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Chestnut-Porcini Gravy


We’re in the home stretch of my Thanksgiving recipes from this year’s menu. All that’s left is the gravy!  I have a few favorite go-to recipes for sauces and gravies. One is the Madiera Sauce posted on my Vegan Thanksgiving Feast on Vegan.com.  The other is a brown gravy posted on another Vegan.com Thanksgiving feature.


This year I decided to make a chestnut-porcini gravy.  Instead of making a homemade stock, I used a porcini bouillon cube for a rich broth.  I found them at an Italian market this fall when I was in Providence, and they have such a great flavor. The chestnuts I always get at an Asian market because they sell cooked chestnuts in vacuum-sealed bags for under $2 a bag.

To get a rich mushroom and chestnut flavor throughout I simmered the mushrooms and chestnuts in the broth along with onion, a little port, and some herbs, and a little gravy browner to enrich the color.  I then pureed it all in the Vitamix for a smooth and creamy gravy that is so good, I almost wanted to drink it. If you don’t have porcini bouillon cubes, any kind of mushroom broth or vegetable broth will work.  For the mushrooms in the gravy, you can use any kind of fresh mushroom (even regular white mushrooms) to balance the rich flavor of the porcini broth.  (I can’t get fresh porcinis anyway, and I discovered that I’m out of the dried ones!)

Chestnut-Porcini Gravy
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/3 cup minced onion
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (porcini if available) or reconstituted dried porcinis or other mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon ground dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground sage
2 tablespoons dry port, marsala, or white wine (optional)
1 cup cooked chestnuts (I used vacuum-sealed cooked chestnuts from an Asian market — $1.49 a bag!)
1 1/2 cups mushroom or vegetable broth (I used 1 porcini mushroom bouillon cube)
Salt and black pepper
1/2 to 1 teaspoon gravy browner (Gravy Master or Kitchen Bouquet – available at any supermarket)
Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until soft.  Stir in the mushrooms and cook until slightly softened, then stir in the thyme, sage, and port, if using.  Add the chestnuts and 1 cup of the broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.  
Transfer the mixture to a high-speed blender or food processor, add the remaining broth and process until very smooth. Transfer the gravy back to the saucepan and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer until the gravy is hot and the flavors are blended. If the gravy is too thick, stir in additional broth or some almond milk.  If it isn’t thick enough, stir in a little cornstarch slurry over medium heat, stirring until thickened.
Makes about 2 1/2 cups
Another great thing about this gravy is that it’s soy-free, gluten-free, and very low in fat. (You can even simmer the onion in the broth to soften if you want to omit the oil altogether.)
Sorry I was so late getting this posted today.  It was too dark to take the photo last night, and then the batteries went dead this morning.  Better late than never.  Happy Thanksgiving!

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Colette November 27, 2013, 1:38 pm

    Where are the porcini? Sorry, am I being daft? I’m trying to figure out whether the mushrooms you list are the actual dried porcini or if there is a major ingredient left out of this recipe?

    • Robin November 27, 2013, 1:53 pm

      Hi Colette, I see that it was a bit unclear — I’ve since clarified the recipe. As I mention in the post, I used porcini boullion to make the broth for the sauce, since I can’t get fresh porcinis and (at the time) was out of dried ones. You can use any kind of fresh mushrooms (even regular white mushrooms) to balance the rich flavor of the porcini broth or use a combination of fresh and dried mushrooms.

  • Colette November 27, 2013, 3:36 pm

    Thanks Robin! I’m using this over the mushroom tarragon strudel tomorrow! 🙂

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