Knorr Gravy Pots
Iain P W Robertson
A certain snobbishness exists among foodies with regard to their personal gravy-making skills. I am no different and I have always insisted on making it from the juices of the meat being cooked, mixing in cornflour and blending it with any extraneous meat chunks, prior to serving from a traditional ‘boat’.
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Naturally, stock cubes have been in existence for more years than I care to recall, just as I am fully aware of my grandmother using ‘gravy browning’ that came in a glass bottle. Yet, while always keeping a box of stock cubes for those ‘just in case’ moments, in chicken and lamb varieties too, I have to admit to a degree of reluctance about adopting the more recent stock pots, the qualities of which some famous chefs seem to enjoy endorsing rather too willingly.
However, partly because he has cooked for me and partly because I quite like the ‘arrogance’ of Marco Pierre-White, it does seem as though the power of advertising has played its role, as a couple of four-pot packets, one for chicken, the other for beef, ended up in my shopping trolley. That was a couple of weeks ago but with a roast chicken dinner on Saturday past, with Cornish pasties on the Sunday, the opportunities were perfect to try out the pots.
My tests were inevitable. From the juices of the chicken, I was able to make my usual gravy, which was light and flavoursome, but I also followed the instructions for the Knorr Gravy pot. After heating 250ml of water and simply removing the jelly-like gravy from its zip-top pot, to insert it in the water, I mixed it with a whisk and allowed it to thicken slightly on the stove. Although its consistency was slightly denser than my own gravy, it was no less tasty and it actually possessed a pleasantly home-made and chicken-rich flavour.
For the beef pasties, the next evening, mainly because I had run out of beef stock, I opted to try the Knorr beef gravy as an accompaniment instead. Again, following the instructions, I made around 250ml of lovely rich beef gravy. I have to tell you that it provided the necessary colour, fluid and gloss that would have been missing otherwise. Its consistency was lovely and the flavour was as close to a freshly made gravy as it is possible to be, which underscores the efforts made by Knorr’s professional chefs to produce only an authentic gravy using real meat juices in its recipe.
At a retail cost of £1.79, it makes each gravy boat cost out at just under 45p, which I consider to be quite excellent value for money. It is certainly easy to prepare as well and is both flavoursome and not wasteful. You see, not every gravy that I have made has been entirely to the taste of my guests or family, so its consistency is something that can be replicated with ease. However, it does beg a question, just what does Knorr do with all the beef and chicken it cooks to obtain some of the ingredients for its concentrated gravy pots?