Everyone knows that the perfect homemade gravy recipe is something special, and now you can make our easy onion gravy with ale that will impress your family and friends.
This onion gravy will make classic UK dishes like Bangers with creamy mashed potatoes or Britsh Pie and Mash, Toad in the Hole or a Steak and Mushroom Pie even better... and thanks to our simple instructions it's really easy!
HOW TO MAKE ONION GRAVY
Do you want to learn how to make gravy without gravy granules. Before getting started with the recipe, take a look at the video below, which shows how to make this delicious and easy onion gravy!
However, do read on for some great recipe tips and a more in-depth look at how to make the best onion gravy!
Here we will give you a breakdown of the ingredients needed, tell you a bit more about them and offer some alternatives so you can adapt the recipe to suit your family.
Stock is the most important part of this recipe and provides the meaty (or vegetable) flavours that make this dish.
For ease, we use a good beef stock pot or stock cube, but you could make a fresh stock. The beef flavor in my opinion, makes the best onion gravy flavour, perfect with cubed steak or roast beef.
Chicken broth is a great alternative, and if you don't eat meat, you could use a vegetable stock instead to create a vegetarian version.
Ale or Beer adds a rich, malty flavour to the onion gravy recipe. You can use any lager or ale you like, or if you prefer, you can leave it out altogether. (replace with more stock)
Did you know? When used in cooking, the alcohol content typically evaporates or cooks off, so the dish won't get you drunk! We also have a lovely red wine gravy you could try.
Onions give your dish a pungent and slightly sweet flavour this savoury dish. We used Brown Onion, but you can choose red onion or white onion if you prefer.
White onions have a sharp, slightly sweet taste. They're versatile and work well in a wide range of dishes.
Brown onions are the most common type and have a strong, bold flavour and are commonly used as a base for dishes like soups and stews.
Red onions have a mild flavour with a slightly sweet undertone. I like red onion gravy served with red meats.
Once you've chosen your onion, you need to decide how to cut them. You can use sliced onions as rings, chop them into larger chunks, half moons or finely dice them.
Balsamic vinegar adds extra richness and tangy flavour to this onion gravy. Its acidity enhances the taste and balances the flavours of the meat drippings.
Sherry or red wine vinegar can be used instead.
Olive oil gives you a rich gravy with a slightly nutty undertone, adding depth to the sauce and enhancing the flavour without overpowering the dish.
Butter makes a good alternative Melt the butter into the onions for a delicious flavour.
Plain flour is used to thicken the gravy and achieve the perfect consistency. Corn flour (or corn starch if you're from the US) is a good alternative.
In this recipe, we used fresh herbs, including sprigs of thyme and bay Leaves.
Dried herbs can be used if you prefer, such as dried thyme, and you can opt for whatever herbs your family enjoys.
This flavourful onion gravy doesn't need much seasoning, though you may want to add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
For those seeking an extra flavor, consider incorporating a touch of dry mustard powder, a teaspoon of English, wholegrain or Dijon mustard, a dollop of cranberry sauce, or a splash of Worcester sauce. These delightful additions can elevate your dish and tantalize your taste buds.
This onion gravy recipe doesn't call for a lot of equipment. You will simply want a cast iron pot or a saucepan to cook it in and you may want a gravy boat to serve (though a jug works too). A long-handled ladle will also be useful for stirring and serving.
No roast dinner is complete without a good onion gravy and this onion gravy is packed with flavour, so go ahead and make a big batch for the whole family.
Cooking the onions
To make this easy onion gravy you will want to start by taking a saucepan and gently fry the onions in olive oil with the pan over a medium heat until they have softened nicely and are cooked.
Add the balsamic vinegar and stir until your onions are nicely coated and have turned golden colour. You'll then sprinkle over the plain flour.
Adding the beer or ale
Pour in your chosen beer or ale and stir it for around two minutes; it's important to stir thoroughly to completely combine the flour and stop any lumps from forming, so don't rush this step. Add in your chosen herbs.
Stir in beef stock and bring your liquid to the boil.
Once boiling, turn the gravy to a low simmer for 6 minutes.
After 6 minutes, check the thickness of your onion gravy. If you like a thicker gravy, cook it for 2 minutes longer.
Or in a separate bowl mix 1 tablespoon of cornflour with 1 tablespoon of water. Pour into the gravy to help thicken it some more.
If it's too thick, you can add a splash of boiling water to thin it down.
Once you have the right consistency, remember to remove your sprigs of thyme and bay leaves before adding salt and pepper to taste.
Enjoy a really good gravy!
We have lots of great ideas for this simple onion gravy...
Try adding sage to the onion gravy and pour it over a classic dish like British bangers and mash, our Flawless Mashed Potatoes Easy Side Dish Recipe is perfect for this or adapt our fluffy Yorkshire Puddings Recipe to create a Toad in the Hole.
Serve this easy onion gravy recipe over a steak and mushroom pie and add some thyme and rosemary when cooking for extra flavour.
📖 Step by Step Recipe
Onion Gravy with Ale
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil or Butter
- 2 Onions (Brown, white or red) Chopped in rings, chunky or finely chopped as desired
- 1 tablespoon Plain Flour
- 150 ml (⅔ cup) Ale / Beer Lager or ale of your choice
- 2 teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar Sherry or red wine vinegar can be used instead
- 3 sprigs of thyme or 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
- 2 Bay leaves
- 500 ml (2 ¼ cup) Beef stock from stock pot or cube
- Chop 2 Onions (Brown, white or red) into the desired size you like for your gravy. Gently sauté onions in 1 tablespoon Olive Oil over a medium low heat for 5-10 minutes.
- Add 2 teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar .
- Sprinkle over 1 tablespoon Plain Flour
- Add 150 ml (⅔ cup) Ale / Beer and stir through for 2 minutes.
- Add chosen herbs. We used 3 sprigs of thyme and 2 Bay leaves.
- Stir in 500 ml (2 ¼ cup) Beef stock bring to the boil and simmer for 6 minutes.Check thickness, if you like it thicker cook for 2 minutes longer. Or in a separate bowl mix 1 tablespoon of cornflour with 1 tablespoon of water. Pour into the gravy to help thicken it some more.On the other hand, if too thick add a splash of boiling water.
- Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaves, season well with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
This Easy Onion Gravy Recipe was originally posted on Dec 19, 2020. It has been updated with more advice on ingredients, making onion gravy without granules, and a simplified recipe card. Some new pictures have also been added on Oct 08, 2023.
Leftover gravy can be easily saved for later, so don't worry about making a big batch! This onion gravy recipe can be stored in the fridge for up to three days and in the freezer for up to three months.
When reheating, we suggest using a saucepan over low heat, allowing it to simmer gently while whisking until fully heated. Don't let it come to a boil, as this can affect the flavour.
Or reheat it in the microwave, use a microwave-safe bowl or jug and cover it with a lid or plate to minimize splattering. Stirring regularly.
MORE SAUCE RECIPES
Yes, just swap the plain flour for a gluten-free cornstarch!
This gravy can be made and reheated in advance; store it safely in the fridge for up to 3 days and only reheat it once when ready to enjoy.
We recommend bringing it back up to temperature slowly over low-medium heat whilst whisking in a pan for best results. Don't let it boil, though, as this can affect the texture and flavour of the gravy.