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Also, while I'm I'm at it, what about beef stew without wine? I'm under 21 and unable to get a hold of any (its infuriating). Any wine-less, hearty stews out there in the primal world?
One other thought -- and I have no idea what the ingredients are, but there are cooking sherries and such that you could at least investigate. Or maybe you could borrow a 1/4 c of wine from the neighbor along with the flour...
Also garage sales, craigslist and birthday gifts...
Another thought -- you might find someone in your family has a crockpot or microwave just taking up space and might be willing to let you borrow indefinitely.
Also, if you frequent any kind of big box or bargain store (walmart, target, costco, BJs, etc.), keep an eye out for deals.
I have a 2.5q crockpot (in case you don't know, that's small, I have to halve most crockpot recipes, but it was PERFECT for college) that I got at Kmart (I think) for $9.99, and that wasn't even a sale price... if I'd bought it on black friday or the day after christmas, I could've gotten it for $3... of course that was 10+ years ago, but I've seen similar deals more recently.
some great ideas for thickening on here!
one trick I've used that I don't see is: cream cheese. clearly only if you "do" dairy... I've used it for delectable cream sauces, but it would also work for a creamy gravy... by the time the cheese melts and incorporates into whatever you're making, the sauce/gravy will be nice and thick and creamy
When I made my thanksgiving gravy Ij watched a Gordon Ramsey video online. He made his gravy thicker with fresh tomatoes. It also included cooked bacon, so obviously it was delicious.
I just nade a thick sauce for my roast fuck by using stick blender to puree the onions and pears I roasted duck with. Arrowroot suggestion good one. Also, for best flavour if you have lots of juices is to reduce them down to gravy thickness. You can do a pot roast in a deep oven pan on very low heat. But easier to thrift store a crockpot. And probably cheaper than an oven pan.
I use buckwheat flour for thickening stews. It tends to look a bit greyish but it tastes fine and at least it does the job of thickening. I found that rice flour was enough to cause a reaction in me, so I avoid it. I din't know about water chestnut powder though.
Puree onions and garlic. Heat lard, tallow or other fat in dish and add puree. Stir over medium heat until the onions are cooked and the fat begins to separate. It should sizzle gently. Add the meat to brown. Add water to almost cover, salt to taste and any vegetables, spices etc. Cover. Cook on low heat for two hours. Remove the lid and continue to cook until sauce is thick and meat is a rich, dark colour.
This is a really basic recipe that can be adapted to many cuisines throughout the work by the use of different vegetables, spices etc. Also, if using a lot of spice, it is often better to cook them in the cooked puree for a couple of minutes before adding the meat.
sorry if this is a dumb question - just blend raw onion and garlic, not cooked? what sort of ratio? ta
I had searched a long time for a thicker too, and have grown fond of Xanthan Gum powder:
gluten-free, can use in hot or cold liquids, and tasteless.
Xanthan gum also helps suspend solid particles, such as spices
and prevents oil separation by stabilizing the emulsion of things like a salad dressing.
You can find at most any health food store, and a little goes a VERY long way.
Gravy: remove the meat after pan cooking, and thicken the juices with just a teaspoon of xanthan (or less--start with 1/2 tsp.)
Presto! Instant gravy that doesn't get all gross & separated when refrigerated--stays a steady consistency.
Stealth use--add a little to egg salad (or any salad thing with mayo). It will give it a fluffier consistency
and keeps the salad a nice thick texture rather than getting runnier the longer it's stored.