#1
Old 09-08-2015, 07:41 PM
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Sunday gravy

(Or: Part something-or-other in Smapti's irregular series of begging the Teeming Millions for their recipes.)

Despite the fact that my late father was a proud Italian-American who grew up in New England back in the days when the Mob still ran things and whose mother only spoke English as a second language, he couldn't cook to save his life. I started teaching myself to cook when I was a young adult, and I've learned a good number of Italian (or Italian-American, at least) dishes along the way - I can make an amazing lasagna, and a Bolognese sauce to die for, and decent meatballs, and I've been cultivating my recipe for deep-dish pizza for some time.

It was only recently, however, that a Wiki trawl lead me to the concept of "Sunday gravy" - an American dish of southern Italian origin, consisting of a thin-ish tomato-based sauce in which various meats - meatballs, sausages, pork chops, braciole, what have you - are simmered for several hours, served over penne or macaroni with a hefty helping of parmesan. I imagine that my dad probably enjoyed many such a meal in his childhood. I personally have a fondness for dishes that require long periods of simmering and seasoning to taste, and though I don't cook for groups very often, I usually bring dinner when my family gets together for Christmas and I'm thinking that I'd love to whip up a pot of Sunday gravy this year.

I've looked at a number of recipes online, and there's absolutely no agreement on what should or shouldn't go into a proper Sunday gravy aside from the fact that it should have lots of tomatoes and lots of meat. I'll probably end up taking bits and pieces from several different recipes when I finally get along to making my own batch, so in the meantime I'm wondering if anyone out there has a recipe for the stuff that they swear by that I might look upon for inspiration.
#2
Old 09-08-2015, 07:51 PM
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I can't help you, but wouldn't love to see your bolognese recipe!
#3
Old 09-08-2015, 07:53 PM
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Never had it, now I want it. LOTS of links if you just search for "sunday gravy italian recipe"

http://foodnetwork.com/recipes/s...ls-recipe.html

http://bonappetit.com/recipe/sun...e-and-braciole
#4
Old 09-08-2015, 08:56 PM
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I would suggest this as a good one to go with - Italian Sunday Gravy. I've used it and found it to be pretty much spot on.
#5
Old 09-08-2015, 09:08 PM
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Good god, that looks decadent beyond belief.

Having watched Sopranos, I can only take a stab at the pronunciation of braciole....is it bra-shol'?
#6
Old 09-08-2015, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sicks Ate View Post
Good god, that looks decadent beyond belief.

Having watched Sopranos, I can only take a stab at the pronunciation of braciole....is it bra-shol'?
As close as a non-Italian will get.

Looks like an acceptable recipe, but needs more pepper flake and maybe some marjoram a little while from the finish. Needs a splash or three of coarse red wine as well. If you don't make it part of the recipe, you know Uncle Rocco will sneak in and add it behind your back.

Last edited by silenus; 09-08-2015 at 09:20 PM.
#7
Old 09-08-2015, 09:20 PM
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Cut some Italian sausages in half; sautÚ them in olive oil in a big pot. Remove when browned, no need to cook them through.

SautÚ chopped garlic in the remaining oil until beginning to turn gold. Season with S&P, and a little crushed red pepper if you like that. Add a 28 oz canned of crushed San Marzano tomatoes if you're making this for 4 people, or two cans if you want a lot. Add a handful each of chopped fresh parsley and basil. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Put the browned sausages back in.

Make your favorite meatball recipe, form into walnut-sized balls, and drop into the sauce to poach (I don't fry them in advance...they're lighter this way). Keep at a low simmer for a couple of hours. Shut it off and let it rest for a couple more. When you're ready to eat, cook your pasta and heat the sauce back up. Serve with lotsa Parmesan.

This is the way I do it. I learned it from and aunt who was married to an Italian American in Cleveland, and learned how to cook his favorite stuff. In the 60s she made this with beef meatballs, pork ribs, and chicken wings, which I consider too damn greasy....I substituted Italian sausage and boneless chicken thighs. But my kids didn't like the chicken, so I started leaving it out.

YOU can use any kind of meat you want. If you want to pay for braciole at the butcher shop, go for it. But the above, with just beef meatballs and sausage, makes an extremely sweet and luscious Sunday Gravy.
#8
Old 09-08-2015, 09:25 PM
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I HAD plans for tomorrow but now I have to make this.

