I’m here to present to you a miraculous concept: you can make your gravy for Christmas a few days or even a few weeks ahead of time. Then all you need to do is heat it up on the big day. Gravy needs a lot of time to be truly excellent, and time is something you have much less of when you’re setting out a feast for the family. So why not make it ahead of time? Jamie Oliver does, and, last year, the Pie and I tried it for the first time, to fantastic results.
First, preheat your oven to about 400°F and get out your big turkey roasting pan.
Roughly chop up 2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, and quarter 2 onions. Don’t even worry too much about the onion paper. That stuff will just make the gravy darker. Huck all those in the pan.
Add in as well about 5 bay leaves, 5 sage leaves, 2 sprigs of rosemary, and 2 star anise.
Then you need some chicken wings, about 8 whole ones. Bash them with a rolling pin or break the bones with the back of a sharp knife to release the marrow. Add those to the pan.
Slice up a few rashers of a nice bacon and add that to the mix. Sprinkle everything with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil, and stick it in the oven.
Roast for about 1 hour, until the vegetables are tender and the meat is falling off the bone.
Put the pan on the stove element on low heat and take a potato masher to the contents. Start squishing and shifting around everything in the pan. It will smell glorious, and the longer you do this the darker your gravy will be.
When you get bored with that, sprinkle about 4 tablespoons flour across the mix and stir it in.
Then pour about 2 litres of hot water into the mix. Raise the heat to high and bring it to a boil.
Turn it down to a simmer and let that go for about 25 minutes. Continue to mash that around with your masher.
When it’s ready, scoop everything out into a sieve and push it through to get all the gravy goodness.
Let your gravy cool to room temperature, then chuck it into the freezer.
When you want to use it, simply defrost it and add it to the other juices from your roasted turkey, like an instant boost!