In most instances, I am more than happy to have my food au naturel, and am not one to drown out the ingredients with gravy. For that matter, I do not really like overly wet food served up (aside from the obvious exception where this condition in mandatory – soup springs to mind). A dose of a good Dijon mustard usually does it for me. I guess I am not the biggest fan as the ‘Gravy‘ word alone conjures up images and memories of some watery crap (sorry Bisto, the real thing is eons better), which helps drown already soggy and generally insipid meat and veg. Perhaps I have had one too many bad Sunday Roasts (not home cooking, I hasten to add). If ever a plate is served up with the food floating and sloshing around – it is wrong (in my opinion) – particularly with excessively soggy curries or pasta dishes. I have had a gravy so watery and thin, I could have hired Noah to build a miniature ark and save my lunch from a watery grave.
However, on occasion, there is a time and a place for it (perhaps the expectation that there will be gravy is enough to prompt me to make one. How could there be a roast without it?). The last time I made this was at Christmas when the relatives were around for lunch and we had a a good joint of locally reared beef to graze on. Anyhow, I digress. I have played with the following a fair amount. I am really lucky insofar as my Dad makes his own redcurrant jelly which works so well.
- 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 2 carrots quartered lengthways, then halved
- 1 large white onion roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 400ml red wine ( not your best!)
- 250ml water
- 12 peppercorns
- 2 tbsp redcurrant jelly
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- large sprig thyme
- large sprig fresh rosemary
- 1-2 cubes Knorr Beef stockcube
- Salt & pepper to taste
- any cooking juice from roasting pan (towards the end)
- Combine all ingredients in a pan, bring to boil, then simmer for 45 – 60 mins. This will certain reduce.
- Sieve and return gravy to pan, and reduce further.
- In final 5 mins, add 1teaspoon Dijon mustard and 1tablespoon red current jelly, whisk until dissolved. Add any pan juices as well which will have drained from the joint during the resting period.
- Season to taste