Brandy Shiitake Mushroom Gravy

With the holidays on the horizon, I felt like it was time to come up with a new vegan mushroom gravy.  I tend to make the same one every year.  Why not jazz it up with a little brandy and shiitake mushrooms?  Why not, indeed?!  This gravy tastes amazing on mashed potatoes, stuffing, lentil loaf, or really anything you like to smother with copious amounts of gravy. 

If you are not a huge brandy drinker, no worries.  You will not be required to buy a huge bottle to make this recipe happen.  In fact, I used a single serving mini bottle that I picked up at a liquor store, and it worked fantastically.  No waste!

Vegan Brandy Shiitake Mushroom Gravy over a bed of mashed potatoes

Brandy Shiitake Mushroom Gravy

1 ounce package of dried sliced shiitake mushrooms

2 ½ cups water

1 small onion, finely chopped

3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 Tbsp canola oil

¼ cup brandy

2 Tbsp vegan butter

1 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce

⅓ cup all-purpose flour

½ tsp dried thyme

½ tsp onion granules

2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

Salt

1. Rinse off dried sliced shiitake mushrooms, and place in a medium mixing bowl that can withstand heat.  Bring 2 ½ cups of water to a boil (I used the microwave), and pour over the sliced shiitakes.  Place a plate over the top of the bowl to keep the heat in.  Allow it to sit for ~15 minutes or until the mushrooms are fully reconstituted.

2. When the mushrooms are ready to use, separate the mushrooms from the soaking liquid by straining the soaking liquid into a mixing bowl. You will use both the mushrooms and the soaking liquid later in the recipe.

3.  Add the onions, garlic, and canola oil to a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Stir around for ~7 minutes or until the onions are golden.  Pour in the brandy, and reduce the brandy to ¼ it’s original volume over medium-low heat.

4.  In the medium saucepan, melt vegan butter and add soy sauce.  Whisk in the flour until it forms a paste (see picture above).  

5. Whisk in the soaking liquid from the mushrooms over medium-high heat. Keep whisking for ~5 minutes or until the  sauce thickens. Don’t stop whisking, because it can stick to the bottom, burn or end up lumpy.

6. Add the sliced shiitake mushrooms, thyme, onion granules, nutritional yeast, and salt.  Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed (more salt? more soy sauce? little more nutritional yeast?).  Serve over mashed potatoes, loaf, or whatever you enjoy gravy on!

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