How to make an easy onion gravy with ale, beer or wine without using gravy granules.
It is quick and easy to create a homemade rich gravy using onions, flour, ale, vinegar, herbs and beef stock. Of course, you can make it as thick or runny as you like it?
The perfect sauce to pour over your UK classic dishes, such as sausage and mash, liver and bacon, steak and mushroom pie or toad in the hole.
A list of all the ingredients needed for making a onion gravy, including possible substitutes.
Butter or Oil
Start with butter or oil to gently fry the onions in until softened.
You can use brown onions, white onions or red onions. They all bring there own individual flavouring to the gravy.
For extra sweetness why not caramelise your onions by adding a teaspoon of sugar whilst frying them.
Only fry them on a medium heat the idea is to soften the onions until golden, you don't want to make them crispy or brown!
Add more or fewer onions depending on what you like. Experiment with chopping finely, chunky, in rings or in half slices?
Adding a splash of balsamic vinegar to your gravy will enhance the flavour of the onions and add extra richness to the gravy.
Sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar will work in the same way.
Other ways to add flavour and richness to your onion gravy is with a teaspoon of mustard or a splash of Worcestershire sauce.
Or try adding marmite for a great flavour kick that you will either love or hate!
Flour is added to the onions which will create a roux with the remaining butter or oil.
That helps thicken the stock into a gravy consistency when added
Adding ale to onion gravy not only gives a great taste. But also helps to give the sauce a deeper glossy brown colour.
We used Doom Bar Ale which is a amber ale.
You can use any type of beer from a mild light larger, a crisp blonde ale, a full-bodied malty amber ale or a strong nutty dark brown ale.
Check out this really detailed guide about different beers from Mulberry Station to help make a decision of what beer or ale to use?
You could also substitute for the same amount of white wine or red wine instead if preferred.
Wondering what herbs to use in for your gravy? In our easy onion gravy with ale, we added thyme and bay leaves.
You can use either fresh or dried herbs.
However, there are many other great herbs to add. The main choice of the herb will depend on what you are serving the onion gravy with? More ideas are given below.
The best stock to use for a deep dark coloured gravy is beef stock.
You can use leftover drippings from roast beef cooking. Or use a stock pot or stock cubes mixed with boiling water.
For sausage and mash or toad in the hole, try adding sage to your onion gravy.
Alternativly, add some garlic and use red onions to create a delicious gravy for liver and bacon.
When serving this easy onion gravy over a steak and mushroom pie, add some thyme and rosemary.
📖 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
- Gently sauté onions in olive oil over a medium low heat for 5 minutes.
- Add balsamic vinegar.
- Sprinkle over flour
- Add your chosen beer / ale stir through for 2 minutes.
- Add chosen herbs
- Stir in beef stock bring to the boil and simmer for 6 minutes.Check thickness, if you like it thicker cook for 2 minutes longer.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.