Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"Chipped Beef" or "Bacon" Gravy

I have a VERY non-vegan friend who grew up on that 1950's, all-American breakfast staple, chipped beef gravy.
He's never going to be converted to veganism, but is open-minded enough to enjoy most of my cooking when he's at my house (fortunately for him, or he'd starve). He had asked numerous times if I could re-create the comfort food of his past, animal-free, for him. Since I've never had this odd dried beef/chipped beef product that he raves about, I had to wing it rather randomly.
But gravy is my signature "thing" so I had to at LEAST give it a try, right?

Since I know of no veggie replacement for chipped beef (nor do I care to put much effort into researching exact substitutes) I used a veggie "bacon" type product and it actually seemed to do the trick fairly well.

For purists, I guess it's more "smoky" and less salty than the original, but it was a hit with my friend - and whether it's "like the real thing" or not, (and I'm not fooling myself into thinking it's anything close) it's very tasty and I consider it the ultimate compliment that he enjoys it so much.

And it's simple, so I thought I'd share.

"Bacon" Gravy
  • 1 recipe Creamy Country-Style Gravy
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke or Bacon Salt (yes, they're vegan)
  • 1 Tablespoon margarine (in addition to gravy recipe)
  • 1/2 to a whole package fake "bacon" of your choice, depending on how much you want in the gravy; (or make your own "bacon"from tempeh, seitan or whatever). I use LightLife's Smart Bacon because it's what I have available and the texture works well. The Yves veggie bacon works really well too but I can't buy it locally.

Slice uncooked "bacon" crosswise into small strips or bits. Put into large cast iron skillet with 1 Tbsp. margarine, stir around to separate and fry until cooked but not crispy.
Add gravy ingredients as called for in recipe and cook as directed. Season with liquid smoke or Bacon Salt when gravy is cooked.

Pour over lightly buttered toast or English muffins. Yum.


Bianca said...

God, I love Bacon Salt. And I love any excuse to use it. Did you put it over toast? Man, that's going in my to-make-for-breakfast list!

panda with cookie said...

I love this so much.

Heather B said...

I have tons of vegan bacon in the fridge and I used to love SOS (chipped beef on toast) as a kid - this is going on my list for the weekend - love the idea! :)

Anonymous said...

I am pretty excited about this! I lovedddddd chipped beef gravy on toast as a kid (or S&*% on a shingle as my mom used to call it) and I can not wait to try it!