Rioja Reduced Red Onion Gravy

One of my favourite items on a plate is a good piece of meat, be that a steak cooked to each recipient’s ideal, a slow roasted joint that simply falls apart at the sight of a fork or even a rare piece of game, whatever that item is, nothing is quite complete without the perfect gravy or sauce to accompany and assist with bringing out the variety of flavours on offer. Over the years I have dabbled with, and slowly perfected this recipe that adds a very special richness to the table.


Almost There

The taste and texture of this sauce is phenomenal and when served it should be done by the means of nothing more than a dessert spoonful at a time, at least, until you have made it at least twice; after all, you don’t want to waste a single piece of this exquisite accompaniment.   Some blog posts shall be largely taken up by words, explanations and descriptions, whilst others shall require so little in the form of words with the story being told via a series of images. This post is a fine example of the latter because once you begin the process you are free to undertake a multitude of things as this more or less creates itself.   Done slow and done well this will take approximately 1 1/2 hours though I have extended it out to 2 hours, the difference is that the longer the timings the richer the flavour. It should be determined by yourself as to what is your perfect timing and if in doubt I refer you to this particular advice from the #ParlezPantry Rules.

No matter what a recipe states, ALWAYS mature each dish according to your taste, cook longer, cook less, add more, add less, you are the one serving your creation, stand by your work.

You will need:

  • 6 Red Onions
  • 1 Bottle (750ml) Rioja (I prefer Rioja due to its intense flavours and thickness)
  • 50g Butter (Unsalted)
  • 100ml / 150ml of Beef Stock
  • 1 tspn Demerara Sugar
  • 1 8″ Frying Pan (or similar)

To begin, slice 3 of the onions and cut the remaining 3 into 8ths. This will create a more rustic finished product with varying textures and sizes.   Step 1. Place just the onions in the pan for 3 to 4 minutes on a very high heat to sweat them down (below).


Step 1 – Sweat

Step 2 and Step 3. Add the butter whilst reducing the heat to medium and continue to stir for another 5 minutes to permit the butter to cover all the onions as they start to take on a golden colour (second below image).


Step 2 – Add Butter



Step 3 – Caramelise

Step 4. Add the beef stock and stir, at the same time reduce the heat to a minimum and there it stays until complete. Continue to to stir for a few minutes until the stock has mostly reduced and the onions thoroughly softened.

Step 5. Slowly add the wine, just enough to cover the onions each time until it reduces and thickens then add more. Continue to stir every few minutes. After approximately 45 minutes and 2/3 of the wine the result is (below), do not be tempted to stop at this point.


Step 5 – Wine Reduction

Step 6. Continue to add the remainder of the wine in the same fashion. Once all the wine has been added, stir until your consistency is achieved.


Step 6 – Perfection

Serve and enjoy (above). If you have any left over this shall sit in the fridge happily for up to 5 days.

Author: Ghyllfoot

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