Sunday Gravy – GRAVY DAY!

Entree | November 1, 2015 | By

gravydayI grew up in the Bronx in an Italian-American family. The Sunday ritual was making gravy!

OK… here we go. The sauce or gravy conversation. I’ll simplify as I see it. A sauce is thin, a gravy is thicker. Yeah, Sundays were all about the GRAVY.

We either went to my dad’s parent’s next door or traveled up to Yorktown Heights to my mom’s parents. Occasionally we stayed home and either my mom or my dad would make the gravy. It would simmer on the stove from morning until mid-afternoon. My mom would keep a few meatballs “dry” (not placed in the gravy) to snack on until it was time to eat. To this day, there’s nothing like fresh, crusty, Italian bread dipped into the gravy pot either!

The greatest gift I could share is the recipe for our Sunday gravy. It is simple and delicious. Here’s the shopping list:

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½-¾ cup vegetable oil for frying
  • 3 – 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 lb sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 lb hot Italian sausage
  • 1 lb pork spare ribs
  • 1 piece pork braciola (flattened pork butt – ask the butcher)
  • 1 piece beef braciola (flattened sliced bottom round – ask the butcher)
  • 2 lb chopped meat – pork, beef, veal “meatloaf” mix
  • 8 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 medium onions
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup flat-leaf parsley chopped
  • ½ cup grated pecorino romano
  • ¼ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup plain breadcrumbs
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • kitchen twine

Here’s how:

The video has the specifics but the quick directions are:

  1. Add extra virgin olive oil into a deep pot. Over medium heat, cook onions until they’re translucent. Add the tomatoes and salt & pepper to taste. After a few minutes, bring it down to a simmer and cover, leaving about 3″ open.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet. Sear the sausage and the spare ribs. Add to the gravy pot.
  3. Sprinkle on half the parsley, garlic, and grated cheese, and the seasoned breadcrumbs to the braciole. Fold in sides and roll. Tie with kitchen twine. Sear and add to the gravy pot.
  4. Mix the chop meat, eggs, plain breadcrumbs, salt & pepper to taste, and the remainder of the parsley, garlic, and grated cheese. Form into about 2″ balls. Fry and add to the gravy pot.
  5. Simmer for at least an hour (can leave it for a few hours too). Let it rest about 15 minutes before serving.

Make your preferred macaroni – penne, rigatoni, etc. – and don’t forget the ricotta! Have plenty of Italian bread on hand. Serve it all with a simple iceberg, red onion, tomato, and cucumber salad with a red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt & pepper dressing.

This is the best! ENJOY!



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