Weeknight dinners are often an excuse for something hearty yet quick. This week, we had a British classic – bangers and mash. Don’t worry, I’m not going to sit here and tell you how to fry sausages, make smooth mashed potatoes or boil some peas, but I will tell you how to make a great red onion gravy.
When served red onion gravy, I find it can often be a little bit watery. I want a gravy that’ll coat the food I’m eating with a warming goodness that only proper home-cooking can provide.
2 x red onions, sliced finely using a mandolin or a sharp knife (be careful though!)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp brown sugar (i find muscovado sugar works best)
1 tsp balsamic vinegar/glaze
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
150ml red wine
1 tbsp cornflour
500ml fresh beef stock
2 x bay leaves
salt and pepper
- heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. add in the onions and soften them slowly for 10-15 mins. if they’re turning golden quickly or over-cooking, lower the heat. after 5 mins of softening the onions, sprinkle over the brown sugar and leave to caramelise for the rest of the time, only stirring once or twice.
- once your onions are nice and soft, add the balsamic vinegar/glaze and red wine vinegar to the pan and increase the heat to medium-high. this should quickly reduce and be soaked in by the onions.
- next – the red wine. again, with a higher temperature, this should quickly reduce down to about half in quantity. then stir in the cornflour until fully dissolved.
- stir in the fresh beef stock, a sprinkling of dried thyme and the bay leaves. leave to bubble away for 15-20 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan and creating lumps. i find this is often enough to get it thick enough, however if you find it’s too watery then leave a little longer. alternatively, mix a teaspoon of cornflour with a splash of water to create a paste, and stir in to thicken up.