It’s getting close! Just one week left to finalise your vegetarian Christmas dinner menu. It’s strange, I wouldn’t put so much thought into one meal on any of the other 364 days of the year, but somehow Christmas dinner takes weeks of thought and preparation.
This is a really simple gravy recipe, but it’s super tasty, and helps to pull together all the different dishes on your plate into a proper Christmas dinner. It starts just like a lot of other recipes, with sautéed onions and garlic. I added some mushrooms too, for extra flavour. Make sure you chop everything really, really small – I personally do like my gravy to have a little texture, but you don’t want it to be too lumpy. Alternatively, if you want a really smooth gravy, you could blend the whole lot at the end.
The gravy is thickened up with a roux of butter and flour. Then, it’s time for the secret ingredient that adds that all-important richness: Marmite! With no meat juices allowed in our vegetarian gravy, it’s important to think outside the box, and Marmite adds a deep saltiness (not to mention that lovely dark brown colour!).
If you’ve ever tried Marmite, you’ll know that this stuff is strong – so you only need a small spoonful to add heaps of flavour. If you can’t find Marmite in the shops where you live, I’d definitely recommend buying some online – it’s so versatile (I’m forever adding it to stews and casseroles), and one jar will last you a really long time. It’s also a really good source of vitamin B12, which is great for vegans, as it’s otherwise mostly found in animal products.
Once you’ve added your Marmite, it’s just a case of adding some liquid and simmering your homemade gravy until it reaches your desired consistency (I like mine quite thick!), then serving it up with a great roast dinner. FYI, it went very, very well with the cheesy carrot nut roast I posted the other day…
The best homemade vegetarian gravy
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 red onion, finely diced
- ~ 6 mushrooms, finely diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp butter or dairy-free spread
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 1/3 tbsp Marmite or Vegemite
- 750 ml hot water (~ 3 cups) - or veggie cooking water
- 1 tsp honey or agave nectar
- 1/4 tsp dried sage
- Black pepper
- Heat the oil in a frying pan, and add the finely diced onion, mushrooms and garlic. Cook over a medium-low heat for at least 5 minutes, until soft and fragrant.
- Push the vegetables to the outside of the pan, and add the butter to the middle. Allow it to melt, then add the flour, and mix to combine. Add the Marmite, and mix well, incorporating the vegetables back into the mixture.
- Add the hot water (or any leftover water you might have from cooking vegetables - as long as it's unsalted), honey, sage, and plenty of black pepper. Mix well, and bring to a simmer. Cook for at least 5 minutes, or however long it takes to reach your desired consistency (I like mine fairly thick).
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose.