When reading Gluten Free cookbooks a subject that always seems to be of concern is how do I thicken my sauces. I understand most people aren’t critical and creative thinkers or that they simply don’t know anything about cooking. This I find to be a little sad, because there are more gluten free options then not.
Perhaps the best known of the gluten free options is none other than Cornstarch (or corn flour if you live in a weird place like India) It is generally considered to be the best gravy thickener if you don’t have time to make a roux, because it has little to no taste and it leaves the gravy a more pleasant color.
On the subject of starches, I must next mention Tapioca. Perhaps most famous for the interesting, if boringly named Tapioca Pudding. I wouldn’t personally recommend this one, unless you were really in a pinch and watery gravy simply wouldn’t do.
Earlier I mentioned making a roux and it is still very possible with gluten free flour. I would suggest using rice flour, due to its mostly neutral taste. Rice flour in this case acts almost exactly like wheat, unlike some flours that will not be named…
Roux is leaning towards fancy so lets go all the way and touch on Eggs. I will admit if you are making ordinary gravy this is probably your second to last choice, but eggs are a classic in custards, puddings, mayonnaise, and rich gravies.
This leads us straight to the richest of thickeners. Cream. It’s a little bit finicky, a trifle high in caloric count, is made of dairy, but it’s good.
In honor of a number of things I’m going to mention a thickener that is used almost uniquely in creole cooking and that is Okra. It is a super slimy thickener, but is does work.
On the subject of slime, depending on what type of thickener you are going for might I suggest flax seed. But I should stop. We are getting into the weird and the wonderful. Let us review the gluten options.
To be realistic, which we kind of are, I would say that the only option you have for making a non-gluten-free gravy, is wheat flour. Perhaps you have another kind of flour on hand, but being gluten free is the gravy. 🙂