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Packaged gravy mixes. What are your experiences?


Anna N
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This topic came to mind as I was pouring a just-made gravy down the drain!  I know we have discussed gravy thickeners such as Bisto but I’m not sure that we have ever discussed gravy mixes such as those offered by Club House, McCormick’s and Knorr.

 

Nobody, least of all me, is prepared to suggest that any of these are better than homemade gravy. But sometimes homemade is not an option. When you have a rotisserie chicken and would like a hot chicken sandwich you are unlikely to have any gravy on hand! And you can certainly make a hot beef sandwich from deli sliced roast beef if you’re not up for making a roast with a gravy mix. 
 

i used to always have on hand jar of Trio gravy mix from Costco. It made what we call “chip truck gravy”. I would sometimes gussy it up with some fresh cream or even a little Calvedos and it served the purpose. But much to my horror Costco no longer carries it.

 

In the past I have used and been quite pleased with Knorr gravy mixes. I have found their demi-glace, classic brown and roasted chicken to be quite tolerable. But when my daughter was shopping for me and I asked for these they were not available. My choice were either Club House or McCormick. I settled for the McCormick wild mushroom and roast gravy mixes. 
 

In preparation for making a hot meat sandwich I decided to mix up the gravy now. I followed the directions for the wild mushroom gravy but when I tasted it I could only think that it was cream of chemicals. I knew I could not even choke it down. So it went down the drain. 
 

Next I made up the roast gravy package. It’s not nearly as off-putting. I will at least be able to have a sandwich.
 

What say you? Do you use these mixes?  Found any that pass muster in a pinch. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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I really wish these sauce mixes were better than they are.  I'd really love to be able to use them to make a gravy or sauce without a lot of fuss.  But, I find, like you did, that they tend to taste like chemicals.  One of my sisters fairly brags about her turkey gravy - she makes no secret that it is just made by the book McCormick powdered mix.  I do like the Knorr mixes better than the others I've tasted.  I confess to using the Knorr hollandaise and Bearnaise when i want a quick sauce.  And I do use some of the powdered mixes to either begin a sauce/gravy or augment it when I want gravy in a hurry.  The Heinz Homestyle Roasted Brown gravy mix is the start for a truly delicious IP braised beef recipe I developed.  My uncle was a regional manager for McCormick for his entire working life.  He (and therefore WE) got free McCormick products all the time.  So, I grew up with them.  But none of us used the gravy mixes straight - they were always "fixed up" in some way.  

 

I love having homemade stocks in the freezer, but life doesn't always give me the freedom to make sure that happens.  When I want gravy and haven't planned for it, I will use the mixes, but I will play with them - using boxed stock or "Better than Bouillon" rather than water, wine, herbs, and often a little Gravy Master to food the eye!

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I have used the Maggi Jus gravy mix, the one that says "ook lekker bij kip" or, also good with chicken.  The package looks like this, although this one is for meat/beef.  I don't have a chicken one right now.  They are quick to make - melt some butter in a pan, add mix and 250 ml of water, and that's it.  We quite like that particular one.  Wal-Mart displays some Maggi products on-line but the gravy one isn't one of them.  I would expect the Dutch Store in Burlington would carry them.imageproxy.php?img=&key=1b5586c5b8cfb2a2

20200812_135827.jpg

 

Edited by ElsieD (log)
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327EEB1E-049B-4120-8BAB-96F4A627F82B.thumb.jpeg.874e7582183bf4c1036e8863aaf93c30.jpeg

 

We keep Pioneer brand Country Gravy mix on hand for when we have biscuits and gravy. And when a roast turkey is being planned, I stock up on their Roasted Turkey Gravy Mix, because you can never have enough gravy for the bird, the potatoes and the stuffing. I’ve also used their Roasted Pork Gravy Mix and thought it was good.

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I am not a gravy lover but when I was with someone who was, I did use the packets. I just boosted them with a few drops of A-1 or Worcestershire and a dab of sour cream. If there was any pan jus of course that went in. When I made the gravy for turkey for my stressed friend  (have an unexpected kid at 47!) I did a stock with necks but cheated with Campbell Golden Mushroom as the boost and thickener.,Her hyper picky hubby was happy.

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3 hours ago, Anna N said:

 

i used to always have on hand jar of Trio gravy mix from Costco. It made what we call “chip truck gravy”. I would sometimes gussy it up with some fresh cream or even a little Calvedos and it served the purpose. But much to my horror Costco no longer carries it.

 

Amazon caries the Trio brand:

 

https://www.amazon.ca/s?k=trio+gravy+mix&crid=IDZX2W9DEYU3&sprefix=trio+gravy%2Caps%2C192&ref=nb_sb_ss_ac-a-p_1_10

 

Just right for "chips and gravy" 😁

 

p

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3 hours ago, palo said:

Amazon caries the Trio brand:

 

https://www.amazon.ca/s?k=trio+gravy+mix&crid=IDZX2W9DEYU3&sprefix=trio+gravy%2Caps%2C192&ref=nb_sb_ss_ac-a-p_1_10

 

Just right for "chips and gravy" 😁

 

p

Not the brown gravy anymore though

 

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I just start with water and a cornstarch slurry then flavor from there.  Usually I make brown gravy, so for that I use soy sauce, onion and garlic powders, pepper, salt and caramel coloring (aka gravy master or Kitchen Bouquet - but caramel coloring is way cheaper), and sometimes butter.  Usually I will add fresh sauteed mushrooms for normal gravy.  If it's for Broccoli Beef or other Asian-ish dishes I will add some sugar and a dash of sesame oil.  I used to use Better Than Bullion but no longer do. And a dash of cream sherry always livens up any gravy!

