Onion Gravy #Food

I got some supposedly English-style bangers from MarketWagon. No. No, they were not. Not BAD, but not English-style bangers.

But that’s not what I want to talk about today. I want to talk about the onion gravy I made to go with it.

I used a Candy Sweet onion — melted a little butter in a pan and added the cut-up onion and a pinch of sugar, some salt and pepper, and cooked it low and slow until the onion started to brown. How long? Maybe half an hour? Then I measured out four cups of liquid: beef bouillon, a splash of apple cider vinegar, and half a bottle of stout. I poured that in, sprinkled in some Penzeys Bavarian Seasoning, and cooked it down until it was reduced by half.

I’ve made this same gravy/sauce using red wine instead of beer, and it was equally good. White wine or plum wine would also be good, depending on what you’re serving with it.


A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Something un-English.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Onion Gravy #Food

  1. Dan Antion

    February 15, 2022 at 7:18am

    That does sound good.

    Happy to have you back in my inbox on a regular basis.

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  2. Michael Hodges

    February 15, 2022 at 8:55am

    I always enjoy your cooking entries. For many years my life situation deterred me from really enjoying… well, much at all. But over the past few months I’ve returned to cooking when possible. Last night I made lamb flatbread with red onions, garlic, tomatoes, mozzarella, and feta. I realize that’s just a fancy way of saying “lamb pizza,” but it was divine! My son wants me to make a lamb lasagna (we tend to be fairly Mediterranean) and I’ve something in mind with a bechamel.

    So… something un-English. Having lived overseas for several years there are loads of stories involving un-English, and also involving food. There is the *Slick Meat* from Japan (along with several other tales of gastronomic adventure and mayhem), and Chicken Feet for New Year from Ukraine, Chernobyl Potatoes from England, The Great Pinwheel Fiasco from Italy (or the Marriage Panzerotti, another story dealing with food and Italian endeavors toward *shadchanery*), Stealthy Mushrooms of Finland (most definitely NOT akin to Tom of Finland), Fireside Flatbread from my time in Iraq…

    Food, the best food, involves people and stories. Food is important because it brings people together. I have cooked many fantastic meals for myself, just to see what I could do with this ingredient or that; but without people to share it, the finest cuisine falls well short of memorable.

    A fine gravy is a fine thing, and I look forward to trying your recipe as listed above. Still, it shall be gravy unless shared (which is part of why you have written about it — *to share.*

    A fine gravy that Oskarr got in his beard because he loved it so much that when he believed nobody was looking he picked up his plate to lick it clean? THAT is a gravy we all remember because of how Birgitta chided his loss of manners and decorum at the table as he asked for seconds and proceeded to take what she considered far too much gravy… how he tried to restrain himself because *”Of course, mädchen mein, ja, ja…”* and how once we’d all retired to the sitting room Oskarr excused himself for a moment, only to return with gravy in his beard, and in response to our stares replying “What? What is it you all are looking at?”*

    THAT is a gravy one remembers, and makes again and again, certain of its culinary potency and charm, cherishing its idea like a potion whose secrets must be all but hidden from prying eyes.

    The secret ingredient? Good company.

    I recall one of my finest un-English meals. It was in Italy, on the sweetest of late summer nights when the humidity broke and aa breeze blew fifteen miles inland from the Adriatic. The air was marvelous and everyone, all the family of my *padroni*, my landlords, who had come from the North to visit for the month of August, were relieved as we gathered on what qualified as a veranda beneath the branches of olive, fig, and almond trees.

    My time in Italy was perhaps the happiest of my life before my son came along; but that night stands out because it was the night my eyes were first opened to the truth of meals.

    I cannot tell you what we ate. I don’t remember. What I can tell you is that we ate from a wild mixture of plates and bowls, all mismatched and erratic, scratched hard plastic and chipped ceramic and glass. We drank wine from teacups and old jelly jars and coffee mugs and juice glasses; and we talked and sang, and at some point I glanced around while realizing that all the very American fuss over place settings and dinnerware might be nice now and then… but here was where supper came alive. Not beneath olives and figs, but under the laughing hand of *folk.*

    Good food could be found most anywhere and yet for all that, great food is only as common as good people and acceptance.

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      Marian Allen

      February 15, 2022 at 2:11pm

      I’d like to have the recipe for that plate-lickin’ gravy. I mean good company goes a long way toward making a delightful meal, but good cookin’ sounds like it was part of that experience.

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  3. Michael Hodges

    February 15, 2022 at 7:28pm

    If Oskarr and Birgitta were real, I rather imagine that would have been a marvelous gravy! Something akin to poutine, surely!

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    • Author
      • Michael Hodges

        February 16, 2022 at 1:38pm

        Sometimes I make a slow-roast beef for French dip sandwiches; but I find that they’re so-so. Sometimes I make French onion soup, which is marvelous. What I’ve found is that if I make the beef for the sandwiches and then shred it… and I start out making FO soup but shift it more toward a luscious gravy with some au jous… and **then** I mix them together and layer them atop good fried potatoes with plenty of Swiss and gruyere (or for me, mostly just gruyere) it’s not officially poutine, but it whispers to me with one playful French accent while I drool and make swoony sounds. It’s a fine way to spend a winter suppertime, hearty, heavy, and satisfying.

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        • Author
  4. acflory

    February 16, 2022 at 6:42pm

    I don’t make gravy per se, but it was lovely to read your recipe and know you’re getting back into life again. -hugs-

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