There’s nothing more Australian than Vegemite gravy

Jill Dupleix's dry-brined turkey with umami-rich Vegemite gravy and stuffing. Photo: William Meppem
Jill Dupleix's dry-brined turkey with umami-rich Vegemite gravy and stuffing. Photo: William Meppem

They are Australian legends in their own right but who would’ve thought their influences would collide?

We’re talking food writer and cookbook author Jill Dupleix and homegrown music icon Paul Kelly. They common theme? Vegemite gravy.

Kelly's song How to Make Gravy is regarded as Australia's modern Christmas standard. It also is the name of his memoir and inspired the name of his Christmas tour.

Essentially, the 1996 song’s lyric is a letter from Joe, a prison inmate, to his brother, Dan. It touches on family, longing and, of course, his recipe for Christmas gravy. 

Kelly has revealed he picked up the gravy recipe from the father of his first wife almost 40 years ago.

His distinctly basic recipe, “dollop of tomato sauce” and all, varies from the Dupleix’s but Vegemite is still key. 

“Good old Vegemite brings instant umami, depth and colour to the usual Christmas gravy,” she says.

Try it yourself this Christmas.

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 750ml vegetable or chicken stock, heated
  • 1 dessertspoon Vegemite
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • sea salt and pepper

Method

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan, and scatter the flour over the top. Stir with a wooden spoon over gentle heat for 3-4 minutes, until puffy and lightly golden.
  2. Add the hot stock slowly, stirring constantly. Whisk in the Vegemite and soy, add the thyme and rosemary and simmer gently for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Taste for seasoning, strain through a sieve into a jug and serve hot with the dry-brined turkey.

Jill Dupleix's rich, quick, gluten-free and vegetarian gravy recipes.