Butternut Squash Gravy

I Tried to make it fancy…Really.

I’ve seen a few vegetable thickened gravies around, but the problem was  either a vegetable I couldn’t eat or there was just too many ingredients or, rather, too specific ingredients. So I decided to tackle it myself. This is pretty loose as ingredients go, you could take out the herbs here and replace them with what ever you’d prefer. Add a bay leaf, toss in fresh meat juices, whatever you like. I really was surprised how little this tasted like Butternut Squash in stock, the taste is there, but it’s not over powering, the herbs really shine through and the squash gives it a rich, thick texture without being heavy. I’ll be honest, gravy for me was usually just packaged stuff so I don’t really have any tricks or secrets to share. Fresh herbs are a game changer, but dried are fine too.

It’s stupidly simple, but a really tasty gravy.

The problem with being a single cook is that a squash leaves a lot left over. I had some Sautéed Squash with this and I still have three servings of gravy in my freezer. It’ll be fine, I’ve had a similar recipe in my Squash Pasta and that heats as well after being frozen as it does when cooked fresh. You could conceivably use any vegetable, but you may be best to stick to something that wouldn’t over power the dish. I remember seeing a recipe for white sweet potato gravy, somewhere. Sadly I can’t get a wide selection of vegetables where I am, but the squash works well. If you needed a nut free, flour free, vegan etc option this would be great for the holidays, or any day. I have one more recipe, hopefully it works out, incoming, but that should end the deluge of posts. Back to normal next week or as normal as this posting schedule gets. Until later. Goodbye and good gravy!

Ingredients

300g Butternut Squash, Peeled and Cubed
600ml Stock (Chicken, Beef, Vegetable etc)
1/4 Tsp Sage or 1 Tsp Fresh Sage, Chopped
1/4 Tsp Thyme or 1 Tsp Fresh Thyme
1/4 Tsp Parsley or 1 Tsp Fresh Parsley, Chopped
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Makes 4 Servings. If making individual servings portion it out (About 200ml each) after blending and freeze it. Defrost when wanted and use as normal.

Method

1. Add everything to a pot and bring to the boil, stir it up, reduce to a simmer and cook until squash is tender.

2. Pour into a blender and blitz until smooth or use a stick blender. Return it to the pot or a pan and cook on a medium heat until gravy has reduced to desired consistency.

It’s not soup. Well, it is, kinda. Let’s call it gravy.

Jerk Chicken Marinade

Jerk Chicken on Sweet Jasmine Rice

Jerk Chicken from: Here

Rice From: Here

Ingredients

2 Chicken Breasts, Chopped
2 Garlic Clove, Grated
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Tbsp Lime Juice
1/3 Tsp Dried Thyme or 1 Tsp Fresh Thyme, Chopped
1/2 Tsp Sea Salt
1 Bay leaf
1/4 Tsp Brown Sugar (Dark Preferable)
1/4 Tsp Ground Allspice
1/8 Tsp Nutmeg
1/8 Tsp Ground Ginger
1/8 Tsp Cinnamon
1/8 Tsp Black Pepper

Method

1. Mix together all the marinade Ingredients, aside from Chicken, in a bowl and then add the Chicken. Mix the Chicken into the marinade and cover then leave in fridge for at least an hour.

2. Remove Bay leaf from Marinade. Preheat non-stick pan and when hot add Marinaded Meat. Turn to medium and cook for 15 minutes.

3. Serve Chicken on Rice.

Butternut Squash Cottage Pie

Pie sans filling.

With topping.

One of my original recipes and a firm favourite of mine. You can also add grated carrot, about 2 large carrots, and peas to the mince. And Sweet Potato and Parsnip to the mash.

Ingredients

For The Meat

450g Minced Beef or Ground Turkey
4 Rashers of Lean Bacon (Smoked if using Turkey)
Olive Oil for Frying

For The Gravy

1 Beef Stock Cube (Chicken if using Turkey) dissolved in 400ml Water
1/2 Large Yellow Onion, Chopped
2 Tbsp Cashew Butter
1 Tbsp Thyme or 3 Tbsp Fresh Thyme
1 Tbsp Parsley 3 Tbsp Fresh Parsley
1 Tsp Black Pepper
1 Tsp Garlic Granules
1/4 Tsp Salt
Olive Oil for Frying

For The Topping

800g Cubed Butternut Squash/Hokkaido Pumpkin/Harlequin Squash or Same in Sweet Potato
100g Red Cheddar, Grated
Salt and Black Pepper to Taste

Makes Three Servings.

Method

1. Heat some Olive Oil in a pan and fry the Minced Beef until cooked through, drain and set aside.

2. Fry the Bacon until fully cooked and then chop fine and add to the Minced Beef.

3. Fry the Onion in the Olive Oil until soft, being careful not to burn. Then add the stock and bring to a boil, leave for a few minutes and then add the Cashew Butter and Herbs. Whisk everything together and cook covered for about ten minutes or until Cashew Butter has dissolved and gravy has thickened.

4. Add cooked Gravy to Minced Beef and Bacon, stirring together until well combined. Spoon into bowls.

5. Steam the Butternut Squash and when cooked add Salt and Pepper then mash slightly and add Red Cheddar and then mash until smooth. Spoon mash over Minced Beef mixture. Cook in the oven at 175c (Fan) for 25 minutes, then grill for remaining 5 until top is slightly crispy.

 photo WP_20160804_001_e_zpshekkshgp.jpgHarlequin squash before baking. The ultimate replacement for potato.