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Rich red wine onion gravy recipe

Rich red wine onion gravy recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Side dish
  • Sauce
  • Gravy
  • Onion gravy

This rich red wine onion gravy is a treat to savour at any time or occasion. Serve alongside a juicy steak or with a variety of other meat and poultry dishes.

65 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 60g (2 1/4 oz) butter
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, lightly crushed
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 200ml (7 fl oz) red wine
  • 200ml (7 fl oz) beef stock

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:50min ›Ready in:1hr

  1. Heat half of the butter in a frying pan over a low heat. Add the onion and cook slowly for 30 minutes or so, stirring occasionally until the onion starts to turn golden. Season with salt and pepper and add the garlic and thyme. Continue cooking for a further minute or so, stirring occasionally.
  2. Pour in the vinegar and stir until it turns into a syrup. Pour in the wine, increase heat to high and cook, stirring occasionally, until it has reduced by half to two thirds.
  3. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil; Turn down the heat and, still stirring occasionally, simmer the gravy until reduced to consistency required. Remove the garlic and thyme and discard. Season to taste and whisk in the remainder of the butter.


Great served with a meat dish such as roast beef of chicken. If available, add any juices from the meat to the gravy to add extra flavour.

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Recipe Summary

  • 6 onions, sliced
  • 1 (4 pound) bottom round roast
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup water

Place sliced onions in the bottom of a Dutch oven or stock pot. Season the roast with salt and pepper, and place on top of the onions. Add the vinegar and bay leaf to the pan, and heat over high heat to get it simmering. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 3 to 4 hours. Try not to take the lid off while cooking.

When the roast is done, remove it from the pan to a serving platter. Mix the flour into the water, and pour into the drippings from the roast. Simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently until thickened. Carve roast, and serve with the pan gravy.

Recipe Summary

  • Roast:
  • 5 pounds boneless sirloin roast, tied
  • 4 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled, cut into 8 wedges
  • 4 large sprigs thyme
  • Gravy:
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups red wine
  • 1 ½ cups low-sodium beef broth
  • Salt and pepper

Make roast: Using a small, sharp knife, make slits all over beef roast and insert a piece of garlic deeply into each slit, so meat closes over garlic. In a small bowl, combine chopped thyme, mustard, onion powder, salt, pepper and olive oil. Rub mixture all over meat, place roast on a plate and refrigerate uncovered for 8 hours or overnight.

Transfer roast from refrigerator to countertop 1 hour before cooking. Preheat oven to 500ºF. Scatter onion wedges and thyme sprigs over bottom of a large roasting pan and place a rack on top. Place roast in rack. Roast meat for 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 325ºF and roast until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest part of roast registers 125ºF for medium rare, about 1 hour, or 135ºF for medium, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Check once or twice during roasting time if juices start to scorch on bottom of pan, add a little broth or water. Remove meat to a platter, cover loosely with foil and allow to rest. (Meat will continue to cook while it rests internal temperature will rise to 130ºF for medium rare or 140ºF for medium.)

Make gravy: Remove rack from roasting pan. Add 3 Tbsp. oil to pan. Place pan over 2 burners and turn heat to medium. Stir in flour and cook, whisking, until brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in wine and broth and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, whisking often. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a serving dish and season with salt and pepper.

Classic French Bordelaise Sauce

Bordelaise sauce is a classic French sauce that uses red wine from the Bordeaux region in Southwest France. It's rich and flavorful, so it takes just a small drizzle of Bordelaise sauce to perk up a simple grilled steak or slow-roasted beef. This tangy and savory red-wine sauce is also a great accompaniment to roasted potatoes.

Traditionally, the sauce would be made using a Bordeaux wine, but these wines are some of the most expensive in the world, so barring a Bordeaux, a good-quality dry red wine will suffice. These types of French wine are typically made with cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, and malbec grapes, and wines made with those grapes are perfect for making the sauce. Just remember: the better the wine, the better the sauce. Use something you would drink with your meal you'll need one glass of wine for the sauce and can drink the rest when you eat.

There are many variations on Bordelaise sauce. Red wine and shallots are two key ingredients. Some classic recipes use veal stock, bone marrow, and demi-glace, or some combination of those. This particular recipe takes a simpler approach, preferring beef stock so you don't have to make the separate demi-glace sauce or use marrow. It's just as flavorful and can be made quickly right before serving time. If needed, it can be prepared up to a day in advance.

Using alcohol in sauces

If you don’t drink on principal, then you can replace the red wine here with extra stock and a little bit of honey to get some sweetness. However, if you’re looking at this and thinking “I don’t like red wine”, don’t worry, it doesn’t taste like red wine. The alcohol should evaporate off and then what the red wine does it add in sweetness and almost a tanginess that gives a rounded flavour to the gravy rather than just tasting meaty and nothing else. Meat is delicious, but if you’re eating meat you don’t just want to put meat sauce on it, you want a gravy that elevates the flavour.

