Brown gravy

Brown gravy

15 min
Brown gravy is a deliciously creamy and thick sauce loved by adults and children alike. Making it one of the quickest and easiest sauces, we have a simple recipe that will help you conjure up a flavourful, velvety side dish for your dinner in no time with just a few basic ingredients. Since it pairs so well with many dishes, you can serve it any way you like.


  • Melt butter in a pan until it is golden. Add onion and salt and fry over medium heat for approx. 5 minutes – stir occasionally.
  • Put water in the pan, bring it to a boil over high heat and let it boil, still over high heat, for approx. 2 minutes.
  • Pour the water (approx. 150 ml) from the onions into a small heavy-bottomed pan.
  • Bring the water from the onions to a boil, add cooking cream, soy sauce, salt, and pepper and bring it to a boil.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the sauce thickener.
  • Cook over low heat while stirring for approx. 1 minute. Add browning sauce and season to taste.

This simple brown gravy will thicken as it sits. If it becomes too thick, you can add a splash of water while reheating it. But only add it little by little or you risk watering down the flavour. Remember to give it a taste to ensure that the mixture is properly seasoned.


Yellow onions are perfect for adding flavour to the mix. They also have a higher sugar content, which results in a perfect golden-brown colour, so you can use the onions for other dishes or add them to the finished gravy for a more textured experience. The longer you brown the onions, the richer the flavour will be.

Questions about brown gravy

Try out our recipe that only require a few basic kitchen staples when you are in the mood for something savoury and creamy for your main dish. Read on to discover more about it!

What is brown gravy?
Brown gravy is a classic sauce traditionally made with juices from roasted meat and thickened with flour or cornstarch. This recipe, however, uses the liquids from fried onions cooked with water as a base for the mixture, followed by a splash of cooking cream, soy sauce, and seasoning. This method is much faster and produces a rich texture with plenty of flavour from the onions.
How to make brown gravy from scratch?
The brown gravy is easy to make. Fry onion in melted butter and salt over medium heat for a few minutes, then add water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Transfer the water from the onions into a small heavy-bottomed pan and bring it to a boil. Add cooking cream, soy sauce, salt, and pepper. Remove the pan from the stove and whisk in a sauce thickener. Finally, cook it over low heat while stirring for 1 minute. As a final touch, add browning sauce and season to taste.
Can you freeze brown gravy?
Since this brown gravy is cream-based, it will not freeze well, as these gravies tend to separate when thawed. If you still want to attempt it, make sure the gravy is completely cool before transferring it to an airtight container or a freezer bag. If you want to freeze smaller portions, you can use an ice cube tray and bag the cubes in a freezer bag once they are frozen. Frozen gravy can keep well for up to 4 months in the freezer.
How to thicken up brown gravy?
One easy way to thicken brown gravy is to add cornstarch or flour. Both items work as a thickening agent that you mix with a bit of water. Mix the water with either flour or cornstarch in a separate bowl and stir thoroughly until it is smooth. Add the mixture gradually to the gravy until it has the desired consistency. Make sure you get rid of any flour or cornstarch lumps.
Is au jus the same as brown gravy?
The two sauces are quite similar but not the same. The major difference between au jus and brown gravy is the thickness. Unlike gravy, au jus does not contain a thickening agent like a roux, flour, or cornstarch; instead, the liquid is reduced until the gravy has a rich, silky, thin consistency. This process takes a bit longer than preparing a thick, creamy gravy.


10 g
Onions, in thin half rings (approx. 150 g)
Coarse salt
½ tsp
300 ml
Cooking cream, 8%
¼ l
Soy sauce
1 tsp
Coarse salt
½ tsp
Freshly ground pepper
Sauce thickener
1½ tbsp
Browning sauce

Brown gravy with onions

Want to wow your guests with a luxuriously rich gravy full of flavour? Then you need to try our recipe for brown gravy with onions and cream. It is a quick and easy way to give your favourite savoury recipes a flavourful flourish. Soy sauce, salt, and pepper provide aromatic support without it being overpowering. With its deep colour, rich taste, and creamy texture, it is the perfect topping for meat and potatoes.

Cream and onion gravy taking centre stage

Enjoy a creamy gravy with a rich texture and subtle sweet notes, making it perfect to serve for a special occasion. A splash of cooking cream gives it a velvety, almost silky texture.

Most gravies use a roux as a base, but we have a much better solution that ensures a lump-free consistency and lends a delicious aroma. Cooked onions provide a sweet and pungent flavour and help thicken the gravy, working together with the cooking cream.

How to serve brown gravy

There are so many delicious pairings for this classic onion brown gravy. For example, homemade meatballs. Smother the tender meatballs in brown gravy and serve them right out of the pan with mashed potatoes, rice, or boiled potatoes. It is such a delicious comfort food that hits home every time. Add the meatballs to the gravy and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. For a final touch, garnish with fresh parsley.

If you have never had meatloaf with brown gravy, you have been missing out. It is a perfect nostalgic dish that only takes a few minutes to make. Cook the meatloaf in the oven and pour the brown gravy on top once the meatloaf comes out of the oven, allowing it to seep into the meat to make it juicier and tastier. Slice the meatloaf and serve with gravy on the side.

When you want an easy meal, pork chops in brown gravy are just what you need. Fry the pork chops over medium heat for a couple of minutes until they are light brown. Transfer the pork chops to the gravy and let it simmer until they are tender. Serve the pork chops with onions and brown gravy.

Try this recipe with our meatloaf made with cheese and bell peppers or check out this easy homemade bearnaise and cheesy mornay sauce if you want to be inspired by more easy and delicious sauces.

Add your own touch

With our simple recipe for homemade brown gravy, it is easy to add a personal touch. If you want to try something new, experiment with umami-rich ingredients, for example, by adding Worcestershire sauce. Worcestershire sauce has a rich, sweet, earthy flavour profile that pairs well with an array of savoury dishes.

You can also boost the flavour by infusing it with aromatic herbs like thyme or rosemary. Let the gravy and herbs simmer until it is flagrant and flavourful. To get a sweeter flavour, add a bit of redcurrant jelly to the sauce.

Use beef stock or beef broth and add it to the onions instead of the water. It will give it a much deeper aroma and allows the flavours of the beef to shine through. Depending on the dish you are serving with the brown gravy, chicken or vegetable stock might be better suited.