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Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots, celery and carrot and cook, stirring, until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add bourbon and thyme; increase heat to medium-high and simmer until the bourbon is mostly evaporated, about 3 minutes.
Add stock (or broth) and cider and return to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by almost half (you should have about 3 cups), 40 to 50 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk water and flour in a small bowl.
Strain the gravy and return to the pan. Place over medium heat and whisk in butter until melted. Bring to a boil. Whisk in about two-thirds of the flour mixture; boil, whisking, for 1 minute. Check the consistency; if you prefer a thicker gravy, add the remaining flour mixture and boil for 1 to 3 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper.