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Kicking Gravy Up a Notch with Bitters

Bitters in gravy?  A splash of Angostura bitters adds a deep layer of flavor that’s amazing — a rich nuance that could change the way you make gravy from now on.  Here’s my favorite wintertime roast beef. In addition to the gravy, the meat itself is enhanced with an olive oil-bitters rub, then browned on the stovetop before roasting.  If you have your own favorite gravy, whether it’s roast beef, lamb, pork or poultry, try a few drops of Angostura to add a delicious, rich flavor dimension.

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Rita’s Roast Beef with Angostura Gravy
Serves 6 with approx 1-1/4 cups gravy     Cook time about 1-1/4 hrs total

2-3      lb. boneless beef roast (eye-of-round, sirloin tip roast or cut of your choice)
2          Tbsp. olive oil, divided
2          tsp. Angostura Aromatic Bitters, divided
            Salt & fresh-ground pepper
1/2      small onion, thinly sliced
2         cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2      cup water
1          can (14 oz.) beef broth (= approx 1-2/3 cup liquid)
2-3      Tbsp. flour
1-2      Tbsp. brandy

Preheat oven to 425°F. Combine 1 tablespoon olive oil with 1 teaspoon Angostura bitters. Rub all over roast. Sprinkle meat generously with salt and pepper.

Heat another tablespoon olive oil in a small roasting pan on the stovetop. Brown meat on all sides over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and water to pan. Roast, uncovered, 45 minutes or until cooked as desired. Internal temperature should be 145ºF for medium-rare meat, 160ºF for medium, and 170º F for well done.

While beef roasts, combine broth, 2 tablespoons flour, remaining 1 teaspoon bitters, and brandy; stir until smooth and flour is dissolved. When meat is done, remove from pan to a serving platter; cover with foil to keep warm.

Remove onion and garlic from pan with a slotted spoon and discard. Place pan on stovetop over medium-high heat. Add broth mixture and stir constantly with a wire whisk, scrapping browned bits from bottom of pan. Continue to stir until gravy has thickened. For thicker gravy, add a 3rd tablespoon flour to 1/4 cup water; stir until smooth. Stir a tablespoon or two of the hot gravy into this mixture, and then whisk into roasting pan. Continue stirring until gravy thickens more. Serve with sliced roast beef.

Nutrition information per serving (2 lb eye-of-round roast): 200 calories, 26g protein, 4g carb, 9g fat, (2g sat. fat), 60mg chol, 300mg sodium, 0g fiber

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  1. Rosie's Kitchen
    Posted January 8, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Rita –
    What a great idea to use bitters in the rub. I’m over–due for making a roast so this recipe is on my short list!

  2. Rosie's Kitchen
    Posted January 8, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    The rub sounds so good on beef. Have you tried it on roast chicken?

    • Posted January 8, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      Rosie, I’ve not tried it on chicken but will soon and let you know. I’ll mix the Angostura bitters with melted butter rather than olive oil. (I’d do the same with turkey, as I don’t care for poultry gravy that has olive oil in it.)

  3. Rosie's Kitchen
    Posted January 8, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    When Bernie saw your photo he asked how soon can I make this recipe!

  4. Rosie's Kitchen
    Posted January 8, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Bernie actually said he wanted to be in your kitchen for this recipe~

    • Rita
      Posted January 8, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      That would have been fun 😮 But then there may not have been leftovers!

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