Beer onion gravy, the deeply flavored cousin of regular onion gravy is a much desired partner to many staple dishes favored by beer lovers alike. From bangers and mash to grilled chicken or pork chops and of course – Yorkshire puddings and savory bread puddings.
Today we are sharing our very simple recipe and setting the stage for a recipe we will post in the near future for a classic, meaty English staple dish served with onion gravy (wink, wink).
Anyone who is even remotely interested in cooking with beer knows of the strong affinity onions and beer have for each other. This gravy is also a great way to include beer in your breakfast – just drizzle it over hot biscuits or breakfast sausages.
Suitable Beer Styles for Beer Onion Gravy
The onions’ caramelization is enhanced by the caramel notes often present in beer styles such as these below. Or the other way around, the point being that cooking onions with beer works and it does so to a very desirable effect.
- stout (not Irish stout which is very hoppy)
- brown ale
- amber ale
- English mild
- German amber lagers
Unless you deliberately want to introduce bitterness to your beer onion gravy, choose a brew with low IBUs and a confident malty character and look for it among the styles listed above. We often make beer onion gravy with porters, which is the case with the batch in the pictures and video of this post.
Tips on Making Beer Onion Gravy
We prefer to leave the tender, cooked down sliced onions untouched. As in we don’t see a need to puree them.
The texture of the much softened onions and chopped fresh thyme and sage against the silkiness of the gravy creates a contrast which we favor wholeheartedly.
However, if your preference is for a uniform consistency, by all means do take your handheld blender and puree the onions and herbs once the gravy has finished cooking.
The longer you cook down the onions, the better, but that does not mean that the process must take hours. In fact, our recipe barely takes thirty minutes.
With support from the beer, enough flavors develop to create a delicious, simultaneously sweet and savory sauce that can take many dishes from plain to exquisite. Only one way to check if we are right:)
Watch our brief demonstration using porter ale with very restrained bitterness below. The main steps involved are shown in the video.
Then make yourself a batch of beer onion gravy. Cheers, friends!
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- 2 medium onions thinly sliced
- fresh sage 5-6 leaves, finely chopped
- fresh thyme leaves of a few sprigs
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp flour
- 12 oz dark malty beer (porter, stout, brown ale, Dunkel lager, amber lagers)
- 1 cup beef stock
- In a sauce pan over medium heat melt the butter.
- Add the thinly sliced onions, brown sugar, salt and pepper, sage and thyme and mix well.
- Cook until the onions are translucent and are beginning to caramelize.
- Add the flour and stir to incorporate, about one minute.
- Add the beer, stir and let reduce for a couple of minutes.
- Add the beef stock, stir and let reduce.
- In about 7-10 minutes the gravy will have thickened enough. Remove from the heat and transfer to a suitable container.