Cranberry-Orange Relish and Mushroom Gravy

Cranberry-Orange Relish and Mushroom Gravy

I usually make my cranberry relish and gravy three days prior to Thanksgiving. (If I didn’t get around to freezing Make-Ahead Gravy.) The flavors only improve and that last-minute turkey trot chaos is somewhat mitigated.

I begin with the relish because it’s a cinch to make. I’ve had delicious cooked cranberry relishes and chutneys but I prefer this uncooked, fresh tasting, easy version. A friend just told me he adds Grand Marnier to his relish; I’m going to separate dish and put Grand Marnier in one and leave the other without.

Gravy requires a bit more finesse. There are countless variations of make-ahead gravy, for good reason. No one wants to struggle with getting the lumps out of gravy while the turkey grows cold. Yet nothing is better than gravy made with the last-minute turkey drippings.

My recipe proposes a truce between make-ahead gravy and last-minute gravy. I make the gravy “base” in advance and whisk in the drippings and mushrooms right before serving.

There is great controversy surrounding giblets. I come from a giblet-loving stock of folks. We love giblets in our gravy so much, we’ve nicknamed a favorite niece “Giblet”. I have learned that not everyone shares this predilection for the innards so I serve chopped giblets on the side.

One final warning: Omit the bay leaf if you remember the jar from last year, or worse, from a previous marriage.

Recipe: Mushroom Gravy

Ingredients

  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 rib celery, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 small onion or two leeks, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups (16 ounces) chicken or beef stock (or combination)*
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh minced rosemary
  • 5 whole black peppercorns
  • 10 ounces fresh shiitake or button mushrooms, or combination of both
  • Pan drippings from turkey

Instructions

  1. In food processor, pulse carrot until chopped into small pieces but not puréed. Remove and reserve. Repeat the process with celery and onions or leeks.
  2. Heat 1/4 cup butter in large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. When foaming subsides, add vegetables and sauté with a pinch of kosher salt, stirring frequently until softened and well browned, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to medium.
  3. Stir in flour and cook, whisking constantly, until lightly browned and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Whisking constantly, gradually add chicken or beef stock. Bring to boil, removing any small burnt bits that may form on pan. Reduce heat to medium-low and add bay leaf, rosemary and peppercorns. Simmer, stirring occasionally until thickened and reduced to 3 cups, about 20 minutes.
  4. Strain gravy through fine-mesh strainer into sauce pan, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids. Season to taste with kosher salt and pepper. (Recipe may be made up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated, tightly covered, at this point.)
  5. Remove woody stems from mushrooms and wipe clean. Melt remaining tablespoon of butter in a sauté pan and cook mushrooms, with a pinch of kosher salt, about 4 minutes or until just tender and fragrant.
  6. Reheat gravy, if refrigerated, whisk in turkey pan juices, stir in mushrooms and serve.

*Turkey wings are available at most groceries well in advance of Thanksgiving. You may prefer to make homemade stock for the gravy. If so, roast 4 turkey wings in a 400˚ oven with onions on top 60 to 90 minutes until golden brown. Place in stock pot with dripping and add at least 6 cups of water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 1 1/2 hours. Strain before using as stock.

Number of servings (yield): 6

Copyright © Peggy Lampman’s dinnerFeed.

Recipe: Cranberry-Orange Relish

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-sized orange, washed
  • 1 bag (12 ounces) fresh cranberries, washed
  • 1 cup, or more, sugar
  • Dash ground cloves
  • Dash ground ginger (or 1 tablespoon crystallized ginger, chopped)
  • Grand Marnier (optional)
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Instructions

  1. Slice off top and bottom stem of oranges. Cut the orange into 8 sections, leaving the peel on. Discard any seeds. Place half the cranberries and half the oranges in a food processor. Add the 1 cup of sugar, ginger and clove. Process until puréed. Transfer to a container. Add remaining cranberries and oranges to processor bowl. Pulse until coarsely chopped; do not purée. Stir into cranberry mixture.
  2.  Taste and adjust seasonings, adding Grand Marnier to taste, if using. (Recipe may be made up to 3-4 days in advance and refrigerated, tightly wrapped, at this point.)
  3. Add the chopped nuts, if using, just prior to serving.

Number of servings (yield): 6

Copyright © Peggy Lampman’s dinnerFeed.

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