I sat next to a newly married lady this afternoon and she commented that she had difficulty making gravy without lumps. So I took a few minutes to give her some tips, but was quick to add that I've never had lumpy gravy so I couldn't truly empathize with her. LOL I'm so compassionate. I try hard. haha Smooth gravy is one of my passions! I LOVE making a nice bowl of creamy gravy that is smoother than a baby's bottom! A couple weeks ago, my girls got home before me from church (I was driving my church bus route) and when I walked in the door and looked at the dinner preparations going on (my girls are tremendous cooks) someone had already made the gravy!! How dare they?! I couldn't help myself, I looked at it, gave it a stir, tasted it..... haha. I think I even thickened it a bit more! I'm so bad! I just love making gravy!
There are several important things to remember when making gravy.
* Make sure the broth or base you intend to thicken, is boiling.
* Make sure the thickener you are using is well stirred with no lumps in it.
* Be sure to stir continually while you slowly pour your thickening into the gravy.
You can thicken your gravy 2 different ways: flour and water, or cornstarch and water.
If you use cornstarch, it is equal parts of cornstarch and cold water, mixed well with a fork or whisk. I like to use flour and water, that's just my personal preference. I use a Mason jelly jar, fill it half way with cold water, add 1/2 cup of flour, screw the lid on and give it several good hard shakes. When I take the lid off, I always check to make sure there are no lumps inside the jar to begin with. If there are, I fish them out with a fork.
I get my broth to the boiling point, and slowly drizzle in the flour thickening, continually stirring with my handy dandy whisk. Season it with salt and pepper and VOILA! PERFECT gravy!
Now perchance you have a disaster, don't toss your gravy and serve naked potatoes. YIKES! There are a couple ways to recover from the tragedy of LUMPY gravy. First, you can strain it through a wire mesh strainer. That would probably remove most, if not all of the lumps. If it's "really" lumpy, dump it in the blender and give it a good whirl! Or if you have one of those new fangled hand blenders, pop it in your pan of gravy and give it a good stir.
But whatever you do, DO NOT serve lumpy gravy!