Just because you're a vegetarian doesn't mean you can't have the best gravy. I've played around a lot with this to get a nice deep flavour. This gravy can easily be made the day before and kept in a sealed container. Just reheat and give it a whisk to remove any lumps formed by the "skin."
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup vegan margarine
1/2 brown onion, chopped finely
1/2 cup red wine
approx 500ml water
1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce (Spring Gully makes one, easily available at Franklins or Coles)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tsp tamari
two or three porcini mushrooms, or a few dried shittake mushrooms
few sprigs of fresh thyme, finely chopped.
ground black pepper to taste
In a small saucepan melt margarine, and add flour. Stirring constantly, form a roux, and add onion. Fry gently until deep golden. Slowly add the water a splash at a time, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Add all other ingredients, and add more water if necessary to reach the consistency desired. Leave for five minutes. At this point I use my bar mix to remove any lumps and blend in the mushrooms and onion to a puree. Leave on simmer, stirring and adding a bit more water if necessary, for about half an hour. This allows the flour to cook out thoroughly. Nothing tastes worse than gravy that reminds you of dough! Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Serve piping hot over anything you like!