Cremini mushrooms are simmered in whiskey-spiked broth to create this flavor-packed vegan gravy that will have everyone at your table asking for more!
A mushroom walks into a bar. The bartender says, "Sorry, we don't serve your kind here."
The mushroom says, "Why not? I'm a fungi?" (Fungi = fun guy. Get it?)
The kind of embarrassing part is that I thought to myself, "Wouldn't it be great if I could start my whiskey mushroom gravy post with a line about a mushroom walking into a bar?" only to realize that my husband would definitely have a punchline for that one. He did win my heart with a joke about a leprechaun with a steering wheel in his pants.
Moving on! Gravy. It seems like the whiskey in the gravy's gotten me a bit loopy, leprechaun jokes and all, but it hasn't. I wouldn't be eating it if it did, because uncooked whiskey tastes like paint thinner to me. Cooked whiskey though, when the alcohol has simmered off, is just about the most delicious thing on earth.
There are a million mushroom gravy recipes out there, and I'll be honest, I struggled in coming up with my own over Thanksgivings past. It just recently occurred to me that my favorite love-hate booze would make a mean vegan gravy, and it did!
There's quite a bit of whiskey in this batch of gravy, but it's worth it. Every time I work on whiskey I find myself tipping the bottle a little heavier with each trial, until you can really taste that woodsy smoky flavor. (Evidence: here, here and here.) I ended up throwing a full cup of whiskey into this batch before I was satisfied, and it turned out to be my favorite gravy ever.
Whiskey Mushroom Gravy
- ¼ cup olive oil, divided
- 12 ounces cremini mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed and coarsely chopped
- 1 medium onion, diced
- ½ cup whiskey
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme, or 1 ½ teaspoons fresh
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus extra, as needed
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon liquid smoke
- salt and pepper to taste
Coat the bottom of a large pot with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and place over medium heat. Add mushrooms in an even layer and cook until browned on bottoms, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook 5 minutes more. Remove from pot and transfer to a plate.
Add remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pot. When oil is hot, add onion and sauté until soft and translucent. Add whiskey and thyme, and return mushrooms to the pot. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook until reduced by about half, about 5 minutes.
Add 2 tablespoons of flour to the pot, a bit at a time, stirring frequently to form a thick paste. Once all of the flour is added, stir in broth, soy sauce and liquid smoke. Stir until smooth and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes, until the sauce is thick and mushrooms are tender. Add a bit of water if a thinner gravy is desired. If thicker gravy is desired, transfer a bit of the sauce to a bowl, whisk in a bit more flour to form a slurry, and then whisk the flour mixture into the gravy.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.