Tuesday Night Vego – Veg and 3 Veg

31 Jan

Joining Linda again in her Tuesday Night Vego Challenge. This week I’m cheating. I have a vegetarian friend coming round tomorrow night, so I thought I’d serve some meat tonight. I’m posting a photo of last night’s dinner instead – hopefully the lamest excuse for a vegetarian meal I’ll come up with all year.

I call it Veg and 3 Veg. Its redeeming features are only that it is entirely home-grown and anything with brown onion gravy has to be allright in my books.

I’m sure everyone can steam some veggies and mash some potato, but I love a good brown onion gravy, so here’s the recipe for that:

Vegetarian brown onion gravy

Finely slice 2 brown onions, and fry in a heavy based frying pan on medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons oil (I used a combination of olive and grapeseed). I would have used butter, but my son is allergic to cow’s milk protein. Butter would be vastly superior.

Fry until onions start to soften but before they start to burn, then reduce the heat to low. This is where my induction cooktop is fabulous – you need a low heat level such that the onions continue to colour but do not burn. Cover and leave to cook for 2 minutes of so, checking and stirring occasionally so the colour is even. Most of the sweetness and flavour of onion gravy comes from this caramelisation process, so take care with it.

De-glaze the pan with water or stock. If you are steaming vegetables at the same time, use the veggie water. I also used some vegeta stock powder, but that’s mostly for colour and salt. If not using, add a bit of salt or vegemite. I actually added some vegemite too. I’m a bit of a salt addict, and hey, this is vegetarian, brown onion gravy normally gets some of it’s flavour from meat juices, so I needed to cheat.

Keep tasting and adjusting the flavour – reducing the gravy if the flavour needs concentrating or adding more stock if it’s too strong. Just before serving, add some cornflour or tapioca starch (my preference) mixed with a little water (make sure it isn’t lumpy), then stir in to thicken. Be careful you don’t add too much or you’ll be forced to water down the gravy’s flavour to thin out the consistency.

Does anyone else have any tips for getting more flavour into vegetarian gravies? I’ve heard about home-made stock concentrates from thermomix-people and I’m tempted to give that a go in a lower-tech way.

Tomorrow I’ll post what we actually had for dinner tonight. It involves a lot of eggplant.

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5 Responses to “Tuesday Night Vego – Veg and 3 Veg”

  1. Sarah January 31, 2012 at 11:24 pm #

    Dried mushrooms pack a punch – a few soaked porcini or shittake and their water add a lot of oomph to sauces.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney January 31, 2012 at 11:46 pm #

      I wonder how that would go in an onion gravy? Would add good colour too. Very interesting…

  2. Kate February 1, 2012 at 8:02 am #

    We often have what we call a ‘meat’ and 3 veg night . Very similar to yours especially lots of mashed potato and gravy, but we add fried Tempeh instead of meat.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney February 1, 2012 at 8:17 am #

      Glad to see I’m not the only one Kate. Pardon my ignorance, but what is tempeh, and do you just cook it in a frypan?

  3. Kate February 1, 2012 at 8:03 am #

    P.S. we often add mushrooms to our gravy.

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