I've made gravy at least a dozen times, and, no matter how good at it I think I am, it turns out lumpy every few times. What gives? Luckily, I've learned a thing or two about fixing it because, honestly, who has the time to start over? Preparing dinner for guests at the holidays is stressful enough without having to worry about the gravy.
Gravy consists of three main ingredients — flour, fat from meat and liquid. Of course, you can add sliced mushrooms and season it as you choose, but basic gravy is just those three items. The flour is what causes it to become lumpy and, unfortunately, leaving it as-is can ruin the meal. Who wants to be biting into chunks of flour? Not me!
Always make sure you add in the flour slowly. Whisk the gravy often, especially as you're adding in the flour. Some recipes state that it's best to mix the flour with water (or another liquid base) before adding to the gravy. This allows it to start dissolving before being added to the gravy, thus reducing the chances of clumps forming.
So maybe you slowly added in the flour but still wound up with lumps (hey, it happens). Now what?
Whisk, whisk, whisk. Put your muscles to the test by whisking that gravy as much as you possibly can. This helps break up the bigger chunks and helps smooth out the gravy.
Use a strainer. Before serving the gravy, pour it through a mesh strainer to separate out the clumps. As long as there aren't too many floury clumps, the flavor won't be affected.
Puree it. You can carefully put the gravy in a food processor or blender to break up any of the chunks. Be very careful and always make sure the lid is on tight since you're dealing with hot liquid.
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