Many many years ago, I remember The Frugal Gourmet taking a stab at Sunday Gravy. According to my very fuzzy memory of his show, this recipe looks pretty close. He did make a big point though that the whole reason behind Sunday Gravy was to use any or all kinds of meat you had. Whatever you've got, it works.
#9
Old 09-08-2015, 09:34 PM
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I have been working on my sauce recipe for years, and it is subject to change:

Peter’s Spaghetti Sauce:

This will feed 6 or so people with leftovers

Start out doing the prep work. Roast three or four bell peppers ( I use red, green and yellow) in your broiler. Half the peppers and clear the seeds and stem. Sprinkle a little olive oil on them place them on a cookie sheet under your broiler until the skin is burned black (about ten minutes). Put them in a bowl of cold water for five minutes or so and the skins will peel off real easy. Coarsely dice them and set aside. Coarsely dice a large red onion. Finely dice half a head of fresh garlic (six or seven cloves) and also finely dice a handful of red shallots. Strip the leaves from a good-sized handful of fresh basil. Roll them up and slice them very thin. Do the same with a handful of fresh Italian parsley.

For meat, I use four or five Spicy Italian sausages, a couple of pounds of lean ground chuck, half a pound of lean ground pork sausage and half a pound of fresh ground veal. Mix the chuck, pork and veal with a palm full of the onion, a little of the garlic and some of the shallots. Add some fresh grated Parmesan cheese and roll into meatballs. (I make mine about twice the size of a ping pong ball)

In a large stockpot (eight quarts or so) start with some extra virgin olive oil. When it is hot, add the onions and sautÚ them until tender. Break up a couple of the meatballs and lightly brown the meat in the olive oil and onion, then add the garlic and shallots and sautÚ for another couple of minutes being careful not to burn them. Deglaze the pot with a cup or so of red wine. ( I like Ruffino Chiante Classico for this) Turn the fire to low and add ten six ounce cans of tomato paste and add one paste can of beef stock and one paste can of water for each can of tomato paste. Add a 28 oz can of Cento Chef’s cut Marzano Tomatoes. Stir in the roasted peppers, basil, parsley and a palm full of fresh oregano. Bring the heat back up to a simmer.

In a large skillet, lightly brown the meatballs. Place them into a baking dish along with the sausages and bake at 350 for about forty minutes. Deglaze the skillet and the baking dish with another cup or so of red wine and add it to the sauce pot.

Simmer this all day, while carefully drinking the rest of the wine until it has reduced by about a third. I leave a fresh, crusty French baguette on the counter to allow the family to break off a chunk to “check on the sauce” as it simmers. Four or five hours later, cut the sausage into bite sized pieces and add it along with the meatballs. Another hour, and the Spaghetti sauce is ready to serve over pasta with a tossed salad, hot garlic bread and a nice Italian red wine. Refrigerate the leftovers. This sauce is much better the second day.

Last edited by longhair75; 09-08-2015 at 09:35 PM.
#10
Old 09-08-2015, 09:42 PM
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I leave onion out of my Sunday Gravy because it makes it sweeter than I like. I do however, make my meatballs with minced onion.

Roasted peppers, I dunno. I just dunno. I wouldn't.
#11
Old 09-08-2015, 09:48 PM
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http://chocodog.com/chocodog/sauce2.htm

I enjoyed reading this one. Definitely going to give some variant a shot.
#12
Old 09-08-2015, 10:21 PM
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Funnily enough, I first saw the term 'Sunday sauce' yesterday. Here's the slow cooker recipe, which I've just read.
#13
Old 09-09-2015, 10:53 AM
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I use this recipe as a base (don't forget to click the link to the meatball recipe). Also, remember that Italian meatballs aren't those little dried out things, but heftier, i.e., larger than a golf ball, but smaller than a tennis ball. Great stuff.
#14
Old 09-09-2015, 06:28 PM
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Chefguy: You got me all excited there, before I realized it wasn't Frank's recipe.
#15
Old 09-09-2015, 06:31 PM
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....you got to admit, the image of him standing in the kitchen in a frilly apron, stirring a big pot of sauce while humming "Toads of the Short Forest," is pretty damn delightful.
#16
Old 09-09-2015, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike View Post
....you got to admit, the image of him standing in the kitchen in a frilly apron, stirring a big pot of sauce while humming "Toads of the Short Forest," is pretty damn delightful.
Or muttering "It can't happen here" under his breath.
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