Just Walt's Mental Meanderings

Walter Blevins

Walter Blevins
Location
Vista, California, USA
Birthday
August 22
Bio
I'm a 60 year old guy who lives in Vista California with my wife. I spent the 30 years before moving to Cali in Iowa, Wisconsin and North Dakota. And I have 2 grown children, a son and a daughter who live in Virginia and Iowa and a 22 year old step-daughter lives with us here in Vista. I'm a proud grandpa with 2 grandaughters living in Virginia. I like to write about a whole variety of things from my kids to cooking to politics to the car industry to my status as a "Cheap Bastid" and "Old Fart" and just random thoughts. And I really love writing about cooking really good, homecooked comfort food cheap. That's why they call me the Cheap Bastid. By the way--all the stuff I write is my stuff and you can't use it without my official OkeyDokey

APRIL 10, 2012 12:09PM

Foodie Tuesday: Good Gravy! Just a Country Boy at Heart

Rate: 13 Flag

My father had a favorite “endearment” for me, his youngest son, when I was a kid.  At various times, he’d look at me a say, “you’re just a gravy sopper”.  This was especially true when Mom would cook pork chops and there’d be 2 boys and my Dad elbowing one another for the privilege of dredging a slice of bread in the bottom of the pan to “sop up” those greasy bits of goodness before sitting down to devour a thin chop cooked to the consistency of a roofing shingle.

One of my earliest food posts here on Open Salon was titled “They Call Me Mr. Gravy”.  That was 3 years ago.  I’ve always loved gravy.  One of my favorite breakfast dishes is still homemade biscuits and sausage gravy.  It reminds me of opening day of fishing season when we’d be treated to SOS for an early breakfast.

For Easter, I grilled a turkey breast and wrote about it here:
http://www.cheap-bastid-cooks.com/grilled-turkey-breast/

I justified cooking a turkey breast on the grill based on the $.99 a pound special that Target had going on turkey breast  Naw, what I really, really wanted was mashed potatoes and gravy.  A mountain of mashed potatoes with a liquid avalanche of thick, tasty gravy oozing down the sides.

It just takes a few minutes—less than the time you need to let your turkey breast or pork or beef roast rest prior to eating.  And if you do that, you won’t be tempted to cut into your meat too soon and drain all those terrific juices that a being absorbed back into the meat.

So here’s how Cheap Bastid/Mr. Gravy does it:

1on the grill

Prep your meat, put it on a rack in the pan (or 6 inch lengths of carrot and celery) and add about 2 cups of broth.

 2pan juices and fat

When the breast is done, put it on a cutting board to rest and start your gravy.  Pour off the liquid into a fat separator or into a bowl.

3making roux

Make a roux. Put a pan on the stove, set to medium and add about 3 tablespoons of the fat from the breast.  Then add an equal amount of flour and start to whisk.

4roux

The roux will start to come together, keep whisking.

broth croppedAdd the rest of the pan drippings.  Then add about a cup to cup and a half of broth (or water or milk if you don’t have broth).

  5gravy

I used broth but added about a quarter cup of milk at the end to make it smoother in texture and taste.

6turkey and gravy 2

This tasted fantastic!  Yeah, it looks like “Thanksgiving” but who said you can’t have turkey at Easter?

Gravy.  It’s what makes mashed ‘taters worthwhile.  Cheap Bastid is still a “gravy sopper” and proud of it!  And it’s cheap if you make it yourself.

That's the Cheap Bastid Way:  Eat Good. Eat Cheap. Be Grateful!

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good gravy, foodie tuesday

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Comments

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Mouthwatering. I'm drooling like my mastiff. Not a pretty sight.

R.
VCorso--it's goofy, but that happens a lot of times when I write about food--especially the simpler foods like gravy.
I could eat turkey dinner anytime and your's looks wonderful./r
I have to wait for photos to download.
I was outside Hanoi, Vietnam in 1990.
I recall watching one poor duck bleed.
The beautiful peasants sacrificed a pet?
It was a dead duck!
The blood was saved.
It was hot duck gravy.

You thing that was gross?
My eldest son was served:
One pumping snake heart.

The cooks offered it to me.
I was generous, and hungry?

I said . . .
Mu son would love that heart.
It's in a video. Pumping heart.
He used bamboo chop sticks.
`
I took both sons with Kim Doan.
That was during the Bush Reign.
`
"Speaking roughly to your little boy,

And beat him when he sneezes:

He only does it to annoy,

Because he knows it teases."
`
(in which the cook and the baby sang)
I'm recalling
blogger`libbyliberal's pepper spray.
`
Wow! wow! wow!

