Quick and easy gravy recipe

We used many variations of this sauce at Cafe Maitreya, it doesn't involve any bones or processed stock cubes and still packs a great savoury punch. The sauce can be applied as a base for many sauces such as stroganoff, red wine sauce and makes a great French onion soup. With a 10 minute prep time and 20 minutes cooking only, this keeps the fresh flavour of the vegetables and it's fast and effective.


1 large onion, peeled and quite finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 stick celery, quite finely chopped

.½ small leek, quite finely chopped

2 medium carrots, quite finely chopped

2 bay leaves

10 peppercorns

sprig of thyme

1 teaspoon marmite

1.5 tablespoons tamari (or 1 tablespoon regular soy sauce)

650 ml/1.25pints water

1 level dessertspoon arrowroot (or 1 heaped dessertspoon cornflour-dissolved)


Heat up a small to medium saucepan and add the oil and onion, fry until just beginning to brown, then add the garlic, leek, celery and carrot

Fry quite aggressively so vegetables are beginning to brown and stick, while stirring

When plenty of colour add water, tamari (soy) and marmite

Then add the remaining ingredients apart from the arrowroot/cornflour

Simmer on a low to medium heat for 15 mins so that the water has reduced by about 25%

Strain into a clean pan, pressing the vegetables to extract as much of their natural sugars/juices as possible

Bring back to the boil and thicken with the arrowroot/cornflour and serve immediately or keep up to 3 days in fridge