Sunday Gravy on a Rainy Friday

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by worktogthr, Mar 25, 2016.

  1. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Well I had off from work today for Good Friday and it was a rainy day so I figured I'd make the gravy for Easter today. Some people call it Sunday sauce, meat sauce but my grandma just called it gravy. Have about 25 people coming for Easter Dinner so as rich and hearty this gravy is, it's just one course of many haha. That's how Italians do holidays.

    So here are the meats that go into the sauce

    Pork spare ribs, hacked into smaller pieces, hot Italian sausage, sweet Italian sausage, and veal stew meat. And meatballs but those come later.These are the things I had in the freezer. You can always use meaty pork neck bones (which I love), cubed chuck instead of veal. Some people use lamb or chicken. All depends on the family. My mom and grandma always had pork, beef and or veal and sausage.

    And the sauce ingredients:

    First step is to brown all the meat in some olive oil. First the pork ribs:
    Then the veal
    Then the two kinds of sausage

    Put all the browned meat aside:

    Throw a mess of whole garlic cloves in the drippings and cook until browned:
    Then brown the tomato paste:
    Forgot to take a picture but I deglazed the pot with a couple of cups of red wine.

    Then I added the San Marzano tomatoes and some salt and pepper:

    Hit it with an immersion blender:

    Added the meat back to the pot and some fresh basil (I know you are usually supposed to add fresh herbs towards the end but that's how my mom and grandma did it)

    Now I just let it simmer for a few hours. I usually cook it for about 4-8 hours depending on how big a batch. This time I am going with four because it will probably sit on the stove for a couple more hours on Sunday and the veal and ribs texture was just right at that point. When you cook longer those start to shred apart (which is not a bad thing at all, just not what I wanted this time).

    About a half hour before stopping the cooking of the sauce I add the meatballs that I cooked in the oven:

    So after four hours and change its done for today:

    Plan is to serve it family style Sunday with a big bowl of sauced macaroni to pass around and a platter of all the different meats. And of course some cheese. Last Easter my niece brought back some parmigiano regiano from Italy which I Vaccuum packed and forgot I even had. Tasted it today while grating it and it was awesome. Definitely be serving that with the gravy. And of course with some good Italian bread to sop up the leftover gravy.

    Haha with ten pounds of meat in it, it's quite a feast. But it's the second course after antipasto which consists of cheese and crackers, various olives and marinated peppers, Italian cured meats, etc.

    And then for dinner we will be having a smoked prime rib, maple glazed bone in pork roast, chicken cutlets with a caprese relish, plain chicken cutlets for the kids, leg of lamb, roasted potatoes, sautéed broccoli rabe and a salad. And then dessert, which is too ridiculous to even get into haha. Hopefully in the mayhem of Sunday's festivities I'll get some plated pics. Thanks for looking!


    Posting this in the sausage forum because it does contain two homemade sausages and meatballs. If it's moved I understand.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2016
  2. bigbirdk

    bigbirdk Fire Starter

    That looks phenomenal! Is anyone in your family adopting older children?
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Nice. I make Sunday Gravy, but it has been awhile and your's sparked great memories of Grandma. I grew up on Grandma's Gravy as well. Veal was too expensive so it was Chuck for Sunday and Braciole for special days. She added a few Chicken Thighs as well. We ate it with Pasta but the BIG DEAL was a long board on the table covered with Polenta and Gravy. No Plates just a Fork and the Family. Thanks for the post and taking me back 40 years!...JJ

    BTW...Just a trick I use...I pull the Basil leaves and set aside to add at the end. BUT, I tie the Stems in a bundle and toss them in at the start. You get the deep cooked Basil flavor AND the bright fresh Basil kick...
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2016
  4. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Pass the gravy!:drool
  5. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Wow. Never seen this before. Great start.

    I will be watching for Sunday pics
  6. ragnar

    ragnar Smoke Blower

    Looks like a heck of a feast, man! That's a thing of beauty in ANY family, and I've had plenty of Italian friends - NEVER left hungry, and, without exception, having had a wide variety of awesome things.

