- I never thought it was possible to actually write out this recipe. Countless times I’m asked ‘how do you make your gravy?’ Well, I’ll share with you it’s not just my gravy; lol, it’s everyone from my past. All the little how to’s combined. Time consuming ? Yes. But, let me say well worth the effort. This is a fresh from start recipe. A new pot of gravy does not have to be prepared every week. I normally have 3 – 4 containers left which I freeze for coming weeks. Lucky if the meatballs and sausage are left over; depending on how many guests. Plus there is always a family member or friend anticipating on getting a container to take home. I am complimented by the requests. Just as I always have my stock on hand; the last container of gravy is used for the next fresh pot. The Gravy is timeless. Gravy meat is always separated from the gravy for storage. This makes it easy for the next use. With plenty in the freezer it is on hand for the unexpected dinner quest. Also in a pinch; a good base for a Bolognese; or Chicken Parmigiano and let’s not forget Pizza! Remember be creative; cooking is fun!
3 lbs Italian sausage 1/2 sweet 1/2 hot
3 lbs meatloaf mix (Meatballs Mima)
Addition meat of choice (skirt steak,pork tenderloin,neck bones)
1 cup olive oil
8 -10 garlic gloves peeled
Fresh basil 3 stems
Fresh parsley 3 stems
1 6 1/2 lb can San Marzano Plum tomatoes
1 1 1/2 lb can Puree
1 large tomato paste
salt, pepper & red pepper (Optional)
Splash of Red Wine
Fry paste to absorb meat drippings
In a very large gravy pot; which you pre-heated, add 1/4 c olive oil, garlic cloves & sausage. Scatter some fresh basil over the sausage as it browns…. cook the sausage well. Not on a high flame as to burn the garlic, turning to brown evenly. While the pork is browning I blend the whole plum tomatoes. I use a wand; but a blender works fine, just a bit messy. Some people use chopped onion in the base, it’s optional.
In a separate skillet add 1/4 c olive oil and brown pork tenderloin; add tenderloin to large pot with sausage. Should you not be using 3 lbs of sausage the tenderloin can cook in the gravy pot, use the skillet for the beef. After transferring meat to large pot; add 1/2 can of tomato paste to the meat dripppings & oil stirring up bottom as it mixes in and dissipates oil. Combine with pork. Add 1/4 c olive oil and the blended San Marzano tomatoes to the large pot. The puree is added as well; save a can of water from the puree can for later. Add a handful of salt, 2 stems of basil, pepper, red pepper (as well if desired). Keep the flame on a medium to low setting.
Hopefully your meatballs are prepared and you will fry them in the separate skillet, add a little oil to the skillet from fried meatballs or skirt steak . I never cook the beef and pork together until the meat has browned. Also you will have 2 separate meat drippings; this contains all the flavor. Key to a good gravy. When the oil is absorbed in the paste; after you removed the fried beef, I top off the paste with a dash of salt as its browning along with parsley, pepper, & more garlic. The skillet will appear clean; transfer the paste to large pot and add the reserved water in the puree can to the skillet. Stir and add to large pot. To ensure you will capture all the flavor.
Stirring is essential, I add more garnish of basil and parsley when the ingredients are combined. Last, a dash to a 1/2 glass of red wine. I am told many people add sugar to the gravy; most likely there isn’t enough salt, I prefer the wine as a finish; this is also optional. Others add carrots to cut the bitterness; I generally use carrots in my Bolognese. We have quite a few children at the table. I find leaving the basil & parsley un-cut less offends them ( some children pick at the little cut leaves).
The prep time could take 1 – 1 1/2 hours, Total cooking time at least 3 -4 hours after all ingredients are combined. I cook mine 5 – 6 hours
In the event of adding braciole; Pork or Beef, I use a more generous amount of water. Water is needed for tendering the rolled meat. I also substitute crushed tomato for the puree; as it has a thinner base, much better for the braciole. I will be posting a gravy for vegetarians soon…..
I hope you find this informative & enjoyable .