23 Dec 2011

It's more faff than Bisto, but Jamie's Get Ahead Gravy's worth the effort

So, 23rd December, and I've started the gravy for the big day. This may seem extreme, but it's to save me the hassle of it on Christmas Day and to make sure I serve up the best gravy of the year.
I'm making Jamie Oliver's Get Ahead Gravy. As far as I'm concerned, Jamie Oliver (my fondue disaster not withstanding) should be knighted in the New Year's Honours and then made Prime Minister, or perhaps King. Or both.
Here are the ingredients:
• 2 celery sticks, trimmed and roughly chopped • 2 carrots, roughly sliced • 2 onions, peeled and quartered • 5 fresh bay leaves • 5 fresh sage leaves • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary • 2 star anise • 2 rashers of smoked streaky bacon, the best quality you can afford • 8 chicken wings • olive oil • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper •
4 tablespoons plain flour • optional: 60ml sherry or port • 2 heaped dessertspoons cranberry sauce, for finishing.
How I did my best impression of the great J.O 
So first, I put all the staring ingredients (see above) in a roasting pan, added some fabulous olive oil that we brought back from Tuscany this year, then some salt and pepper. I put it in the oven for an hour at 200c.

Put all the starting ingredients into a big roasting pan
When I got it out, it was all golden. I got a non-scratch masher as Jamie instructs, and mashed it all up hard.

When they come out of the oven, mash them up
I scraped the bottom to make sure it was all mixed in. Then I added two tablespoons of flour bit by bit and made sure it was all stirred in well.

Scrape the bottom of the pan
Then I added two litres of hot water and boiled for ten minutes, then simmered for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add 2 litres of water, then boil for 10 mins and simmer for 25mins
After than I added a glug of port. This is optional.

Add port if desired. I desire very much.
Then sieve. I first sieved in a colander as my sieve is quite small. This got rid of most of the mashed up ingredients. Then I strained it again in my sieve into a freezer box, let it cool and popped it in the freezer until Sunday.

Strain it, put it in a freezer box and freeze until the big day.
On Sunday I will get it out first thing, defrost it and put it in a pan. When the turkey is done, Jamie says to add 2 large dessertspoons of cranberry sauce (which is good as there's always too much) and the skimmed juices from the turkey.
Decant into a gravy boat, and there you have it, Jamie Oliver's Get Ahead Gravy. It's a lot more faff than Bisto gravy granules, but it's Christmas!
And click here for the link again to the full set of instructions from the Jamie Oliver website
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