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Anna’s famous onion gravy recipe

vegetarian onion gravy

Vegetarian onion gravy

I’ve been working at Anna’s house for the past five weeks. The spot is so secluded that I could not find it on my first foray and had to return home. At the second attempt, Jalopy and I were resting at the side of the road, scratching our heads and on the point of giving up when, miraculously, Anna drove past.

We followed her lead and learned the route to her house. Down a quiet track, in the middle of fields. I would never have found it by myself and might have missed out on this onion gravy gem.

Anna cooks delicious meals for her children every evening without a hint of resentful huffing and puffing. She chops, sears and simmers. Then takes Max, their lurcher, out for a power walk. Within minutes after her return, they are sitting down to a feast.

Needless to say, I have tasted every dish that she has made. Anna shares her secrets.

Last night she offered me a spoonful of mashed potato with gravy. My figure has rollicked out of control recently so I tasted only a teeny touch of onion gravy. It was was beefy and piquant. I was amazed to discover that it was entirely vegetarian.

We were having sausages this evening so I made Anna’s onion gravy as an accompaniment. Danny loves onion gravy and I knew that this would blow his socks off. Thanks Anna, he was delighted.

Don’t make the same mistake as we did. This gravy is designed to be served with plain sausages and we used spicy ones which gangled the taste buds.

Our cottage is divided down the middle when it comes to Marmite. I love it, Danny runs screaming from the room at the sight of a pot. The Marmite flavour combines well with the other ingredients and is not discernible.

Vegetarian onion gravy recipe
Recipe Type: Gravy Sauces
Author: Fiona Nevile
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 1 hour
Serves: 4
  • 1 large onion (sliced into rings). Anna says that red onions are best.
  • 1 clove of garlic (Finely chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 small knob of butter
  • 1 level tablespoon of plain flour
  • 350 ml of stock (boiling water poured over 1 tsp of Marigold)
  • 1 level teaspoon Marmite
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar (I think that she shouted this variation through the door as I shot out to join Jalopy in the snow).
  • 1 pinch of decent mixed herbs (my addition)
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a frying pan over a low heat and add the onion slices.
  2. After five minutes add the garlic.
  3. Sautee until the onions are soft and transparent.
  4. Add the flour and stir in well. Let the flour get a bit nutty.
  5. Add the stock gradually, stirring constantly. Then add the Marmite, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, mixed herbs and black pepper.
  6. Bring the mixture to the boil and simmer very gently for 20 – 30 minutes.
  7. Stir every 5 minutes until the gravy thickens and the flavours blend.

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  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Aly

    Thanks for the tips.

    I agree that Marigold is a great vegetable stock powder.

  2. This one is a great ‘base’ recipe. I am not ‘quite’ veggie, but a pesco veggie and instead of marmite and soy sauce, I used Worcestershire sauce, I believe you can get a veggie variation.
    Marigold is the best vetable stock on the market.

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Janet

    Thanks for the positive feedback. Suddenly I have a longing for sausages and gravy!

  4. janet

    fantastic gravy. Will definetly pass this recipe on!

  5. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Don

    This onion gravy is yummy. We use vegetable stock for this recipe (a cube or powder).

    Thanks for leaving a comment.

  6. Don Holtz


    Sounds yummy… but what kind of stock is it that you use?

    My partner loves anything with onions, so I will certainly try this.


  7. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Simon,

    That’s good to know. Thanks for leaving a comment!

  8. Worked very well even without having garlic, herbs or soy sauce to put in

  9. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Annette

    Your adaptations sound great. Danny would be interested in this as we usually have steak on a Friday night. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Annette Rushworth

    I stumbled across this recipe today and decided to try it with a few adaptations. I wanted a sauce to serve with steak for a special occasion meal (my wedding anniversary and my birthday). I added a few sliced mushrooms when I added the garlic and I also used double the flour to thicken and slightly less stock so that it reduced to a sauce consistency rather than a gravy. Have to say it was absolutely delicious and went down extremely well with my husband and our two sons. Thanks for sharing and making my anniversary meal a little special.

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