Whether at home or eating out, brunch can be chaotic in so many ways, but hard hats don’t typically factor into that chaos.
However, when Ace Hotel first opened in Pittsburgh, I had the privilege of attending a soft opening brunch at its restaurant, Whitfield. There was nothing soft about that brunch. There were shrill fire alarms on repeat, construction workers in a constant back and forth motion, and a nagging sense that maybe we should have been wearing protective head gear. However, that brunch was magical because it’s the brunch that introduced me to Mushroom Gravy!
Those biscuits & mushroom gravy are still on Whitfield’s brunch menu for good reason, so if you live in Pittsburgh or are planning a visit, pencil that meal into your brunch slot (the soft opening dust has long since settled, and now it’s a gleaming space). If, however, the steel city is not on your agenda, I offer this recipe for mushroom gravy. The Urban Farmer performed his taste-tester duties and swears by my attempt to match that first blissful gravy experience.
Vegan gravy may seem like an oxymoron, but this mushroom version will appease vegans, vegetarians and carnivores alike, which is why I also recommend it if you want to follow my lead and throw a Biscuit Buffet Brunch. If biscuits feel intimidating, pair this gravy with a whole grain or gluten free pasta or mashed potatoes. The possibilities abound!
Vegan Mushroom Gravy
Yield: ~ 3 1/2 cups
About this Recipe: This vegan gravy comes together easily. Experiment with different varieties of mushrooms for different flavor profiles. Pairs well with biscuits, potatoes or pastas.
1/2 cup organic avocado oil
1/2 cup small onion, finely chopped
4 ounces (1 cup) baby portobello mushrooms, finely chopped
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3 to 4 cups organic vegetable stock, preferably homemade, as needed
1 teaspoon Bragg’s amino acids (or soy sauce), more to taste
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and mushrooms; cook, stirring, until well browned, 8 to 10 minutes.
Sprinkle in flour and cook, stirring, until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
Slowly whisk in vegetable stock, a little at a time, until a smooth sauce forms. Simmer 2 to 3 minutes until thickened.
Season with Bragg’s or soy sauce, salt and pepper. Serve as is, or combine in a food processor for a smoother consistency.
Garnish with fresh thyme.