4 ounces cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed and sliced 1/4-inch thick
Freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 medium shallot, small dice
1/4 cup red wine
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups mushroom broth (see Game Plan note)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Fresh and dried mushrooms, red wine, mushroom broth, and soy sauce add umami to this easy vegan gravy. Delicious over tofurkey, pan-seared chicken breast, or a steak, this sauce appeals to vegans and meat-eaters alike.
1Place porcinis in a small heatproof bowl. Bring water to a boil and pour over porcinis. Let sit until softened, about 12 minutes. Using a fork, transfer porcinis to a cutting board (be careful not to disturb the gritty sediment on the bottom of the bowl). Finely chop the porcinis; set aside. Slowly pour 3/4 cup of the soaking liquid into a measuring cup, leaving the sediment behind; set aside. Discard the remaining liquid.
2Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add cremini mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring rarely, until mushrooms have released their liquid and softened, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a medium heatproof bowl; set aside.
3Reduce heat to medium, add remaining 3 tablespoons oil, and heat until shimmering. Add bay leaf, shallot, and reserved chopped porcinis, season with salt and pepper, and sauté, stirring occasionally, until shallots begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add wine and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until wine has almost completely evaporated, about 1 minute.
4Sprinkle flour into the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until flour has a toasted aroma, about 3 minutes. Whisk in broth, soy sauce, and reserved porcini soaking liquid and simmer, whisking constantly, until gravy has thickened, about 3 minutes.
5Strain through a fine-mesh strainer set over the reserved bowl of cremini mushrooms; discard solids in the strainer. Stir to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.