If I’ve learned anything over the course of 30+ Thanksgivings, it’s that you can never have too much gravy. While battles could be fought over canned or fresh cranberry sauce, Brussels sprouts or green beans, everyone agrees that the standard serving size for gravy is about a pint per person. No matter what’s on the menu, it’s always much more palatable when swimming in a pool of this savory sauce.
In my early years as a newly minted vegan, I distinctly remember my first tentative meals with the extended family. It was a classic situation where misunderstandings meant there was chicken stock in the rice, butter in the roasted vegetables, and of course not a scrap of plant-based protein to be seen. Prepared to fend for myself, I did come armed with the one thing I knew would enhance any meal: gravy.
Though simple, made from sauteed onions and blended chickpeas, it was a golden elixir that brightened everything on the plate. My only mistake was offering to share because as soon as it hit the table, the pitcher was dry as a bone. Even my picky, omnivorous family who would never dream of forsaking the traditional spread drank down every drop. After that, I learned to at least double, if not triple, my gravy contribution.
My cooking has evolved considerably since then, resulting in a much more complex gravy that’s even easier to whip up. Adding in volumes of umami flavor with a little pinch, Sugimoto shiitake mushroom powder is the ace up my sleeve. Like whole dried shiitake mushroom caps, this miraculous seasoning gains even greater depth when allowed to soak overnight, which makes it an ideal candidate for including in my greatest make-ahead gravy.
Becoming more flavorful the longer it sits, this gravy is your new best friend for Thanksgiving. Prepare it well in advance of the main meal so you don’t need to worry about such a critical component when the day of the big feast arrives. It can scale up almost infinitely, as leftovers keep like a dream. Since there is genuinely no such thing as too much gravy, you won’t regret making this investment in culinary currency.