Sunday, 19 May 2013

Red Wine and Onion Gravy

I came home from a long day of revising Gregorian papal reforms and the persecution of minorities in twelfth century Europe and discovered that all my boyfriend Alex had eaten that day was two slices of cake and two bags of crisps. What a balanced diet. Nonetheless, he was in need of a good square meal.

Onion and red wine gravy had been playing on my mind all day, and as I had two bags of veggie sausages in the freezer I figured bangers and mash with onion and red wine gravy was a plan. Turned out to be an incredibly good one.

Normally my mum makes an epic gravy involving most of a bottle of red wine, the better part of four hours and some Bisto onion gravy granules but I had neither the time nor the Bisto. SOO I did a variation on this gravy recipe from BBC Food instead.

This served two very hungry people after a long day of revision…

For the gravy:
1 onion (I used a red onion but a white onion would work just as well)
Large splash of olive oil
1 large (we’re talking really large) teaspoon of wholegrain mustard
Large glass of red wine
½ an oxo cube
½ pint of water plus two large table spoons, added if necessary to keep your gravy from burning
2 drops of maple syrup (you could use sugar. Or honey. This was just the first sweet thing I grabbed)
Pinch of fresh chopped rosemary

For an excessive quantity of mashed potatoes: (I had a hungry Alex to feed)
3 large potatoes (I used baking potatoes but you’re supposed to use floury potatoes)
75ml cream
Splash of milk
Large knob of butter
Salt and pepper

For the sausages:
four or five veggie sausages (two for a normal person (me) and three for Alex)
Olive oil to cook

Serve with plenty of peas.

1. Chop the onion in half, then cut it into slices so you have long strips of onion. Add to the pan with the olive oil. Cook for 7-10 minutes, until soft. Stir in the mustard, then add the red wine. Let it simmer. 

2. While your onion and wine are cooking, peel your potatoes and dice them into small cubes. This means they’ll cook faster. Boil in slightly salted water for 10-12 minutes.  
3. MEANWHILE, back to the gravy. When the red wine has reduced down a bit, add half an oxo cube, half a pint of water and the rosemary. Let it all simmer gently, and if it gets stuck to the sides of the pan or starts to look too sticky then add a more water.

4. Put your sausages in a frying pan with a little olive oil and fry them. My veggie ones took about ten minutes to cook, but it'll depend on whether you're using meating sausages or not.

5. When the potato is cooked (spear a bit with a fork and bite it, you’ll soon be able to tell if it’s done or not) drain off the water and prepare to MASH.  Put the potatoes back in the pan with the cream, the butter and a splash of milk. Mash to your heart’s content, til everything is all smooth and well combined.

     6. Serve your sausages and mash with peas and a liberal helping of gravy. Eat on the sofa while watching rubbish on television.

Disclaimer: This meal is ridiculously filling.


  1. In my defence.... the whole bottle of wine does do a gravy for 18-22 people..... not just for two....!!!!! The bisto is a must.... and one does get the best out of the bisto and the wine when cooked for between 2 and three hours......

    Zosia mum

  2. WOW! This is really an amazing and attractive post about nice recipe with Red Wine and onion gravy. I appreciate your posted wonderful photos. Thanks for sharing such an interesting post.

  3. This sounds really yummy and something new to try. thanks for posting this up.