I have a lot of fond memories of good food that I ate growing up, hands down my two favorite things were my great grandmothers fried chicken and my grandmothers fried round steak. To say that these two women had perfected their dishes is a huge understatement. I have never had, and probably never will have any better version of these two dishes. Both meals were always served with mashed potatoes and either peas or green beans that they canned themselves. As good as the chicken and round steak were the highlight of both meals was the gravy. It was the perfect version of a gravy as far as I am concerned. Wonderfully flavorful with little bits of salty fried pan scrapings in it.
I have tried on many occasions to replicate that gravy, I make a really good gravy, but my gravy is no where near as good as theirs. When I first started making gravy I had some epic fails. I understood the basics, flour and oil make a roux add milk and you have gravy. Well, its not that simple, I remember making a pretty decent tasting paste once that probably could have been used to patch drywall. Other versions weren't flavored enough and many came out gritty.
Since I figured it out I have been making some pretty good gravy's and even playing around with some variations on those gravy's. The latest variation involves Nduja (pronounced en'doo'ya), it is a Calabrian spreadable salami. It has a very unique texture and is spiced heavily with roasted peppers. I have read a lot about Nduja but only recently got to try it for the first time. As soon as I tasted it I thought it would make one hell of a gravy. And I was right.
Whenever I am feeling like I don't know what I want for dinner,which does happen from time to time, this is one of my favorite go to meals. I fry a little steak make some potatoes and grab some beans that I canned from my garden. This happens to be some venison backstrap that I sliced about and inch thick and then pound out with a mallet. I dredge the meat in flour and then give it a quick fry in canola oil, it only take 1-2 minutes per side and they are done. To make the gravy I pour out any excess oil leaving about 2-3 tablespoons in the pan with all the tasty little bits left in the pan. I added 2 ounces of Nduja and fried it in the oil then added a couple tablespoons of flour and stir until its all mixed together then start adding milk until it reaches a consistency you like. Season with a little salt and pepper and you have one of my favorite meals.