Good Gravy! – Gravy Recipes and UK Gravy Wrestling Championships
A Cover Up of More Than One Kind
I have read in various historical accounts, including FoodTimeLine.org, that someone in ancient Rome invented a particular gravy to cover up cooking mistakes like dry, overcooked, or bad-tasting food, including vegetables.
Perhaps some of the bad taste was spoilage from a lack of refrigeration or pickling processes in use [see How To Pickle Meat?]. At any rate, it is difficult to envision Roman emperors lying on their chaise lounges at dinner, eating gravies and spoiled vegetables with their hands.
Supposedly, deviled eggs got their start in Rome as well. That one, I like.
The World Gravy Wrestling Champion 2011
Cury, Cookery, Currying Favor
Some sources state that the word gravy comes form the French, who are famous for their rich sauces. Gravy is also referred to as "sauce" or "sop" and the latter would eb a good description of aux juis into which some dip bneef sandwiahce. Well, too messy for me.
It seems true, however, that the UK is big on gravies as well.
Culinary Detectives have found one of the earliest uses of the term "gravy" in a 1390 tome called The Forme of Cury. This is an English cookbook and I cannot tell exactly what the title means, but ancient footnootes indicate cury is cookery. Perhaps this is what is meant by currying favor - cooking it up? However, it is all reportedly a compilation done by master chefs that served King Richard II.
For a complete index see here:The Ancient Cookbook.
World Gravy Wrestling Championships 2011
Industrious Gravy and a Story
One day, Hubber B.T. Evilpants began industriously chattering away about waterfalls of sausage gravy and biscuits and having a log ride under it at an entertainment venue called World of Gravy.
His thoughts are very focused on success, having avoided the scourge of the infamous and addictive butter tart. I must only whisper that commodity here, for one cannot say it too loudly and thus spur a jackalope journey on a quest for the Windsor Bridge and Canadian pastries.
I find that the sausage gravy in question was originally called Lumber Jack gravy or Sawmill gravy, being the daily feast of the US and Canadian lumberjacks of old in the north, especially the Pacific Northwest.
I have tried many versions of this gravy in restaurants from the the grocer's meat case, but to no avail. However, a friend furnished the following recipe and it it very good. In fact, it would make a fine waterfall for those that love sausage and gravy - Sawmill and lumberhacks (I'm sorry - lumberjacks - but, a typo is how we often acquire new words in language...) not withstanding. Come to think of it, there are videos of BT Evilpants in some sort of lumbering disguise around Hub Pages.....
Pacific Northwest Sawmill Gravy
- 3 Heaping Tablespoons of Flour or White Cornmeal
- 2 Tablespoons of Cacon drippings
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 2 1/4 Cups Milk or Cream
- Rresh ground Pepper to taste
- For a variation, use ground red pepper insted of black pepper.
- In a frying pan, place the flour or cornmeal, bacon drippings, and salt.
- Over medium high heat, stir ingreients browned.
- Add milk or cream SLOWLY, stirring firmly all the while.
- Raise the heat a bit to boil the gravy until it thickens.
- Stir the gravy strongly to keep it from popping in large bubbles upward like a volcano.
- Add the pepper at the end and serve over crumbled sausage and biscuits.
Southern Style Chocolate Gravy
- 1 Cup baking cocoa
- 3/4 Cup sugar or honey
- 1/4 Cup flour
- 2 Cups milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla
- In a medium sized pot over medium heat, place all of the dry ingredients.
- Stir dry ingredients until mixed and the all lumps disappear.
- Pour in the milk slowly and gradually.
- Raise the heat up to medium-high and bring the mixture to the boil. Reduce heat to low.
- Simmer just 1 minute and stir in the vanilla.
- Remove pot from the heat.
- Enjoy over breakfast foods such as pancakes and waffles, muffins, warm cereals, etc. Some people like it over meat.
Gravies and Sauces
SW Native Sunflower Gravy
This is a really good one, if you like sunflower seeds.
- 1/4 Cup finely chopped bacon
- 6 Tbsp Fine-ground sunflower meal (use sunflower seeds and food processor)
- 1 Tbsp Cornstarch
- 2 Cups Spring Water
- 1 teaspoon
- 3 Tbsp onion, chopped fine
- Fry bacon and onion together until the onion looks translucent. Do not burn.
- Add your sunflower flour, cornstarch, and salt.
- Cook for a minute, stirring constantly.
- Slowly pour in the spring water, a bit at a time, still stirring.
- Lower heat and cook until gravy is thick.
- Re-season if needed and add more water if too thick.
- Use as a gravy or sauce many dishes.
The World Gravy Wrestling Championships were insitituted in the UK in 2007, as shown in the photo above.
There is much talk on the Internet about the August 2008 Championships, with one martial arts studio pledging to send a larger delegation of participants. Each year's event has brought out more participants and a greater variety of themed costumes (see the video below).
We await the videos for many more World Gravy Wrestling Championships.
Superheroes and Gravy
Gravy for Omelets, Egg Foo Yung, and Chicken
- 1 Cup any Meat or Vegetable Stock
- Salt to taste
- 2 Tbsp Corn Starch, dissolved completely in 1/4 Cup Spring Water
- A bottle of Soy Sauce
- In a small pan, heat the stock over medium high heat.
- Add salt and soy sauce to taste and stir until medium to darker brown.
- Add corn starch the water and dissolve, then add to the stock, stirring vigorously.
- Cook until gravy thickens and enjoy.
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