If you read my Cheesy Cauliflower 'Mashed Potatoes' post, you know I'm a fan of the potato, and mashed potatoes in particular hold a special place in my heart. I can eat them hot, cold, in a casserole, as a meal all on their own, no gravy required.
My cavemen- all 4 of them- have higher standards than I do when it comes to mashed potatoes, and gravy is a prerequisite (seriously, you should have seen the abject horror on my husbands face the first time I served mashed potatoes without them swimming in a sea of gravy. The man was practically apoplectic and his head almost exploded).
I've searched around for a few paleo-friendly or primal gravy recipes, and I've found a couple of contenders. Easy Paleo Herb Gravy by Nom Nom Paleo is the one I am most eager to try. But since I found myself without the 30 minutes to simmer and soften the onions, I had to come up with something else, fast.
I've used arrowroot before, with good results, and I figured it would be a good fall back, but I just wasn't feeling the carb-heavy thickening agent at the time.
sidenote** out of curiosity I just took a time out and Google'd it. Looks like there's only 7g carbohydrates in a tablespoon of arrowroot flour/powder, and 1Tbs in 1 cup of chicken stock makes 1 cup of gravy, and you'd only have maybe 1/4 c on your mock mashed potatoes.
When I do the math, it's a little silly. Too bad I didn't think of that last night.**
Annnnywho. I have a great low-fat gravy recipe that uses canned mushrooms, Worcestershire, soy sauce, garlic powder, and water with some instant mashed potato flakes to make a gravy. On a blog post for paleo meatloaf, I found a recipe that used mushrooms as the thickener/binding agent for the meatloaf. Can you see where this is heading?
I decided to combine a couple different methodologies and see what I came up with..and it worked pretty well.
I had a can of mushrooms that I'd opened a day or so ago and they needed to be used up, so I tossed those in my saucepan with a little butter.
When they seemed to be browning a bit and were hot through, I dumped them in my food processor and pureed them to almost-liquid, then threw them back in the saucepan.
I added about 2 Tbs of heavy cream, a splash of fish sauce (for depth of flavor and salt) and the tiniest bit of honey, as well as a dash of garlic and onion powder, a couple grinds of black pepper and a pinch of thyme. Then I added about a cup of chicken stock (bone broth) and tasted, brought to a simmer, tasted again.
Seriously, this was delicious.
It still needed some thickening, so I turned to the cauliflower mashed potatoes and added about 1/4 cup of the puree- and then a couple tablespoons of the cauliflower/actual mashed potato mix (2 parts cauliflower puree, one part mashed potatoes, for the kiddos) just for good measure.
The taste was awesome. The color, well, it was a bland beige-ish, rather unappealing on the white cauliflower. But delicious, nonetheless.
So was it a success? Not enough of one for me to worry about writing out the recipe. But definitely something to keep in mind and to play with.