towel to drain. Add the shallots to the bacon grease in the pot and heat over low heat. Stirring occasionally, cook until the shallots are caramelized - about 20 to 25 minutes. You can speed up the process with a teaspoon or so of brown sugar if desired, but I don't really like to add that to the gravy because I find it's a bit too sweet.
Add half of the cooked bacon back to the shallots and increase the heat to medium Add the stock and bring it to a simmer. At this time, you CAN add any turkey drippings if desired.
Add the cold water to a shaker bottle (or water bottle/mason jar) and add the flour on top. Shake the heck out of it for 30 to 60 seconds, until the flour seems completely incorporated and creates a slurry. With a whisk or fork in one hand, pour the slurry into the bacon drippings and shallots, sitting constantly with the other hand. Continue to stir to avoid any lumps and stir until the gravy has thickened, anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes. Make sure you are scraping the bottom of the pan!
If you love a super smooth gravy, you can add this entire mixture to a high-powered blender and (very carefully) blend until smooth. While I don't like chunky gravy, I certainly don't mind the shallots and bacon. Add the remaining bacon in right before serving so it stays crispy.
Taste the gravy and season it to your liking. Set it over low heat for serving. My mom stores her extra gravy in the fridge for about a week. To reheat it, she places it in a saucepan (it will look disgusting) and adds a touch of water or stock. She heats it over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it's back to it's original consistency. Like soups and sauces, it often tastes better the next day!
P.S. those potatoes… we talk tomorrow.