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Roasted meats, mashed potatoes and even roasted root veggies rejoice — rich Cacao-Onion Gravy will make you sing! OK, maybe that’s over-selling it —  but just by a bit.

As part of the six unique recipes I came up with for my exploration into the World of Cocoa (courtesy of Savory Spice Shop) here on GF, I’ve trotted out savory Cocoa-Dusted Bleu Cheese Truffles, brightly flavored Strawberry-Arugula Salad with Cocoa Vinaigrette and Spiced Cocoa-Crusted Pork Loins Chops so far.  (Hope you’ve enjoyed them — I know we did!)

Today, I’d like to introduce you to cocoa or rather ground raw cacao powder in this rich gravy. Cacao powder is essentially cocoa powder but in its purest, most unadulterated powder form. This powder is made by cold-pressing raw cacao beans with the temperature never exceeding 120° F (this is what qualifies it as raw.) Regular cocoa powders are often exposed to temperature as high as 300°.  The minimal processing of cacao powder allows for maximum flavor, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Savory Spice Shop’s cacao powder, when paired with a solid red wine (like a Cabernet) and infused with the rich flavor and caramelized sweetness of yellow onions, results in a gravy that does more than favor creamy white mashed potatoes with a deep burgundy hue, it delivers an undeniable “Wow!” to the taste buds. Though I used it on mashed potatoes for this menu, I think this gravy would really shine on roast beef or steak.

Cacao-Onion Gravy

  • 2 medium-sized yellow onions, thin-sliced and halved
  • 1 medium clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1/4 cup full-bodied red wine (Cabernet is a good choice)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup beef or chicken stock
  • 1 tsp cumin (or oregano or thyme depending on what you’re serving it with)

Prepare the onion and garlic and pour oil into a skillet over medium heat. Once the skillet is up to temp, add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are soft and lightly caramelized on the edges. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir until coated. Cooking (and stirring) for a few more seconds before deglazing the pan with the red wine, stirring constantly. Add your broth to the mixture and stir to mix it in completely. Reduce your heat and let the alcohol cook down as the gravy thickens. Add the cumin (or oregano or thyme) and salt and pepper to taste.

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