It came from an Italian American tradition. On Sunday, after church, all the grandmas would spend the afternoon preparing a big meal for the family, a “Sunday Gravy”. As I am neither Italian nor American, please be lenient on my take on this classic.
So, what did I use?
For today’s meal (it will be slightly different each time):
- 5 hot Italian sausages
- 5 mild Italian sausages
- 3 pork shanks (osso bouco style)
- 2 lb pork roast
- 2 cans of diced tomatoes
- 1 Spanish onion
- 1 kg of rigatoni (sometimes I use a penne)
Usually I will have meatballs as well, but today, since I wasn’t making it for a large group, I didn’t add them. Many people will say meatballs are mandatory, but I always encourage you to improvise!
The meats you choose are up to you. I’ve used lamb neck, veal ribs, beef short ribs … basically, stuff with a bone is good. Also, since it’s going to simmer for many hours, don’t get expensive cuts of meat. Anything becomes tender after that amount of time.
Sunday Gravy is really just a type of braise. Here’s how it’s done:
Add some olive oil to a large pot (and trust me, you want something large. After the meat is added you’ll be surprised how much of the pot is full).
Grab your meat! (Sorry vegetarian pals, this one is gonna be meaty).
Brown the meat in the pot.
Once it’s all done, remove the meat to a separate dish.
Good ol’ plate of meat!
Chop up your onion.
Add that to the pot with some garlic and cook them until they start to get clear. Make sure they’re getting all the little brown bits of the meat mixed in!
Add the cans of tomatoes.
Add some oregano and stir!
Time to put the meat back!
You may have noticed I did not cut up the pork roast. If you get a well marbled piece of meat it’s going to basically fall apart in the hours of simmering ahead so you don’t need to worry!
Make sure to pour in those drippy juices that came off the meat while it sat on the plate … that’s a lot of flavour you’d be losing!
Bring it to a slow boil, then turn the heat down to low. Cover the pot and walk away. This is going to simmer for a minimum of 3 hours! (it’s a recipe for a nice Sunday afternoon … go watch football now!)
Okay, internet magic time … those 3 hours have passed, time to get the pasta ready.
Add your pasta to boiling water. Get this cooked to a nice ‘al dente’.
Now we’re going back to our pot. Looking great, time to remove the meat!
Place the meat on a separate dish.
Is .. is … is that a plate of meat????
Yes it is Pippi … yes it is!
Now, go get that pasta out … I’m sure it’s cooked perfectly by now!
Add that pasta to your sauce!
Now that it’s well mixed, go grab a serving bowl.
Put the pasta in the bowl. A big thing about this meal is it’s for a large group or family! You serve it on big platter, let people take what they want!
Serve it with garlic bread, add a caesar salad … enjoy it! Make this when you have a people over to visit … they may never want to leave!
There you have it, my version of Sunday Gravy!