The best caramelised onion gravy

Caramelised onion gravy with british onions

I got sent a box of British onions a couple of weeks ago along with various condiments like mushroom ketchup, Colman’s mustard, posh ketchup and Marmite along with a letter asking if I would like to try and make some gravy with the ingredients. Now, living here in the North, gravy is almost a staple dietary requirement. Chris and I like to joke that in Morrison’s there’s two aisles for chips and one just for gravy!

Seriously though, I love good gravy, where would we be without it on a Sunday roast, or filling your toad in the hole? As I had so many onions I thought there was no better way to use the onions than to caramelise them first. A mixture of red onion and white onions gives you a sweeter flavour from the red onion and fuller flavour from the white. Knowing my onions didn’t travel a long way to get to my plate and helping our British Farmers is always a good thing too!

I loved how sweet the British onions made the gravy once they’d been caramelised; I prefer mine dark and quite thick (like warm custard) but you can always add more if you like. This recipe’s vegetarian, though you could add a bit of the meat juices if you’re making this for a roast dinner!


  • 1 red onion
  • 1 white onion
  • 450ml cold water (preferably from boiling veg)
  • 4 tbsp gravy browning/powder (not instant!)
  • 25g butter
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1tsp Marmite
  • 5 splashes Henderson’s relish (or Worcestershire sauce if you don’t have it)


  1. Slice the onions into 1/2 onion rings. Melt the butter over a low heat in a saucepan and add the onions and garlic. Put the lid on and cook for 20 mins, stirring occasionally. The onions will soften and gently brown.
  2. Uncover the pan and leaving it in the low heat, let the onions cook for another 10 minutes to go more brown.
  3. Mix the gravy browning with a little of the water to make a paste and then gently add the rest of the water. Add this to the caramelised onions and stir to prevent lumps. Add the Henderson’s relish and Marmite (and meat juices if you’re using any) and continue to stir until the gravy thickens. Patience is the key here – gentle heats makes much better gravy. When you’re happy with the consistency it’s ready to go!


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