My favorite Make Ahead Turkey Gravy

I'm sitting here writing to you while my husband takes the kids to school after a snow day yesterday and school delay this morning.  I just made part of this recipe and am writing it up for you now.  I wonder if this is how people feel with all kids in school?!  I may even drink hot coffee right now, do Pilates, shower, paint, work on my business, blog some more...  Just kidding.  They'll be back before I know it but I did want to pop on here real quick and get this to you.

I made this recipe a couple years ago and have thought of it since as my favorite.  What's turkey without gravy?  This recipe packs a lot of flavor and you know I love how I can make most of it ahead! 

I don't have time to share with you recipes I don't love, and I don't think you have time to read about a recipe that I then write, "Meh, it was okay."  This one is a winner- but then again when have we met a recipe by Ina we didn't like?!

The best part about this is the starter can be made up to a week ahead, or frozen for 3 months!  I doubled the recipe because we'll have 2 turkey's tomorrow, but if you wanted you could make some even for Christmas now and put it in the freezer!  This recipe hails from Ina's Make it Ahead Cookbook!

Ingredient's You'll Need for 4 cups or 1 roasted Turkey
  • 6 tablesoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large red onion, halved and sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, halved
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons brandy (or Cognac but we used Brandy)
  • 10 large sage leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 cup dry white wine such as Pinot Grigio
How to Make it-
  1. Melt the butter and cook it with the onion and garlic for 15-20 minutes
  2. Add the flour and stir for a good minute constantly, then pour in the broth, Brandy, sage, and bay leaf.  Add in 2 teaspoons kosher salt (unless your stock is really salty) and 1 teaspoon black pepper.  It sounds like a lot so you can add less and add more later as you taste it.
  3. Allow the starter to come to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes.   
  4. Set it off the heat for an hour and then pour the gravy through a mesh strainer and discard the solids.  Save the starter and refridgerate it until you're ready to use it.
  5. Once the turkey it out of the roasting pan and resting, add 1 cup of the wine, bring to a boil and then simmer for 2 minutes scraping up the bits.  
  6. Next add to the pan the gravy starter and whisk it to incorporate then heat for about 5 minutes.  I'm going to do this step as Benjamin is carving the turkey!
  7. Taste it for seasoning and serve hot!
We're trying out Ina's make ahead turkey this year too, so I'll let you know how that goes!  Happy cooking!

My Mom's Winter Soup

With the holiday's coming up and our freezer recently being depleted, it was time to restock.  When it comes to freezer meals and winter time I want things that are going to be warm, tasty, and good for the entire family.  Last week I went into the grocery store with a big cookbook, started adding items to my cart, and then ended up putting many of them away.  Why?  I realized this year I don't want to stock it with lots of heavy meals because all the pasta doesn't make us feel too great, and my son has requested I never ever ever make Lasagna again.  As a family we all don't do well with heavy dairy meals which makes freezer meals a bit more challenging. 

And so, with 12 pounds of ground beef in hand from my grocery trip, I knew I needed to make something for the whole family that was healthy, freezer friendly, and dairy free.  My Mom's Winter Soup was a no-brainer yet one that I haven't made much myself because it's been her go-to for years.  Friends from high school have had this and it hails from one of those plastic  spiral-bound cookbooks that may be around your home too. Remember a time before Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook threads when people submitted recipes and then they were compiled in a book?  This is a recipe from one of those!

The ingredients for this recipe are all things you likely have on hand.  They're budget friendly and what I love is that it's one of those meals where you're getting everything you need in one soup. You could absolutely serve it with a salad and some bread, or keep it simple and just eat this.  The broth is what's going to have you wanting more so definitely don't skip the wine!

I made a double batch, but here's the recipe for a single batch that serves 6.

Ingredient's You'll Need: 
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup diced potatoes
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen green beans (I used fresh!)
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil (I used oregano and it was still delicious!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  1. In a large dutch oven melt the butter and cook the onion with some salt and pepper until it sweats.  If you double the recipe learn from me and just use 2 dutch ovens!
  2. Add the beef and garlic and brown the meat with some more salt and pepper.  Once it's browned add in the broth, tomatoes, potatoes, celery, carrots, green beans, wine, basil and thyme.  Simmer for 1 hour.  Check your seasoning and add more salt and pepper as needed! 
How easy was that?!  Yes I have Ina Garten's voice in my head whenever I type that.  I hope you love this soup as much as we do!