Gravy versus Wine Sauce

Anyone who has read some of my recipe stories have likely seen I have strong opinions of gravy and wine sauce. I like both a lot, but I think if you’re making ” gravy ” the wine stays in the bottle. When I make a wine sauce it’s just that a wine sauce. Wine sauces are made a way differently than a gravy. Adding wine to a gravy doesn’t make it a gravy or a wine sauce. It makes a hybrid that is a lesser product than a really good gravy and a really good wine sauce.

When I make a roast, be it beef, pork, chicken, or, turkey I make gravy. The wine maybe on the table but it’s never in my gravy. I am proud of the gravy I make, my biggest critic’s make comments about it like they would put it in a cup and drink it. Those kind of comments tell me I made a good gravy. Other than a milk gravy I like my gravies to have a brown color. That is just my personal preference. To achieve that I use Kitchen Banquet, which is a browning product not a flavouring agent. Making a good gravy has a few key things you need to do. You need to cook the roast at a temperature that causes the fat in the pan to brown. The next key thing you need to do is taste it to insure it’s seasoned properly. All gravies need to be simmered for at least 20 minutes. Miss especially the browning of the fat in the pan, then the gravy won’t be very good. I find making gravy easy, but I admit I have had a lot of practice and a very good teacher, my mother.

Wine sauces are a quick pan sauce that I use when I cook certain lean meats in a frying pan. If I am using olive oil or butter to fry it in that is the perfect vehicle to have a quick wine sauce. They are simple to make and usually have a few things added to the pan before the wine. Things like garlic, parsley, shallots, chives, green onions, capers, I have even added chopped dill pickles. Wine sauces are very good and very easy to make, and have there uses, and should be used for the right application.

I watch a lot of cooking shows and sometimes a very good memory is a curse. I have a lot of antique cookbooks l and have read them all, which is another of the curses I bare. This week I have seen about a dozen recipes on tv that I recognized and being a goofball I looked in the cookbooks that I remembered them being in. The only real change the tv chef made was they put wine in it. This made me realize something that has happened in how this generation, for some reason, thinks that wine is needed to make a recipe taste good. Personally I think that is totally wrong, wine has its place, but only a very limited place in what we cook. Some of the recipes I seen this week where wine was used would of been a better meal without the wine. If you start with a product that will have a great taste don’t hide it by adding wine. Celebrate the taste and enjoy it as it was meant to taste!

About Graham Stewart

This is me on a bad day.
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