1 tablespoon olive oil (phase 3 only)
3 medium shallots, finely minced
1 T fresh thyme leaves, minced
5 fresh sage leaves, minced
2 lbs mushrooms (cremini, Portobello, or your favorite), stems removed
Sea salt and ground black pepper,
3 cloves garlic, finely minced or grated
2 T tamari
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 T mellow miso (optional)
3 ½ cups sugar and soy free vegetable stock
2 tsp arrowroot mixed with 2 tsp cold water
Optional for p3: Vegan Butter and Coconut Milk
Slice mushroom caps
Place mushroom stems along with the stock, in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes. Cool a bit and strain. Discard stems.
If you are on phase 3, heat the oil in a large wide bottom pan and add shallots. If you are on another phase, use a non stick pan. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the shallots. Cook the shallots, stirring frequently, until translucent and softened, about 2 minutes. Add the thyme and sage to the pot and stir.
Add the sliced mushrooms to the pot and let them sit for one minute. Stir the mushrooms up, coating them in the shallots and herbs. Let the mushrooms sit for another full minute. Then, stir the mushrooms and season with pepper. Keep stirring the mushrooms here and there as they cook. Once the mushrooms are glistening, after about 3 minutes, season them with salt. Keep stirring the mushrooms until they are deep brown and slightly soft, about 2 more minutes.
Add the garlic to the pot and stir. Then, add the tamari, balsamic vinegar, and miso to the pot as well. Stir everything and scrape up any brown bits at the bottom of the pot. Add the vegetable stock to the pot and stir to combine. Bring the mushroom mixture up to a boil.
Lower to a simmer and reduce the liquid by about ¼. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper if needed.
If you want a smooth gravy, carefully puree the mixture with a stick blender. Or allow to cool and puree in a blender until smooth. Add back to the pot and bring back to a simmer, if using right away.
You can make this mixture a couple of days ahead- just reheat and thicken.
Add half of the arrowroot slurry to the simmering gravy and whisk for at least a minute. If you want the gravy thicker, add the other half of the slurry. If it gets too thick, add more stock.
OPTIONAL: For a very rich gravy on phase three, add a tablespoon or two of Vegan Butter to the gravy after it gets thick. You can also add a splash of coconut milk if you like a creamier gravy.