Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sunday Gravy

Traditionally, Sunday was a day of rest for Italian-Americans. The entire family gathered at someone's house preparing and cooking food all day long for a festive dinner at night. Meat was the central ingredient, it was affordable on a blue-collar worker's wages.

Any type of meat can be used, mostly pork cuts/sausages combined with beef or veal. I used Country-style Pork Ribs, Hot Italian sausages, and Pork Shoulder Steaks. Country-style ribs have just the right amount of fat and the bone can easily be fished out after the cooking time.

The gravy refers to the slow-simmering of tomatoes flavored with tomato paste/sauce and red wine.

Sunday Gravy brings the family together and it is a easy and basic dish to make that is loaded with flavor.

I used the slow-cooker to cook all the flavors of the meat and gravy together. Eight hours of slow-roasting and braising and simmering makes this version unbeatable. Here is how you do it.

1. Brown the Italian sausages. I used Hot sausages but a combination of hot, mild, or sweet would suffice as well. Set aside.

2.  Chop up shallots and garlic and mix it in the pan with the juices/fat of the sausages. You can use onions but I think shallots have a better flavor. Saute until tender.

3. Add tomato paste and cook until the color turns a little darker. Add a half cup of dry red wine. Stir well to pick up the flavorful bits on the bottom of the pan.

4. To prevent a watery gravy, I drained a large can of diced tomatoes in a colander.

5. Set up the slow-cooker and add the drained tomatoes and the shallot/garlic paste. Mix well together.

6. Prepare the meat. Trim a little fat off of the Country-Style ribs and pork shoulder steaks. Don't be shy on the amount of meat that you add to the gravy, the more the better!

7. Time to layer the meat into the pot. Gently place the ribs, pork steaks, and sausages into the cooker. Cover the meat with the tomato mixture and add a can to tomato sauce. The sauce adds more flavor and body to the gravy.

8. Cover tightly and leave it alone for 8 hours.

9. Serve over your favorite type of pasta.

The Sunday Gravy was definitely meat-filled flavored. The pork shoulder steak and country-style ribs really gave it a rounded taste. The Italian sausage was knife-tender, smooth as butter. The juices of the sausages added to the meaty taste.

I added fresh shaved Parmesan-Reggiano and basil leaves. It really gave it a real nice final touch. The fettucini pasta held the gravy well together.

Sunday Gravy is an easy meal to conduct and it will please a large crowd. You won't be dismayed and you should pound as much meat and sauce into it as you like. A true pork drunk dish!!!


  1. Wow.. I love your site! I am a huge fan of pork!! I saw you were new to the Foodie BlogRoll and wanted to say hi! I have a site I just started if you are interested in checking it out...
    Happy Cooking!

  2. A truly great rustic combination that somehow only the Italians and the Spanish can get right. A recipe worth keeping. Thanks for the great site I have bookmarked it and will come back often

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  4. What a great flavorful recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Delicioso!! I definitely want to try family would LOVE it, I'm sure! Welcome to the Foodie BlogRoll.....if you get a chance, take a peek at my humble blog at Happy cooking and eating!!

  6. Oh cool! A longtime friend's grandmother is Italian and gave me something similar. Hers was to brown a rack of baby-back ribs in butter, add garlic, then the maters and simmer until the ribs are how you like them. I did mine in an enamel covered oven in the oven. Always delivers perfection!


  7. Wow! Great recipes you have here! I love pork. In all forms! This sounds wonderful!