Beef/ Roast Dinner/ Simple Sauces

Red Wine Onion Gravy

January 30, 2018 (Last Updated: December 10, 2019) by Chris Collins

This Red Wine Onion Gravy recipe is an absolute game changer. So gorgeously rich and packed full of flavour, prepare to never use a packet of store bought gravy again!

If I’m having a meal that requires a jug of beef gravy to be present, there’s also going to be a tall chunky glass of wine. And it’s not that I’ve always had the urge to pour my wine in the gravy, but I just knew deep down in my soul that they would marry together perfectly. After a little experimenting all I can say is my soul was right. Red wine gravy is totally a thing and it’s about to change your life.

 Red Wine Onion Gravy in jug

Red wine lends itself so neatly to beef in so many different contexts. It’s just a match made in heaven.

When adding it to a homemade beef gravy, it adds an extra depth of flavour and provides a gorgeous richness. Sure, beef gravy is great, but red wine beef gravy is better.

And when the onions get involved it’s just game over.

When you fry them low and slow they release their natural sugars and begin caramelize. This balances out the slight acidity of the wine.

Ugh just look at that gravy goodness 😍

Red Wine Onion Gravy spoon dunked in

How to make homemade gravy without drippings

Many traditional gravy recipes use meat drippings in gravy, but I wanted to create a ‘go-to’ gravy recipe which you can whip up whether you’ve got meat drippings or not.

The easiest way to make gravy is to make a roux using butter and flour. From there you can really create any type of gravy you like.

My general rule of thumb for a gravy to comfortably serve 4 is:

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups (500ml) liquid i.e stock/broth

Simply melt the butter and add the flour to form a paste, then slowly add your liquid.

Red Wine Onion Gravy Process Shots

Red Wine Onion Gravy Ingredients

  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Red Wine
  • Onion
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Beef Stock
  • Salt & Pepper

An that’s it! A few cupboard staples there too right?

Tips for the Best Homemade Red Wine Gravy

  • Cook out the wine for a good 5 minutes or so to burn out some of the alcohol.
  • Fry the onions low and slow to caramelize them. This will add a nice sweetness to the gravy and balance out the acidity of the wine.
  • Beef stock and always beef stock. I have played around with other stocks before and none of them compare to the marriage of red wine and beef.

Red Wine Onion Gravy with Homemade Sausages and Mash

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How to make Red Wine Onion Gravy (Full Recipe & Video)

Red Wine Onion Gravy with Homemade Sausages and Mash

Red Wine Onion Gravy

This Red Wine Onion Gravy recipe is an absolute game changer. So gorgeously rich and packed full of flavour, prepare to never use a packet of store bought gravy again!
4.8 from 5 votes
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Servings (click & slide): 4
Course: Dinner / Sauce
Cuisine: English
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Calories per serving: 90kcal
Cost per serving: £1 / $1


  • Medium Pot or Pan with Wooden Spoon
  • Whisk
  • Jug (for stock)
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board (for onions)

Ingredients (check list):

  • 1 large Red Onion, peeled & sliced
  • 2 cups / 500ml Good Quality Beef Stock (see notes)
  • 1/3 cup / 80ml Dry Red Wine (see notes)
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tbsp Flour
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • Olive Oil, as needed
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Red Currant Jelly or Cranberry Sauce (optional - see notes)


  • Heat a little oil in a suitably sized pan and begin frying your onions over medium heat. Once they start to take on colour, turn down to a low-medium and fry until soft and caramelized. The lower and slower you fry the onions, the more they'll caramelize and the sweeter they'll be. The sweetness will help balance out the sharp tones in the wine & saltiness in the stock.
  • Melt in 1 tbsp butter then stir in 1 tbsp flour until a paste forms. Stir in your Worcestershire sauce and wine. Slowly stir in your beef stock, whisking as you go to ensure no lumps form. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until desired thickness. It will thicken, just keep simmering. Take into consideration the gravy will thicken as it cools. Serve up and enjoy! (see notes for make ahead)

Quick 1 min demo!


a) Drippings - If you cooked meat in the pan, something like steak or sausages, I recommend just starting straight from there and frying the onions in the fat (around 1 tbsp fat should suffice). If you've cooked a larger piece of beef and have a considerable amount of drippings, then simply skim the fat and use the drippings as some of the stock.
b) Beef Stock - If you're using a dissolvable beef stock cube, I usually double up just to strengthen the flavour. However, for your first time I recommend using one, then taste testing and popping in another at the end if you feel it necessary. If you're using a good quality stock this may not be necessary.
c) Red Wine - I usually go for something like a Merlot, nothing fancy. General rule if you wouldn't drink it don't cook with it. In all cases just make sure it's dry wine, NOT sweet!
d) Sweetness - The caramelization of the onion should provide enough sweetness to balance out the wine. But consider adding a tiny bit of cranberry sauce and red current jelly to sweeten it further if you feel necessary. Just 1/2 tsp will do the trick.
e) Make Ahead - Allow the gravy to cool then tightly cover in the fridge (2-3days, longer at your discretion). Reheat on the stove on a low heat, gently stirring as you go to ensure the gravy doesn't split. You can also reheat in short blasts in the microwave, stirring in between. If you don't have drippings when making this ahead of time, just stir through the drippings after you've cooked the meat (fat skimmed) for an extra depth of flavour.
f) Calories - Based on a division of 4, using 1 tbsp of olive oil


Nutrition Facts
Red Wine Onion Gravy
Amount Per Serving
Calories 90 Calories from Fat 48
% Daily Value*
Fat 5.36g8%
Saturated Fat 1.686g8%
Trans Fat 0.002g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.441g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.026g
Cholesterol 4mg1%
Sodium 60mg3%
Potassium 118mg3%
Carbohydrates 6.32g2%
Fiber 0.7g3%
Sugar 2.14g2%
Protein 0.74g1%
Vitamin A 150IU3%
Vitamin C 3.3mg4%
Calcium 20mg2%
Iron 0.5mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
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For the perfect accompaniment to your homemade gravy, check out my Homemade Skinless Sausages

Pork Homemade Skinless Sausages

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