How to Make Vegetarian Gravy

A good gravy—with its rich flavor and silky texture—is among the most delicious elements of a festive holiday meal. But you don't need a roasted turkey to get there: SAVEUR executive food editor Todd Coleman makes a completely vegetarian version that's caramelized, complex, and deeply savory—it's ideal on top of mashed potatoes or poured over Autumn Vegetable Patties.

What you'll need:

A large saute pan
A mesh strainer
A rubber spatula

How it works:
• Combine carrots, celery, and twice as much onions in a large pan.
• Throw in some thyme, parsley, dried mushrooms, a bay leaf, garlic, and a dollop of tomato paste.
• Cook it all down over medium-high heat until it's almost jamlike and deeply caramelized, about 15-20 minutes, with an occasional stir.
• Sprinkle some flour over it all, and caramelize it as you would a roux.
• Stir in some water and bring it up to a simmer.
• Let it simmer for 20-25 minutes until it's nicely thickened.
• Strain the mixture with a fine strainer, pushing down on the solids to extract all the flavor.
• Stir in some cold, diced butter to smooth out the flavors.
• Add a splash of port, sherry, or red wine vinegar to balance the long-cooked flavors.

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