Rocky Mountain Cooking

Italian Meat Sauce-Sunday Gravy

Italian Meat Sauce-Sunday Gravy

Nona called, she made meat sauce! Sunday Gravy that is…

Sunday gravy. That’s all I really need to say…

OK, OK not really but when I think of Italian food, it is pretty much summed up in this sauce. My first true experience with “gravy” was in a tiny hamlet called Perrero in Val de Chisone in the northern mountains of Italy staying at my friend’s grandma’s house in 1989. When we got there, she put out this enormous spread of food. I seriously mean enormous! There was more food and homemade wine on that table than I had ever seen before in my life. If I remember correctly, I think there was something like seven courses! It was all kinda a blur except for the homemade pasta with the “gravy” or sauce like we call it.  My foodie life changed at that moment and I have never been the same since. If I could only get a hold of her recipe, my life might be almost complete. Since I am not that lucky yet, I have come up with my own version. I have been making this for years as I always want to remember that trip and Nona of course for sharing it with us!

It’s called Sunday gravy for a reason. It pretty much takes all day to cook on the stove. The longer the better. I decided this would be a good week to post this because it looks like all my East Coast friends are gonna be stuck in their homes with all the snow that they have coming their way! There is still time to run to the store and I’m pretty sure that short ribs and pork will still be on the shelves! The big bonus, the house will smell really good…

And in Denver this week… We will be enjoying 60 degree sunny weather…

On another note. My dog Charlie’s sock eating adventure came to a halt this week after one got stuck in his belly. Yep! Emergency trip to the vet to get it taken out. Poor guy but come on…socks? The Prozac for him started on Thursday and after this week, I think I need to get myself a prescription too! Hopefully this helps. Next step, a doggie behaviorist. What we do for our dogs.

Finally, I did something this week that I have never done in my life. I shot a hand gun and it was really fun… I mean really fun! I never thought that I’d shoot a gun again after winning the “duck and cover” award at a skeet shooting event in Hawaii a few years back but alas I did. I kinda wish I didn’t though. Now I think I will have a new hobby. If you are in the South Denver area check out Centennial Gun Club. It’s quite a facility and the staff is awesome. They have a huge array of guns that you can rent too! Check out my picture at the end… I’m one bad mamma jamma… LOL!


Italian Meat Sauce-Sunday Gravy
Recipe Type: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Heather Blake
  • Olive oil
  • 1 large onion diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1- 1 1/4 pounds boneless short ribs
  • 1- 1 1/4 pounds boneless country style pork ribs
  • 1 pound Italian sausage links (use regular or hot, whatever you want)
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 3 28 oz cans whole Italian tomatoes
  • 4 tbs tomato paste
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 3 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp sugar
  1. Cover the bottom of a large Dutch oven with olive oil and warm up over medium high heat.
  2. Season the beef and the pork with salt and pepper and in small batches brown on all sides. Remove after each batch and set aside. (There is no need to cut up the meat, it will be shredded up later).
  3. Add the onion and carrots to the hot pan and cook for about 5 minutes scraping up any brown bits from the bottom. Add the garlic and tomato paste.
  4. Stir in the wine, salt, pepper, fennel, basil, oregano, bay leaves and sugar.
  5. Add the meat back to the pot (including any liquid that may have accumulated). Add the sausage.
  6. Squish up the whole tomatoes with your hands before adding to the pot. Stir well.
  7. Turn the heat down to medium low and let simmer for 3-4 hours or until the meat shreds easily with a fork.
  8. When ready, remove the beef and the pork and place in a bowl. Shred with a fork and add back to the pot and let simmer for another half hour or so.
  9. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
A little goes a long way with Sunday Gravy. This recipe makes a lot but it freezes like a champ! My freezer is full of it for the next impromptu dinner party.

Yeah. I’m a bad ass… LOL! Glock 19 9mm

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