Have you ever heard of making your own gravy stock balls? Farmor is a master at it. Every pre-Christmas she prepares a batch of her gravy balls to last the whole holiday season.
She slowly cooks down a home-made paste of spices, flour and flavours on the stove top until it is firm enough to roll into little balls packed with smak. The gravy balls are kept in the fridge and whenever a homy-goodness is needed for middag a ball is popped in a pot with a little water and then heated. An ingenious idea, to say the least!
We have the recipe! (Well, as close to a recipe as possible – Farmor is really good at ad-libbing so it’s hard to pin any of her cooking down ;D)
Using a cast-iron pot, melt butter on a low heat and then mix in plain flour – just enough to make a paste. Mix in a little bit of oil. If you like, add any dried spices to flavour (paprika, pepper, rosemary, powdered onion or garlic), however Farmor doesn’t usually add anything extra as the ‘reducing-down’ will brown the mixture and create a gentle flavour.
On a low heat brown the paste for about 5 hours or until mixture is crumbly but can be pressed into a round ball – about the size of an egg yoke. Stir occasionally throughout the reducing-down time.
The reason you need a cast-iron pot is so the mixture won’t burn while reducing-down. How much mixture you’ll make will depend on how much butter you use. If you want to make a good batch of gravy use about 250g. If you like your gravy to look darker brown then just add a little bit of cocoa powder into the mix. Cocoa powder is a natural colorant.
The gravy balls should last a couple of weeks in the fridge. Use when needed – pop a ball into a pot with a little water. Help the ball dissolve by stirring while heating. Add more water if needed.
Happy gravy making!