Lush Make ahead Christmas Gravy
Yes, you can sit with your flour and scrape bottoms of pans etc on Christmas Day……I would prefer more family time than being a slave to the roasting pan!!
I will not lie to you, this is not a quickie! However, once it is done, throw it in the freezer and on Christmas Day you will be counting your blessings!
Make this gravy a few days, or even weeks before Christmas then finish it on Christmas Day.
2 Celery Sticks, trimmed and roughly chopped
2 Carrots, roughly sliced
2 Onions, peeled and quartered
5 fresh Bay Leaves (if you can’t find them, just use dried)
5 fresh Sage Leaves
4 sprigs of Fresh Rosemary
2 Star Anise
3 Rashers of Smoked Streaky Bacon, the best quality you can afford.
12 Chicken Wings
Malden Sea salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
4 tbsp Plain Flour
75ml Sherry or Port(optional)
Preheat the oven to 200ºC Put the veg, herbs and star anise into a sturdy bottomed roasting tray. Scatter the bacon on top.
Break the chicken wings open then put them onto a board and bash the bones up with the end of a rolling pin; this will release more of their flavour.
Put them in the pan, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle over a few pinches of salt and pepper then toss everything together and put the tray in the oven to cook for 1 hour, or until the meat is tender and falling off the bone.
Take the pan out of the oven, and put it on a hob over a low heat and use a potato masher to really mash everything up.
Keep mashing, moving and scraping all the goodness from the bottom of the pan as you go.
Gradually mix in the flour to thicken the mixture. Let everything fry for a while as this will make the gravy darker.
When your flour is well combined pour in 2 litres of hot water, turn the heat up and bring to the boil for 10 minutes, ensure it has thickened.
Turn down the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
I can highly recommend at this point adding 60ml sherry or port for flavour.
When it’s reached the consistency you’re looking for, adjust seasoning then push it through a sieve into a large bowl or heavy pot.
Really push and mash everything through so you get as much flavour as possible.
Discard anything left behind. Once it has cooled down to room temperature put it into containers or freezer bags and stick it in your freezer. Phew!! Job done and a little less to do on Christmas Day!
Take it out of the freezer to defrost on Christmas Eve.
On Christmas Day, once the turkey is perfectly cooked, ensure you save all the lush juices from the turkey.
Spoon away as much of the fat as possible, then pour your pre-made gravy into the pan with the rest of the turkey juices. Bring it to the boil over the hob and scrape all those flavourful bits and pieces from the bottom of the pan.
Once your gravy is piping hot, strain it through a sieve and into a pan.
Leave it on the lowest heat until you’re ready to serve. Skim away any fat that rises to the top and add any extra resting juices from the turkey before serving.
This is a gravy you will never forget!