In Praise of Make-Ahead Gravy

Jamie Oliver has brought many food-related joys into my life, and with the exception of that time I made his chicken liver pâté, he hasn’t let me down yet.

Chief among his festive brain waves is his notion that we should all be making our Christmas gravy well ahead of time, freezing it, and simply finishing it off at the end.

Like it or not, making gravy is actually pretty stressful. Achieving a rich, thick and perfectly balanced gravy isn’t effortless, particularly while the potatoes are catching, the meat’s getting cold and the family is hungry and starting to hover. Danger zone for a panic.

So no matter how much work the make-ahead gravy is (and really, it isn’t too much), it will always be better than the last-minute scramble of trying to achieve the perfect gravy from scratch on Christmas Day. Moreover, I brine my turkey; the salty juices are too salty to use for the gravy on their own. However, when added to my deliberately-under-salted make-ahead gravy, it’s a Christmas dream.

So, Cheers, Jamie, for bringing this into my life.

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