No, I did not grow up eating southern tomato gravy. I sure wish that I had though. You can BET that when tomatoes are back in season, I’ll be showing you this recipe AGAIN using fresh tomatoes. For now though, I’m going to give you a recipe using canned tomatoes. This is an awesome deep south dish that you can use on biscuits, steaks, pork chops, eggs, asparagus…. a piece of rubber. Seriously, it is that good. I’m enjoying some southern tomato gravy right now as I write this post on top of my favorite cheese grits and YUM!
I showed you how to make my famous Sausage Gravy some time ago and it’s time for another gravy recipe. Since I haven’t yet mastered giblet gravy myself, I’ll show you tomato gravy instead. Recipe seekers – scroll no more. I have heard your pleas. Here is the recipe, right up top. However, if you want to know more about Southern Tomato Gravy such as where this recipe came from, recipe tips and tricks and other good stuff, then PLEASE join me after the recipe and the photos for more info. I love to chat. See you down there.
RECIPE FOR SOUTHERN TOMATO GRAVY
- 2 Tbs sweet cream unsalted butter divided
- 1 tbs bacon grease
- 1 shallot minced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tsp Kosher salt divided
- 1 Tbs all purpose flour
- 1 14.5 oz can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes with garlic
- 1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
- ½ tsp brown sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup grated fresh parmigiano reggiano cheese
- Fresh cracked black pepper
In a stainless steel frying pan melt 1 Tbs butter on the stove top over medium heat and add the 1 Tbs bacon grease. When melted add the shallot and garlic and cook until fragrant and starting to brown (about 3 minutes or so).
Add ½ tsp salt to the frying pan. Add 1 Tbs flour to the pan and cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes (this allows the raw flour taste to cook out of the flour).
Add the can of tomatoes all at once with the water from the can. Use a potato masher and smash and crush the tomatoes some until the sauce is the desired "lumpiness" that you will like. Stir and heat until thickened and bubbly. Add the cream. Add brown sugar and return to bubble. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Turn off the burner and add the other tbs of butter as well as the grated cheese. Stir to melt. As soon as melted, serve. Garnish with fresh cracked black pepper.
RECIPE TIPS FOR SOUTHERN TOMATO GRAVY
- This recipe for Southern Tomato gravy is pretty loose, I think you could make a few changes and it would have a similar taste and still be great. For example, you can probably sub out ½ an onion for the shallot. I simplly like the mild taste of shalott. You could use another type of diced tomato from plain to another flavored one. You could leave out the cream if you wanted – would make it more tangy – but still very acceptable. You could sub milk for the cream. You could leave out the bacon grease – but I think you would lose some flavor depth.
- Be careful taste testing because it is EASY to burn your tongue. Ask me how I know. 🙂
- When you add salt and taste, make sure to stir the gravy and cook for a little bit to allow the salt time to melt.
RECIPE INSPIRATION FOR SOUTHERN TOMATO GRAVY
A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to go to dinner with Sarah and Richie at Milner’s. Oh so delish! I told you about it back when I made Carolina Christmas Beans. What I neglected to tell you was about the tomato gravy that graced my plate. If there was ever a time to exclaim OH MY! This is one!
When the waiter came around to our table to ask if everything was alright, I commented, “The only thing I need is MORE southern tomato gravy. I would be happy if it soaked everything on my plate, especially the parmesan mashed potatoes.” The waiter laughed and said that some people come in and order TRIPLE Tomato gravy. All I could say was a garbled, “I understand” because my mouth was full of mashed potatoes and tomato gravy again.
Maybe it is because I like to embarrass my family but really it is because I genuinely love to share recipes, I asked the waiter if the chef would ever share his recipe for the gravy. The answer usually when I ask this is, “Um. No”. That never daunts me from asking though. Surprisingly, the waiter responded, “well, I know how you make it. Just melt butter, make a roux, add tomatoes and let it bubble”. Um. Yeah. That’s all.
That, despite the fact that my restaurant “gravy” was fairly thin, dark and had no lumps. So, once again, the mad scientist (me) returned to the kitchen trying to recreate the tomato gravy. I didn’t have as much luck this time as when I worked on Pumpkin Soup, that said, I came up with something I think tastes great. I did confer with the internet for this and based my recipe loosley from what the watier told me and these two recipes:
I think the secret to make a gravy similar to Milner’s would be during step three to stop before adding the cheese and final butter and press through a small kitchen sieve to remove the bits of tomato, shalott and garlic that remain and THEN add the butter and parmesan. The reason I didn’t do that here is because I LIKE little chunks of tomato, shallot and garlic. I mean I REALLY LIKE those. Besides, it seems a waste to throw those out when they taste so good. So, I left them in. In your kitchen, you be the boss. Try it both ways and see what you think.
Thanks for visiting with me and I hope you will come back again. Did you try this recipe? If so, what did you think? How did you change it to suit your kitchen? Did you eat tomato gravy as a kid? How did your mom make it? Leave me a comment and I will be sure to answer back! In fact, if you are cooking this and have a question, leave me a comment and I’ll try to answer back right away at least between the hours of 5am and 9pm EST.
Thanks and we will talk again soon!