Shallot & Calvados Gravy
1 tbsp sunflower oil
400g small shallots peeled and halved
4 garlic cloves, crushed
100ml calvados or sherry
500ml vegetable stock
1 tbsp tamari
1 tsp yeast extract
1 bouquet garni in muslin (thyme, sage, bay, 2 cloves, small piece of cinnamon)
2 tsps cornflour, mixed to a paste with 1 tbsp cold water
salt & freshly ground black pepper
Fry the shallots in the oil until soft and caramelising, then add the garlic fry for a few minutes to cook the garlic.
Stir in the calvados and simmer to reduce for a couple of minutes.
Add the vegetable stock, tamari & yeast extract. Wrap the thyme, sage, bay, clove and cinnamon in some muslin and tie to create the bouquet garni. Add the bouquet garni, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Remove the bouquet garni and season well with salt and pepper.
Thicken the gravy with the cornflour by putting some of the hot gravy into the cold cornflour paste then returning it to the gravy and stirring while the gravy simmers and thickens (about 5 minutes).
Tips: The easiest way to peel shallots is to cover them with boiling water, when the water has cooled they should easily pop out of heir skins.