(Alice's Adventure in Wonderland) gads
This joint is too much inspiration and fun.
I was gonna wash clothes and pack stuffs.
`
Walter Blevins
Don't add packet of 'Wendy's' stolen pepper.
Christine--us too! And now, I have an entire "lobe" of turkey breast leftover for shepard's pie, "a la king", sandwiches or whatever--and a carcass perfect for soup and stock. $8 for a 7 1/2 lb turkey breast that will give us at least 3 if not 4 meals. That's Cheap!
Art--thanks. and I have many Wendy's pepper packs--it takes about 20 of them to make the seasoning for a turkey breast.
Walt, now that's just not fair. I live alone and that turkey breast would take me a month to eat... still I do love sopping gravy, especially with a warm yeast roll, fresh from the oven.
jMac--2 words my friend--"freezer bags". I've got a whole 2nd lobe in the fridge and the entire carcass in the freezer for when I'm ready to make either soup or stock or both.
America's Test Kitchen taste-test pre-made, jarred gravies. Their conclusion: They were all bad!!! LOL. They did the same for frozen pies. None were worth buying. When I make soup, I always add leftover gravy. And OMG, sausage and gravy and biscuits . . . I could live on it.
We had biscuits and homemade syrup at my grandma's home. The syrup was so stick it wouldn't run off the spoon and sweet and man o' man, good eatin'.
Gary--thanks. looks like I have to re-post on sausage gravy and biscuits!

ScanMan--it don't get no better'n that, does it?
Great post.

IMHO gravy from drippings "on the fly" is a vital skill for anyone who cooks and likes meat.

I would warn novices that this takes a little practice. However, the gravy will be better than the canned/bottled stuff even on your first try, soince cooking the roux guarantees no lumps.

P.S. I'd like to see your best shot at pork chops sometime.
Steve--thanks. and I have a series of photos of floured and pan fried pork that I just haven't written up. It was a single dredge rather than a "chicken fried" approach using boneless loin chops. I guess I'll have to write it up soon.
Steve--and you're right, pan gravy is simple with just a bit of practice. Sometimes I still "chicken out" and dump too much flour into the roux. The way to avoid that with confidence is just to know that if the gravy comes out a bit too thin you can always do a real quick "cornstarch slurry", and you have to know that when it comes off the stove, it'll thicken a bit on its own as it cools a bit.
Oooooo, rated for turkey and mash potatoes and gravy!! NUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMY!!! :)
Tink--the only problem I see with the homemade gravy is that you'd want it slathered on you balls so you could like it off yourself.
I like the idea of Thanksgiving at Easter, very appropriate! I eat vegetarian gravy these days, and I miss the kind of my childhood and milk gravy and red-eye gravy. I haven't been able to make those palatable without meat.
Bellwether--well, you can use canola or corn oil rather than animal fat and go a bit in the direction of the red-eye gravy and use a bit of coffee to get color and richness. That might get you closer to what you're looking for. Thanks for the comment.
Hey Walter you're clearly buying your chicken stock at the same place as me! For beef gravy, I always use a British product call Bisto. You can get it at Fresh & Easy for sure, and also some of the chain supermarkets. It's a brown powder you make into a paste and combine with the juices from the roast. Stir like crazy or it makes mega lumps!
GeeBee--thanks, but for beef gravy I use pan drippings too, and/or the "stock-cicles" I have in my freezer. The only "powder" I'll put into gravy is flour.
Indeed, what else could make mashed potatoes worthwhile if not gravey. Though gravy....brown or cream...are both good, my personal favorite is what we call White gravey, made from flour, milk and simple salt and pepper. My mother made it for us kids our whole life and it is the taste of that gravey which I judge all others against.
Dad had this thing...he judged how good a biscuit was by how well it held up to a good Gravey sopping.

I remember some days when all we had for dinner was those biscuits and that gravey and I thought I was eating like a king.

Thanks for the memories, my friend.
David--I make lots and lots of "white gravy" (of course it's usually got sausage in it). I agree with you, there's nothing better. Tonight, we're having "turkey a la king" and I'm going to try a slightly different biscuit recipe with some yeast in it and letting it rise a bit so that it "tolerates" the gravy a bit better.
There is nothing like a good gravy made from scratch. I agree that you have to have a little milk in it...and now I want some!!
Buffy--thanks. Geesh, I hadn't looked at this in a couple of days and it immediately got my mouth watering too!
Wow Walter..
Is there a take out window??
Or do you deliver...
smiling away....
Gravy and mashed potatoes...
Ummm this looks good...
I am a gravy man all the way and enjoy anything with gravy. Bravo !
.........(¯`v´¯) (¯`v´¯)
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............... *•.¸.•* ♥⋆★•❥ Thanx & Smiles (ツ) & ♥ L☼√Ξ ☼ ♥
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I had to take a peek. I'm the gravy making Queen! You done good. :)