    For sure, points from me. Good job, too, with the QView. Gave a nice sense of how it all ties together.
  7. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for the kind words Jimmy. Really brings me back to my childhood too. The smell of the kitchen from the gravy cooking all day. It was definitely a special occasion meal due to all the meat (cost) and time that went into it. I probably only make it a couple times a year myself. Never had it with polenta but that sound great. That is a great idea with the basil. Definitely going to try that next time!
  8. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Thanks! We'll adopt you, as long as your old enough to bring some beer haha
  9. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Thanks so much for the points. Haha yeah, Italian holiday meals are so ridiculously over the top... Basically eat ourselves into a coma haha. Variety is also important. Don't think I ever went to a holiday with less than 4-5 main dishes haha
  10. bauchjw

    bauchjw Master of the Pit

    Points Sir. Thank you for sharing and educating. I've never heard of this, but I wish I would have! It will be something I try as my young family begins establishing its own traditions!
  11. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Sunday Gravy is an Art that may some day be lost. My Mom's family is Polish and they lived in half a duplex next to an Italian family who came to this country about the same time, early 1900's. Both Matriarchs had 7 kids to cook for and take care of and taught each other their ways of cooking for variety. Modern working Mom's, and Dad's for that matter, didn't and don't have the time to spend all day Baking and Cooking. Unless folks under 50 seek out how things are done from parents and especially Grandma and Grandpa and actively keep traditions alive...Sunday Gravy will be Jar Tomato Sauce and Frozen nuked Meatballs on overcooked Spaghetti. A BIG THANK YOU to all who pass on their knowledge...JJ
  12. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Chris that is beautiful,I use to see my Grandmother on my Dads side making the gravy. She was 100% Italian. Yours looks fantastic Happy Easter


  13. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Awesome looking gravy, Chris!

    Your going to have some meal!

    I hope you don't gain too much weight!

    POINTS & Happy Easter to you & your family!

    Last edited: Mar 26, 2016
  14. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Thanks so much Richie! It was my grandma on my dads side too that was 100% Italian and I remember sitting around this long pullout table she had in her house in Brooklyn... There was always fresh bread in the table to sop up all the gravy and a few bowls of cheese to sprinkle on top... Everyone would pass all the platters around and make their bowls and then we would all stuff our faces haha.
  15. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Thanks so much Al! Haha I will try not to eat too much. Sometimes when you cook all this stuff for family you have more fun watching them eat it, than eating it yourself. Besides, I do my fair share of quality control along the way so I am usually full by the time dinner comes around haha. Have a great Easter!
  16. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I am trying to keep it alive... I was left with only my moms recipe card that had no amounts listed, just ingredients. I spent literally a year reading through recipes online trying to combine that with my memory to replicate what my grandma and mom made. I think it's close now because just the smell of it cooking brings me back. I think it's true about what they say about smells being the best trigger for your memory. Funny thing I remember that sauce (marinara) had onions, not gravy! My mom preferred gravy because she wasn't a huge onion fan.

    It is too bad that a lot of these traditions are dying because of busy life styles, two working parents, etc. but all of us in here seem to be keeping those traditions alive. Family and food go hand and hand if for no other reason it forces us to sit together for an hour or two and enjoy each other's company.
  17. dave17a

    dave17a Smoking Fanatic

    Man! Just ate breakfast and getting hungry all over. That looks awesome[​IMG]
  18. flagg

    flagg Fire Starter

    Bet that is good stuff. Does it freeze and store well?
  19. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Heck Yeah! I make 3 Gallons at a time. If you like Pasta fairly saucy, 5 Cups Gravy plus meat assortment per Pound of Pasta works. Measure cold Gravy, no Bones, into gallon Zip-top Bags, seal and lay Flat on a sheet pan. Stack the bags and Freeze. The flat bags take up less freezer space...JJ
  20. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Thanks guys! Like Chef says its freezes great. I also like to take the leftovers, chop up the meat and make lasagna with it!

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