Gravy is one of the simplest dishes on the Thanksgiving menu, however it is also one of the most important. It’s the gravy that adds so much of the flavor to all of the Thanksgiving dishes, so it is worth finding a perfect gravy recipe for the holiday table.
This Cider Gravy is bursting with flavor and can even be made ahead of time so you have one less thing to worry about on the day of the feast. If you make this gravy on the big day, you can always add drippings from the Turkey for some extra flavor. However, the apple cider and fresh sage in this gravy combine together to make your mashed potatoes and meat taste incredibly delicious with or without any turkey drippings.
The secret to Perfect Gravy without lumps is to start with a roux. In this recipe, whisking the flour into the melted butter forms the roux for the gravy. As you whisk, it will become a thick paste, almost the consistency of frosting.
Once you have the roux, you can slowly add in the remaining liquid while continuously whisking and it will thicken without lumps and clumps. The roux also deepens the flavor of the gravy, giving it a rich, toasted flavor.
In the final stages of the gravy process, after it has thickened, you can stir in fresh herbs for more flavor. I chose fresh sage for this Cider Gravy because its woody flavor is a perfect compliment to the sweet apple cider in the gravy. Likewise, sage is a great herb for Thanksgiving dishes because it is a strong aromatic herb that can cook for a long time without losing too much of its flavor.
Whether you decide to make this gravy ahead of time and reheat it just before the big meal, or you fit it into the last minute kitchen rush before your guests arrive for dinner, the best part is sitting down to eat. I don’t know about you, but I end up with gravy on almost everything on my plate. It just tastes so good!
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons butter or roasted turkey drippings
- 2 cups turkey or chicken stock
- 1 cup apple cider
- 2 teaspoons fresh sage, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- In a medium saucepan melt butter over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour and continue whisking until it becomes a thick paste. Add liquid 1/2 cup at a time, whisking until smooth before adding the next 1/2 cup.
- Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer and stir until thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in sage, salt, and pepper.