The BEST Gluten-Free (and Dairy-Free) Gravy Secret
This is not a “recipe” so much as it is simply a secret: the secret to making a gluten-free gravy taste as good as (if not better) than it’s traditional roux-based buddies. To be honest, I’m still shocked that this actually worked. You’ll need a heavy-duty blender, like a Vitamix or a Blendtec. And you’ll need pan drippings from whatever protein you roasted. I made this discovery after roasting a turkey, so I'll be referring to that here and there, but I've used this technique successfully with chicken, pork, and prime rib, and I am not joking when I say that this gravy is SO good, you will want to slather it all over your body (that is, if you didn't already gulp it down with a straw).
The secret is -- are you ready? -- cashew cream. That’s it. I stumbled upon cashew cream as I’ve had to deal with a recent dairy intolerance over the past year, and through trial and error, discovered that it’s very effective at thickening sauces and soups. So, when presented with the challenge of producing a Whole30 gravy, I debated arrowroot powder (per the interwebs) or experiment on my own with cashew cream. I am SO glad I went with the experiment.
Sanity-Saving Tip: Go with the flow! There are too many variables to give you a precise gravy recipe — sometimes the protein produces plenty of drippings, and other times, not so much. Just feel it out, taste as you go, and trust that everything will work out deliciously.
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup unsalted cashews (preferably raw)
- Drippings from your roasted protein (turkey, chicken, pork, beef, etc)
- Stock or bone broth
- Salt and pepper
- Heavy duty blender, like a Vitamix
When you are ready to make your gravy (after your roast has come out of the oven), start making your cashew cream. Add water and cashews to the blender, and blend on high until creamy and smooth. Remove large solids from the drippings (if any). Over medium-low heat, add some stock or bone broth to your drippings, and stir. Then, start whisking in your cashew cream, a little bit a time. It will start to thicken up as the cashew cream heats up. Adding a little at a time ensures that you control the flavor and thickness. Taste as you go. I ended up using all of the cashew cream I made (for reference, my turkey was about 14 pounds). Add salt and pepper to taste. Once the gravy has reached the desired thickness, remove from heat and serve.
Leftovers will keep well in the fridge. Just add a tiny bit of stock or broth when you reheat it to loosen the gravy up a bit.