Grim Gravy making with Nigella and Delia…

I watched the delightful Nigella whipping up her easy-as-blinking Christmas Lunch over the weekend and felt greatly irritated that I can’t even master the art of gravy making, let alone the complete meal. 

It’s so bad that a “friend” has on two occasions brought along their own gravy to one of my dinner functions.  The first time, a packet of gravy requiring only boiling water to complete was slipped into my kitchen for use.  While the second was more blatant, I was handed a pot of hot, fresh from the stove gravy as same “friend” crossed the threshold.

So after watching the ever-smiling Nigella and her simple gravy making method I thought I’d give it a go.  I figured if she could smile her way through it, I could grin my way through it.  But not having her recipe book, and only vaguely remembering her ingredients I decided to double check these, along with the method in Delia Smith’s book.  Which I duly did.

I was thrilled to find I had the giblets, carrot, onion, water, fresh herbs and the required large enough pot at hand, to make the stock.  I chucked everything in together and simmered for 2 hours.  The smell permeating the house was divine, family members were impressed.  

I took my completed stock, added my roast meat juices, a dollop of butter, some Worcestershire sauce, and tasted.  It was disgusting!  Bland, wishy-washy, whatever you want to call it, it was foul.  I swear, if I hadn’t been in the kitchen the whole time, I would have accused my husband of replacing my pot with something from the river.

I reached for the red wine, gravy browning, salt and pepper, not to mention a tissue to mop my brow, before it began to taste even vaguely like a gravy. 

What a letdown, I was gutted.  Nigella and Delia must surely have left out some or other ingredient when compiling their books and or TV shows, or they too ended up with a foul liquid and didn’t have the heart to spit it out and reach for a packet.

Note to self:  bulk-buy readymade gravy packs then lie through my teeth that yes I did make it and no you can’t have the recipe…it’s a family secret after all!

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4 thoughts on “Grim Gravy making with Nigella and Delia…

  1. Ashleigh_Rose

    LOL! What a mission and a half šŸ˜‰ I’ve always followed my mom’s technique in that she drains most of the oil off the roasting juices, leaving a bit behind with the meaty bits, and adds some Bisto and brown onion soup to thicken it. And even meat stock. And it always tastes scrumptious. Nigella’s way just sounds way too complicated – so don’t stress šŸ˜‰

  2. ajhart

    easiest method ever: pour a few tablespoons of oil around the edge of the roasting tin and mix in as much flour to a paste BEFORE you start roasting. During the cooking time it browns and absorbs excess meat juices. After you remove the meat/chicken, pour off extra fat, then put back on top of the stove on a high heat. Add the relevant stock and stir to loosen all the brown bits, then stir as it thickens. Taste – if it needs more salt add a few drop of soy sauce (adds salt and colour), if too salty add a teaspoon of chutney or apricot jam.

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