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Ultimate plant-based gravy

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Vegetarian mains

Ultimate plant-based gravy

Side Serves 4 1h 40 min
A good gravy starts with a good stock, so this recipe shows you how to create the whole thing from scratch. This is more involved, but produces a darker, more complex result. You want to get some colour on the veg before adding it to the water; all the golden edges add deeper flavours and a dark caramel colour. They also add an element of coffee-like bitterness that gives everything a rounder flavour.


  • 2 large onions, skins on, roughly sliced
  • 3 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 3 celery sticks, roughly chopped
  • 100g mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 125ml white wine
  • 1 garlic clove, split open
  • small bunch of parsley
  • 3-4 sprigs of thyme
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 litre water
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast or ½ tbsp Marmite
  • 2 tbsp brown rice miso
  • soy sauce
  • red wine vinegar
  • salt & pepper
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Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 1h 30 min
  • Step 1

    Turn your oven to 200˚C/Gas 6. Lay the onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms in a roasting tray and toss them with a dash of oil. Roast them for 25-30 minutes, or until nicely coloured and almost burnt at the edges – the onions in particular.
  • Step 2

    Remove the tray from the oven and tip the veg into a large pan. Sprinkle the flour into the empty roasting tray and then tip in the wine. Put the tray on the heat and let the wine simmer to dissolve the flour. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any of the burnt remnants of the roasted veg.
  • Step 3

    Tip the wine into the pan with the veg, along with the water, garlic, parsley, thyme, peppercorns and bay. Bring to a very gentle simmer. Cook for 45 minutes, making sure it stays on a low simmer and doesn’t start a rolling boil.
  • Step 4

    Stir in the yeast and miso until dissolved. Use a masher to roughly crush the veg in the pan, or alternatively give them a couple of short pulses with a stick blender. You want a little bit of veg to pass through the sieve to lightly thicken the gravy.
  • Step 5

    Place a sieve over a clean pan and pass the gravy through, using a ladle or spoon to press out as much flavour as you can. Taste and tweak with a dash or two of soy if you think it needs some more depth, and a drop of red wine vinegar if it needs a touch more acidity. Then adjust with salt and pepper to your liking.

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