This is a very rich and flavoursome sauce. Use it as a base for quick casseroles, such as my mushroom, pepper and Guinness casserole or to accompany grilled meats or vegetables.
The sauce is easy to make. I think of it as “nearly vegetarian”. To make it vegetarian, replace the Guinness and umami paste with vegetarian alternatives.
3 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and cut into small dice
3 celery sticks, cut into small dice
2 dried red chillies
A pinch of salt
Ground black pepper
½ tsp dried thyme
2 tablespoons flour
400ml of stock made with a vegetarian stock cube, 2 tsp tomato puree, 1 tsp Marmite and 1 tsp umami paste
1 x 440ml can of Guinness
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 pinch of sugar
Melt the butter in a large pan, add the onion and garlic and soften for 5 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, chillies, salt, black pepper and thyme, stir well, cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
Stir in the flour and add the stock little-by-little, stirring all the time to soak up the flour. Pour in the Guinness and add the red wine vinegar and sugar.
Bring to a simmer, cover and cook in a low oven for 1 ½ hours. Stir the sauce occasionally and add a splash or two of boiling water if it starts to dry out. Check the seasoning.
The final sauce should be the texture of gravy and will coat the back of a spoon.
The sauce can now be cooled and stored in the fridge until needed.