Edited by mgaretz (log)
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3 minutes ago, mgaretz said:

 a dash of cream sherry always livens up any gravy!

 

 I'll hop over to the underappreciated ingredient topic. I had this in my osso bucco that another member enjoyed  

 

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We've had good luck with https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000KEJQ9C/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Certainly not as good as homemade but not bad either. They make a variety of flavors that are all available from Amazon. 

I've learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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@Anna N 

 

I know you are asking about packets.

 

I used to use Knorr and Sauers some time go.

 

I think the flavor input in packets has deteriorated 

 

and there is always too much salt in the,

 

apparently Minors has a   dot.Ca site :

 

https://www.nestleprofessional.ca/list/culinary-products

 

if they have lower sodium try them , and just keep them in your freezer 

 

sor of like round-packets.   I prefer lower sodium as I can add more paste

 

to my chosen salt content, and get more favor.    

 

I use water + base  to get the volume and flavor of the gravy I want

 

then use a little cornstarch + cold water to get the thickness i like

 

I can add Penzey's dried spices as a boost , etc

 

this takes about the same time to whip up as a powder from a packet

 

but , for me , has much better flavo(u)r

 

I  notice they have the Trio , mentioned above.   I wonder what that is like.

 

 

 

 

Edited by rotuts (log)
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7 hours ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

 

I just make a roux, add milk or boiling water and a portion of one of these bouillon gels, chicken or veal.    If going the extra mile, sauted shallots, mushrooms etc at the beginning.   

.   

 

 

This would probably not work for me since milk is not anything that I normally keep in the house. I neither drink it nor use it in my coffee and for baking I use powdered milk. What thanks for sharing. (I don’t think I’ve ever seen the veal version.)

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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36 minutes ago, lemniscate said:

On the rare occasion I need a gravy mix, I like the Ikea ALLEMANSRÄTTEN meatball gravy.  I am not a fan of the meatballs, but I like the sauce.   I suppose it could be added to for additional flavors, it's very basic.   And inexpensive.  And easy to keep on hand.

Interesting. Perhaps next time somebody pops into IKEA I will ask them to grab me a package. 

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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18 hours ago, MSRadell said:

We've had good luck with https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000KEJQ9C/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Certainly not as good as homemade but not bad either. They make a variety of flavors that are all available from Amazon. 

I did try it and I despised it. What can I say? I was raised on the stuff.I had an uncle who called me and my brother the Bisto kids.  Maybe I should discuss with with my therapist.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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2 hours ago, Kim Shook said:

What about those things that you ordered, @Shelby?

The More Than Gourmet?  Really excellent.  I also like the Pioneer brand that @robirdstx mentioned.  I try to keep a couple packs of that for biscuits and gravy or mashed taters.

 

edited to say that they (More than Gourmet) are having a 20% off sale.

Edited by Shelby (log)
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My mother, and most of her contemporaries, used a product called Gravox. The trauma is almost gone (but please don't mention pressure-cooked vegetables).

 

If I want a sauce and don't have any home-made stocks, I'll use a stock that comes ready-made in a tetra-pak.  Simply reduce, add vinegar/mushroom powder for umami/worcestershire sauce/whatever, thicken with a pure starch such as potato if necessary and voila, (almost) instant sauce. You can also add green peppercorns or fried mushrooms if you wish.

 

Please don't call it gravy though, it brings back too many less than pleasant early food memories.

 

 

 

 

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Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

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I was inspired by this thread to make Broccolini Beef. I forgot to take "nice" picture, this is thirds!  Gravy was water, soy sauce, cream sherry, sugar and cornstarch slurry.  Forgot the sesame oil.  While stir-frying the broccolini I seasoned with garlic and ginger.  

 

broccolini-beef-2.jpg.fb4a2d3b6407b6b4241f23e472a8433c.jpg

 

Here is the same dish but made a few weeks earlier:

 

broccolini-beef.jpg.0de9b96c8d0dad71fb8ec6f63c42505f.jpg

 

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33 minutes ago, mgaretz said:

I was inspired by this thread to make Broccolini Beef. I forgot to take "nice" picture, this is thirds!  Gravy was water, soy sauce, cream sherry, sugar and cornstarch slurry.  Forgot the sesame oil.  While stir-frying the broccolini I seasoned with garlic and ginger.  

Here is the same dish but made a few weeks earlier:

 

 Nice job.

Ha - on the cream sherry train. I honestly have not bought it in over almost 40 years but it works! 

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  • 1 month later...

D86771D4-922A-400E-8935-3640B3758806.thumb.jpeg.e67050635ef46d29bd8bb4b2ee1c9d89.jpeg

 

The triumph of hope over experience (usually attributed to Dr. Johnson when speaking of a second marriage when the first one was unhappy). Onion flavoured Bisto gravy mix recommended by my sister who lives in England. Does not require cooking. Just add boiling water and stir until the appropriate smoothness and thickness is reached. Will report back when I have tried it. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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26 minutes ago, gfweb said:

Didn't we deal with Bisto earlier?

I'm very happy with More Than Gourmet

I did try to find it without success. And we certainly did deal with Bisto earlier and I dissed it. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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