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Kitchen Science question- "gravy" thickening, crock potting, etc...


Home Cooking 22

Kitchen Science question- "gravy" thickening, crock potting, etc...

e_bone | Jul 28, 2010 12:26 PM

So last night I made some VERY good Colorado/Denver style Green Chile. I like the "gravy" style we make here in Denver as it stays inside a breakfast burrito better.

I've used a dozen different techniques over the years and have never been THRILLED with my resutls but I think I'm close now. I browned and removed my unseasoned, un-floured pork in vegetable oil. I think threw in what I call the Mexican Mirepoix: onions, garlic and finely chopped serrano peppers. I sweated these in the same fat with salt until they had given up some liquid and were beginning to color. Okay.. time to roux it up... I added flour and stirred to mix... I moved this around for a few minutes until I figured the flour taste was gone and then whisked in my hot stock. Classic soup techniques everyone knows, loves, uses and thanks the French for, right? As this thickened I added my green chiles... then my reserved pork... then some other "stuff"... and let it return to barely a simmer and stewed it for just a bit to make sure I had my consistency down correctly. All was good... rich, glossy gravy!

So.. into the crock pot for slow cooking to finish the pork. I let it stew on WARM (not low, not high, just warm) until morning (about 8 hours). The pork was fabulous- fall apart.. but I've lost 50% of my "Graviness"! Much of the fat broke from sauce and was sitting on top.. the gravy had become much more watery...

What happened? How do you keep a roux-based sauce together during long, low, slow cooking? Is it impossible? If not- did I have too much fat to flour ratio? I know I didn't overcook my roux (ie: from cajun food experience I know a dark roux will not thicken nearly as well as a blonde one).

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