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Some of you may already know about my dislike for the standard roast turkey, an often juice-less and/or gamey bite of bird that requires a small vat of gravy to make it palatable. Unless that turkey comes smoked, brined, deep-fried, or Judy-fied, I’ll take a roasted lamb over a roasted turkey any day, particularly the holi-days.
I say that as prelude to this: I don’t feel a ton of sympathy for vegetarians during the turkey-heavy holidays. Frankly, they’re not missing much, particularly if their families produced the same dried-out birds mine did over the years. My gaze becomes much more sympathetic, however, when I think about gravy, that savory soup of pan-drippings, thickener, seasonings, and, if you’re lucky, giblets. How you can eat mashed potatoes without that brown gold is beyond my limited imagination.
There are, of course, a number of good veg-friendly gravies out there, like this one. This recipe includes a number of strong flavoring agents, including soy sauce, sage, and both garlic and onions, those two delicious bulbs of the allium family. The only strange thing about the recipe its is lack of specificity over “broth.” I’d recommend a mushroom broth, which will give you a deep, woodsy flavor.
All together, I think the gravy will go a long way toward making you forget about your heathen, meat-eating brothers and sisters and cousins — and how much more fun they’re having at the dinner table than you.