So a week or so ago I posted a recipe for Rosemary Butter Chicken and to serve with it I made a super simple Cider & Stilton Gravy. A Sunday Roast just isn’t correct without a decent gravy in my opinion (bad gravy should be a punishable offence) so to save anyone some jail time, here’s a good recipe.
It’s a strong, heady twist from the usual gravy route, but is still so rooted in the essence of traditional gravy it’s a welcomed addition to the roast roster. The base is built around a dry cider roux which gives the gravy a really full rounded body but then we’re lacing the gravy with some Stilton (yes, cheese in a gravy – trust me) which gives the gravy such a robust strength without ever complicating the flavours of the meal.
Now of course, this recipe is constructed under the assumption you’ve made a chicken so I do apologise if you are making a roast beef Sunday dinner, but it’s a very permissive recipe and you could swap the stock as you see fit – the method would stay the same.
In my recipe for Rosemary Butter Chicken I didn’t include the addition of vegetables to the roasting tin because I was only focusing on meat, not the gravy (and the veg is for the gravy) so let’s assume you are roasting the chicken from that particular recipe, in which case before the bird goes in the oven throw some roughly chopped carrots and onions in the pan.
After the birds cooking time and you’ve just taken it out of the oven and put it to one side to rest, we can get to gravy’ing.
Boil some water in the kettle. Take your roasting tin of cooked onions and carrots and put them on a medium heat on the hob (make sure your tray can sustain direct heat! A tin one will be fine).
Fry the veg for a few seconds and once the chicken fat starts sizzling, throw in a tablespoon of plain flour and stir into the veg so that they all clump together. Now using your hand, scrunch a chicken stock cube over the pan and mix in.
Pour over a can of dry cider (it’ll fizz up in the pan, but don’t worry – that’s low key my favourite part). Once the cider turns the veg into what can only be described as a pasty mush, grab a whisk and start whisking until the gravy starts to thicken a little and take on a more ‘liquid’ texture.
Continue whisking until the gravy starts to resemble the above picture – don’t worry about the lumps of vegetables getting in the way of your smoothness, they’re going soon.
Whenever the gravy feels it’s getting a little too thick, pour in a splash of hot water from the kettle (don’t worry about diluting flavour because you’ve already put a stock cube in).
Now the champion – crumble in about a fist sized piece of Stilton (or any blue cheese) and continue to whisk until it all melts in. This will start to smell incredible and it’ll take a lot of voluntary self restraint not to put your face in the pan.
Once the cheese has melted, place a sieve over a big bowl or jug and just before you’re ready to serve, tip the contents of the pan into the sieve and using the back of a spoon, push the gravy through it.
Now this cheesy, boozy, rich ‘I will make this again’ gravy is ready to serve whenever you are. I even purposefully did not serve all of the gravy because I retained a small cupful for myself to heat up later to literally dip bread into it as if it was a soup. It’s that good.
Have a good Sunday!