4 Exceptional Ways to Use Leftover Gravy
As a youngster, I was never a big gravy lover. My mother was a wonderful cook, but her gravy was very thick and often low on flavor. Not always, but often.
As I got older and started learning to cook, I decided it was time to revisit gravy. And I discovered what I'd been missing. Gravy could be highly flavorful, and doesn't need to be alarmingly thick. Beautiful, concentrated stock thickened just enough with a roux made either with butter — or, even better, the fat from whatever meat I was cooking — transformed beige paste into a delicious sauce. And I finally figured out what had made the gravies of my childhood forgettable… milk. Instead of delicious stock, the liquid in my mother's gravies was milk. After this discovery, I never looked back. Gravy made a welcome return to my table.
The problem with this newfound love was that I typically made way too much. And because I don't love presenting the same meal a second time, just warmed up, I had to do something interesting with all of that gravy.
I soon realized that this was not a problem at all. Even after the first meal, with deeply browned flavorful gravy enhancing (but not overwhelming) the meat on the plate, I started finding all sorts of ways to utilize the copious amounts of gravy I had made.
One of my first experiments was soup. I love creamed soups. But even for someone like me, who is not a believer in low-fat anything, the large amounts of cream required in most recipes seemed a little over the top. Enter the gravy. A small amount, whisked into the liquid part of your soup will thicken, and flavor, the whole pot. And then, if you want, a splash of cream gives you all the richness you could want.
I knew I was on to something.
Related: Our Top 20 Creamy Soup Recipes
Sauce Up Your Hash
Hash was my next test. I could eat hash made from celery, carrots, onions, potatoes, and whatever cooked meat was staring at me from the fridge just about any day of the week. So, on one of those days, I added a few tablespoons of gravy at the end. The added body, richness, and flavor were incredible.
Upgrade Other Leftovers
One year post-Thanksgiving, I decided to make mashed potato cakes. They were pretty good on their own, but saucing them with some gravy (that I thinned out with a little turkey stock) made it an incredibly decadent treat. And honestly, it didn't taste at all like… leftovers.
Make a Mouthwatering Pasta
And, as for the crowning glory, I made some pasta and sauced it with minced cooked turkey, a few tablespoons of my homemade duxelles from the freezer, turkey stock, and (you guessed it) turkey gravy. It was so deeply flavored and rich, that we had a hard time not eating the whole pot in one sitting.
I'm pretty sure you'll come up with even better ideas than I have. So try looking at gravy as an ingredient instead of just a sauce. And you may end up with the same "problem" I have… you'll be making double batches of gravy all the time!