Homemade Creamy Beef Onion Gravy

I love gravy. On Salisbury steak, chips (fries…whatever), mashed potato, Yorkshire puddings! or really on anything that needs a gravy.

I’ve spent a lot of time and effort trying to find the perfect recipe that works for me; that reminds me of the gravy from my childhood that was totally artificial yet totally delicious. A good beef stock’s always the best start but the luxuriant thickness and subtle yet also strangely in your face onion flavor has always eluded me. I think I finally have it and want to share it with you.

Beef stock gravy ingredients

The ingredients are simple enough but it’s important to get the quantities right. When I used to

onions gently cooking

You cannot go wrong with gently cooking onions in butter. It’s always a great start to any recipe – the aroma is fantastic! Before I learned how to cook but back when I was a student and still had to make myself food I only knew one way to cook onions – oil, high heat, and fry them to death. Excellent on hot dogs but not much use with anything else – the sweetness is completely destroyed.

Now I understand that the path to sweet sumptuous onioness is achieved through a combination of butter and a very low heat. Caramelized onions work with almost anything but they take a very long time to do properly. Here you’re just softening the onions to cook them through but keep the sweetness intact.

perfectly cooked onions

The butter just bubbles away and you get a very light caramelization. Take care not to burn the butter.

making a roux

Now you add the flour – this is going to soak up all the butter and dry the pan right up. In effect this is just a roux with some added onions.

gravy base cooking

The flour needs to be cooked off for a minute or two to make sure there is no raw flour taste in the gravy. Keep stirring to avoid burning anything.

adding the beef stock

Next is the hot beef stock. There many varieties of stock on the market and the best one will always be the ones you make at home but if you have none then make sure you get the best quality stock you can – this is the essence of the gravy and whilst a generic bouillon cube and hot water will work, the best bouillon is usually fully made or a thick paste.

gravy with onions

Bring the gravy up to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes or so.

creamy brown gravy

Add the cream and stir it through. The gravy should have a thick, luxuriant texture.

finished gravy

And it’s ready to serve with whatever you like. How about bangers and mash? Even better served on a Yorkshire pudding…

mashed potatoes ready for gravy

I had no sausages and so just had it with mash – it’s a perfect meal!

Beef Onion Gravy and Mash

Not the greatest photo, I know…

Print Recipe
Homemade Creamy Beef Onion Gravy
I researched and tested a lot of gravy recipes to arrive at this one. I was looking to create a perfect brown gravy that goes with anything and I really think that this is the one.
Beef Onion Gravy and Mash
Course Sauces
Cuisine British
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Sauces
Cuisine British
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Beef Onion Gravy and Mash
Instructions
  1. Add the butter to a skillet and melt over a low to medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook for 10 to 15 minutes until soft and a little translucent.
    chopped onion in butter
  2. Put in the flour and cook for 2 or 3 minutes stirring to avoid burning.
    onion roux
  3. Add the hot stock and stir until combined. Bring to the boil then simmer for 5 minutes.
    hot beef stock gravy
  4. Season with salt and black pepper and add optional herbs - oregano, thyme and basil will all work; a teaspoon in total of dried herbs or a tablespoon of fresh.
    basil thyme oregano
  5. Add in the cream and combine. Ready to serve!
    creamy brown gravy with onion

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