What is in common for Thanksgiving and Sunday’s dinner?
A proper festive feast consisted of gravy and a pot roast.
The tenderness of the roast and creaminess of gravy depends only on one thing – a labor of love ladies and gentlemen. Yes, you heard me well love is an essential ingredient of every meal. But that is not what I want to talk about today.
How many times have you had leftover roast and gravy?
It is easy to sort the roast; simply use it in sandwiches, tortillas, stir frays, salads, or anything else you have in mind. But what about gravy? Gravy is usually made from flour, milk, cream, fat, and chicken stock. Thus the question arises: can you freeze gravy?
How Do One Store Gravy?
Unfortunately, gravy is one of the most perishable foods since it will only last for two days in the fridge, but there is a trick you can use to prolong the shelf life. After two days have passed, you should boil any remaining gravy that you didn’t use to kill any possible bacteria.
After this process, the gravy is safe to consume for the next two days. You can repeat this process for up to a week after that you should discard it. But if you know you won’t be eating the gravy each day next week, then the best thing you can do is to think about long-term storage in the freezer.
There are a few things you need to know before you freeze the gravy.
The first and most important rule is if your gravy was left sitting out on the table or countertop for two hours and more, it is no longer safe to consume at all, so do not even think about freezing it. The second rule is not letting anyone dip their food directly into the bowl of gravy since that will undoubtedly lead to contamination and bacteria growth.
The last rule is to always boil the sauce before freezing it.
The Freezing Process
Now let’s talk about types of gravy sauces. You can use flour or dairy products as the base for the gravy.
There is no surprise in the information that the gravy sauce based on dairy products like cream and milk does not freeze well, and it will separate during the thawing process.
There are a few things I learned in time that are very useful when it comes to storing dairy-based gravy. If you run it through the food processor or a blender before freezing it, you will reduce the chances of separation.
The next trick is useful when you plan ahead to freeze the leftover gravy. In that case, you should use as little as possible of cream, milk, and fat to prevent separation. After you thaw it, you can always add some more cream to enhance the flavor. Also, it is good to know that cream-based gravy can only be stored in the freezer and used within a week and not even a day more.
On the other hand, gravy sauce based on the flour can be kept in the freezer for up to four months in an airtight container. It is always best to freeze the gravy in individual serving portions. There are many reasons for that.
First, it will defrost quicker; second, you will prevent food-wasting, and third, it is way easier to organize small packages into a freezing compartment. You can use ice cube trays, airtight containers, or Ziploc bags. If you use ice cube trays after the sauce is completely frozen, transfer the cubes into the freezer bag or a container.
Step By Step Guide Of How To Freeze The Gravy
It only takes five simple steps to get the job done:
- Prepare the gravy as usual, or if you decide to freeze the already prepared sauce, boil it up for 3 minutes to sterilize it.
- Please leave it to cool off completely.
- Transfer the cold gravy into the freezer-safe container, bag, or ice cube tray (that is up to you) and seal it tightly, making sure there is enough place for the gravy to expand evenly. If you use a bag, squeeze as much air as you can and place the packet on the bottom of the freezer.
- The next step is optional, but I always do it. I prefer to freeze individual portions of gravy in the ice cube tray then transfer them to an airtight container. Before I move the frozen sauce into the box, I place it in the ice bath for up to 15 minutes.
- The last step is to label each container or bag with the storage date before placing it into the freezer, and voila you are done.
When you decide to thaw the gravy, leave it in the fridge overnight. The next day pour it up in the saucepan and reheat it over medium-low temperature. Make sure you whisk it well during reheating to prevent forming of lumps and to make all ingredients in the sauce tie up well. If the sauce looks too thick, you can add some stock or water. Like with all defrosted food, make sure to re-season it since it will lose a lot of taste in the freezer.
Honestly, the best way to freeze the gray is with leftover meat. It will prevent the meat from drying out in the freezer, and it will have a much better taste once it’s reheated with roast together. You can store this combo for up to three months in the freezer. When you decide to defrost the meat and the gravy combination, leave it overnight in the fridge. The next step is to place it in the oven at 350°F and leave it in until you register a temperature of 160°F in several places.
See Also: Can You Freeze Half And Half?
How To Use Defrosted Gravy?
There are a lot of ways you can use your leftover gravy. Get creative don’t be afraid there is no way you can ruin any meat or side dish if you bathe in gravy before serving. But if you prefer playing on the safe, there are a few proven combinations.
Mashed potato and turkey roast always sound great. The next thing is to simmer your meatballs in reheated gravy and serve it over the pasta, mashed potato, or if you want to take my advice, serve it over cauliflower mash served with a bit of butter.
Are you familiar with the classic Canadian dish poutine? Combine gravy, fries, and cheese, and I guarantee you your taste buds will do the happy dance!
Soup and stews are the best meals you can prepare for yourself and your family to end a long and cold winter day, right? But what if your dish did not thicken enough? You can always mix up some quick roux, but why not try to toss a cube or two of your frozen gravy goodness. Believe me, your soup will get another dimension with both texture and flavor.
The unexpected friends are coming over for dinner? No problem peel some onion, cut some steak, and simmer it in gravy, take some burger patties, and your Salisbury stakes are ready for the feast.
Don’t forget that the gravy can be used for breakfast too. Warm biscuits and eggs can be a boring meal if you always serve it the same way, so the next time tries to serve it with leftover gravy. You are welcome!
See Also: How Long Does Cauliflower Last?
Let’s Sum It Up
Without any further discussion, needed gravy is something worth saving for days to come, especially if you and your family only prepare gravy during the holiday season. Every meal can be lifted to another level with a generous dollop of a velvety smooth sauce. So why not make sure you can always please your cravings and prepare a secret stash somewhere in your freezer.
If you follow the steps I wrote here for you, you will see that there is nothing complicated in the process of freezing the gravy; all you need is a little bit of time, a few bowls, and a bit of free space in the freezer.
Defrosted gravy is entirely safe to consume, so there is no need to worry about any complications. If there is any leftover gravy after defrosting, make sure you throw it out since it is not safe to reheat or freeze it again.