The importance of stock

Stock is the centre of good gravy – and definitely to this onion gravy recipe. The best stock you can use is real liquid stock – whether you make it at home or you buy it from a shop – that’s going to work well. However, I’m not being a snob for no reason. A good old stock cube can do the job too, just maybe buy some good quality stock cubes.

My favourite two stocks for gravy is either chicken or beef. You can definitely use vegetable stock too if you’re vegetarian, but if you’re going to do that I’d really recommend buying liquid vegetable stock. The flavour of dried vegetable stock is just not the one.

Ingredients for onion gravy recipe:

15g plain flour (or gluten-free flour)

Splash of Worcestershire sauce (can be left out if need be)

Our expert gravy tips

Want a textured gravy that’s a bit thicker, without having to reduce it so much you end up with nothing? Sit the joint on some sliced onions and carrots to roast, then make the gravy in a pan with all the veg, before whizzing and sieving back into a small saucepan.

Use a splash of soy sauce

If your gravy is too pale, a splash of soy sauce will darken it and add plenty of flavour.

Really scrape the bottom

Scrape up the flavour-filled crusty bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. It really intensifies the gravy.

Use the giblets

For turkey gravy, make sure you get the giblets from the butcher. Cover them with water and add a peeled onion, carrot, celery stick, bay leaf and a glass of red wine. Boil these for 40 minutes and you’ll have the perfect stock to deglaze your turkey roasting tin with.

Skim the fat off

Skimming away excess fat form the gravy can be tricky. Pop a few ice cubes into the tray or saucepan and you will find the fat will cling to the ice, making it easier to scoop it out.

Sausages with Mustard Mash and Red Wine & Onion Gravy

A classic dish of sausage and mash with a red wine and onion gravy – simple to make and a real winner! This gravy takes a bit of time but it’s really worth it to get a nice rich flavour from the onions.


First make the gravy. Melt the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and sugar and cook for 15-18 minutes, stirring occasionally until nicely caramelised and soft. Add the red wine, increase the heat a little and simmer rapidly until the wine has almost disappeared. Stir in the flour and cook for a few seconds, then add the stock, rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Simmer gently for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the potatoes into a pan of cold salted water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 minutes until tender. After 10 minutes, heat a little oil in a frying pan and add the sausages and cook over a medium-high heat for 10 minutes, turning now and then until brown and cooked through.

Drain the potatoes well and then pass through a ricer or mash thoroughly until smooth. Stir or beat through the butter, mustard, seasoning and enough milk to make a smooth mash. Stir through the parsley.

Spoon the mash onto plates and rest the sausages on top. Spoon over some gravy and serve.

Braciole with a Red Wine Sauce

Recently my recipe for Braciole has become one of the most popular recipes on this site, which inspired me to share my Mom’s recipe for Braciole with a Red Wine Sauce.

It’s completely different from my recipe that is made by cooking the beef in a marinara sauce. My Mom’s recipe replaces the marinara sauce with a rich red wine sauce that is seasoned with onions and beef broth.

Braciole is one of those recipes is that perfect to serve at a dinner party. It’s a decently foolproof recipe that bakes for hours so that you can have it cooking in the oven when guests arrive (your home will smell wonderful).

When I am entertaining guests I love to find recipes that can be completely prepped ahead of time so that I can relax and sip wine with my friends.

When my sister was in elementary school she did a project where she put all of our family recipes in a cookbook. That cookbook has become our family’s number one resource for Italian recipes.

There is a problem with my copy of the cookbook, though. It doesn’t have page 35, the page where this recipe is found. When my family saw my other Braciole recipe on this site they commented saying that they prefer the Braciole with a Red Wine Sauce.

I had no idea what they were talking about until we realized the flaw with my copy of the cookbook. My sister sent me a photo of the recipe, which I am now sharing with you.

For the record, I still prefer Braciole with marinara sauce, but the rest of my family prefers my Mom’s Braciole with Red Wine Sauce.

Although the recipe doesn’t call for it, if you love mushrooms, go ahead and add them to the sauce, I think they would be a great addition.

I completed this meal by serving with roasted potatoes and brussels sprouts. The sauce is excellent with roasted potatoes.

If you are looking for some more holiday dinner recipes, here are a few of my favorites:

This Pork Tenderloin is stuffed with blue cheese and caramelized onions, and it is much more affordable than beef.

Classic Chicken Marsala is a crowdpleaser, and it can be completely make in advance and then reheated – it’s actually better the next day.

Notes about this recipe

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