Grandad’s Onion Gravy
onion gravy

Grandad’s Onion Gravy

Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6
onion gravy

Grandad’s onion gravy is a legend in my family. It goes great with Sunday roasts, sausages and pork chops.

Making this gravy takes a bit longer than usual, so I only tend to make it when we have the family round for dinner, but it is well worth the effort.

Red or White?

No, I’m not talking about which bottle of wine you should open when cooking dinner. It is the choice of brown-skinned white onions or red onions for your gravy.

red and white onions

While brown onions are usually used in cooking, reds are mainly used raw in salads because of their milder, sweeter flavour. Both are really healthy and low in calories. Either variety caramelises well, although sometimes adding a little sugar can help.

I think a gravy made with red onions complements roast pork or chicken where its milder taste doesn’t overwhelm the flavour of the meat. Sometimes all you can taste is the gravy!

Brown onion gravy suits red meats like beef and is a necessity for liver, bacon and onions.

Of course, the best dish for onion gravy is Bangers and Mash!

To Roux or Not to Roux

The Roux, a mixture of flour and butter in equal parts, forms the basis of French sauces.

making a roux

By contrast, British gravy is traditionally made by adding flavouring and thickeners to the juices in the bottom of a roasting tray while the meat is resting after cooking. Bisto is the leading British brand for making gravy this way.

Bisto gravy granules

Although not named after them, the Roux brothers, Albert and Michel, came to the UK in the 1960s, despite speaking no English. They were so appalled by the standard of British cooking that they opened their first restaurant Le Gavroche in London’s Mayfair.

Roux brothers
Roux brothers with Michel Junior

Credited with introducing French-style cuisine to London diners, their methods, known to professional chefs the world over, became popular with home cooks through tv cookery programs.

Whether you will decide to use a roux or not, probably depends on how much time you have. Personally, I roux.

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Recipe – Grandads Onion Gravy

onion gravy

Grandads Onion Gravy

Grandads onion gravy is a legend in my family. It goes great with Sunday roasts, sausages and pork chops.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง British
Keyword: gravy, sauce, sides, Sunday
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 148kcal
Author: Richard


  • 50 g butter
  • 2 onions large, peeled, halved and thinly sliced.
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 120 ml red wine
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh sage large
  • 500 ml beef stock
  • 1 tsp (affiliate link)Worcester sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ยฝ tsp wholegrain mustard
  • ยผ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp butter cold, unsalted for glazing


  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and sugar and cook for about 30 minutes until caramelized (deep golden).
  • Add the red wine and herbs, bring to a rapid boil for 2 minutes, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the stock, mustard, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
  • Remove sprigs of herbs. Add the vinegar and simmer for another minute or two.
  • Melt 50g of butter over a low heat in a suitable size pan. Add 50g plain flour and heat gently stirring continuously to make a roux. Once it looks smooth and glassy turn up the heat and very gradually add the onion mixture, a little at first, stirring constantly.
  • Allow to simmer gently to cook out the flour, stirring regularly.
  • Add the cold butter and whisk until dissolved. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Calories: 148kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g

You may also like one of my other recipes …

bangers and mash
Cumberland Bangers and Mash
Succulent Cumberland sausages embedded in a pile of creamy mashed potatoes and drenched in a rich onion gravy.
Check out this recipe
liver bacon and onions
Liver, Bacon & Onions
Classic British dish of lambs liver with caramelised onions
Check out this recipe
Grandads Cookbook may reference or include sections of text and images reproduced courtesy of:


  1. 5 stars
    Do you have a Beef Gravy recipe??

    • Hi Colin,
      Any good gravy is down to the quality of the stock you use to make it.
      I will put up my recipe for beef and chicken gravy that I use on Sundays week in and week out.
      Please give me a couple of days.

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