From-nothing Gravy
        (from America's Test Kitchen)

This gravy can be served with almost any type of meat or poultry or with mashed potatoes. If you would like to double the recipe, use a Dutch oven to give the vegetables ample space for browning and increase the cooking times by roughly 50 percent. The finished gravy can be frozen. To thaw either a single or double recipe, place the gravy and 1 tbsp of water in a saucepan over low heat and bring slowly to a simmer. The gravy may appear broken or curdled as it thaws, but a vigorous whisking will recombine it.


Makes 2 cups.

  12 tbsp unsalted butter (1½ sticks), cut into 12 pieces
  1 small carrot, peeled and chopped into rough ½-inch pieces (about ½ cup)
  1 small rib of celery, chopped into rough ½-inch pieces (about ½ cup)
  1 small onion, chopped into rough ½-inch pieces (about 3/4 cup)
  3 tbsp unsalted butter
  ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  2 cups low-sodium beef broth
  1 bay leaf
  ¼ tsp dried thyme
  5 whole black peppercorns
  ground black pepper

1. In food processor, pulse carrot until broken into rough ¼-inch pieces, about five 1-second pulses. Add celery and onion; pulse until all vegetables are broken into 1/8-inch pieces, about five 1-second pulses.

2. Heat butter in large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat; when foaming subsides, add vegetables and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and well browned, about 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, until thoroughly browned and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Whisking constantly, gradually add broths; bring to boil, skimming off any foam that forms on surface. Reduce heat to medium-low and add bay leaf, thyme, and peppercorns; simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to 3 cups, 20 to 25 minutes.

3. Strain gravy through fine-mesh strainer into clean saucepan, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Serve hot.