Learn how to make gravy without drippings using this red wine onion gravy recipe! Luxurious and incredibly savory, it’s an easy homemade gravy made from simple, yet flavor-packed ingredients.
After trying a spoonful of this onion gravy, you’ll wonder why you haven’t made gravy with onions before!
Why you’ll love it
Besides its heavenly mouthfeel, this red wine onion gravy recipe features layers of addictively rich flavors. All you need to make it is onions (of course!), red wine, beef broth, herbs, and a handful of condiments and seasonings. Let the onions caramelize and the ingredients simmer together in the same pot, and in about 1 hour, you have a restaurant-worthy homemade gravy!
Just like chicken gravy, you can use your savory and herbaceous onion gravy to enhance any dish you want, from bangers and mash to pork chops to roasted chicken. It stores and freezes well, so you can always keep a batch on hand for flavor emergencies.
Onion gravy ingredients
- Unsalted butter
- Yellow onions – These slightly sweet and mild onions don’t overwhelm the gravy with their flavors. Instead, they complement the other herbaceous, savory, and tangy notes.
- Red wine – This can be any dry red wine you already enjoy drinking. I like using Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Noir in my rich and savory red wine sauces, like this Red Wine Jus.
- Fresh thyme
- Low sodium beef broth – Pick up a good quality store-bought broth or use the leftover homemade bone broth in your fridge. And if you don’t have beef broth on hand, chicken broth works just as well.
- Worcestershire sauce
- Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper
- Cornstarch – This helps thicken the gravy.
How to make it
Melt the butter in a large skillet, then add the sliced onions. Cook until they start to caramelize.
Add the red wine and thyme, bring to a boil, and then lower the heat so it can gently simmer and reduce.
Pour the broth, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, and pepper into the skillet. Bring it back up to a boil before reducing the heat to a simmer.
Remove and discard the thyme.
Whisk the cornstarch and water together in a bowl, then slowly whisk it into the gravy. Boil until it’s thickened to your liking, then season with salt and pepper as needed. Enjoy!
Tips and tricks
- Take your time when caramelizing the onions. This process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Caramelizing the onions for 30 minutes will give the gravy a mild flavor, whereas caramelizing them for 45 minutes to 1 hour will yield sweeter notes.
- Don’t stir the onions too frequently. Letting them saute undisturbed will help them caramelize faster.
- For more tips on caramelizing onions, check out my guide on how to saute or caramelize onions perfectly.
- Vegetarian/vegan onion gravy – Forget the dairy and meat by sauteing the onions in olive oil and swapping the beef broth for vegetable broth. Ensure that the red wine and Worcestershire sauce is vegan-friendly, too.
- Add mushrooms – Sauteed mushrooms will give the gravy an even deeper earthy flavor. If you can, cook them in a separate pan so their flavor isn’t muted and their texture stays nice and meaty.
- Add more herbs – Use the fresh herbs of your choice in this gravy recipe! Fresh thyme, rosemary, sage, and parsley would all lend a gorgeous herbaceous element. For easy removal, make a bouquet garni by tying the fresh herbs together using kitchen twine.
- Instead of wine – While almost all of the alcohol in the gravy is cooked out, you can make this recipe without wine if you prefer. Replace the wine with more beef broth, a splash of balsamic vinegar, or leave it out entirely.
Onion gravy is traditionally served with bangers and mash, AKA sausages and mashed potatoes. This popular British dish drizzles onion gravy over the plate to make every bite just that much more comforting.
And if you don’t have sausages at home, the good news is that gravy with onions goes well with endless other dishes! These ideas should make you hungry:
- French Dip Burgers
- Roasted Chicken
- Mashed Potatoes or Cauliflower
- Pork Chops
- French Fries or Poutine
- Pot Roast
Storing and freezing
If you don’t want to use the onion gravy right away, transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. It freezes well, too! Pour it into a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months.
Before serving, let the frozen gravy thaw in the fridge. Give it a good stir the next day, then reheat it in a saucepan on the stove or in the microwave.
More homemade sauces for meat
- Bearnaise Sauce
- Beef Gravy
- Creamy Horseradish Sauce
- Peruvian Green Sauce
- Lemon Butter Sauce
- Creamy Garlic Sauce
- Mushroom Cream Sauce
Did you make this red wine onion gravy recipe?
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Red Wine Onion Gravy
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.
- Add the sliced onions and cook for about 30 minutes until beginning to caramelize.
- Add the red wine and thyme, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add the broth, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, and pepper, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
- Remove the thyme stems.
- In a small bowl whisk together the cornstarch and 2 TBSP water. Slowly add the cornstarch mixture to the gravy whisking to combine. Boil just until thickened. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.