Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday Gravy

Ok so with this one I know my father and grandfather (also Al's) will probably want to comment :)
I will say I got this from them to begin with; every Italian family has a recipe for their sauce and our's is no different.

I have two sauces which I like to add or subtract from...
The first sauce; my fresh sauce was posted in my blog earlier and I have perfected it since then...this one is a good ol' stick your bones pot of gravy.

Start with a frying pan and a large sauce pot; you will also need 1/3 pound of veal chunks for stew, enough oxtails to equal 3/4 pound. In the sauce I made I purchased one large size ox tail piece from Doris' Italian Market. You will also need a medium size yellow onion; half of a green pepper; 4 cloves of garlic; 2 large bay leaves (or equivalent); 2 large cans of crushed tomato; water as needed; 1/4 of red wine (ehhhh maybe a little bit more); 1 1/2 tbsp of olive oil; sea salt and cracked pepper to taste.

First dice your onion, green pepper and mince your garlic; then open your packages of meat. Season your meat lightly with sea salt and black pepper on both sides. Heat half of the oil in the sauce pot and the other half in the frying pan. When you get a light smoke on the oil add the onion and green pepper to the sauce pot; careful not to burn. In the frying pan place the veal and oxtail; brown lightly to get color do not burn either. Now add the garlic to the onion pepper translucent mixture; remember to turn the meat in the pan. Open the two cans of crushed tomato and pour into the onion, garlic, pepper mix; stir to not burn. Use tongs to take out the meat and place into the sauce pot. Take the pan off of the heat and add the wine to deglaze the pan; heat until it boils while scrapping the pan with the sauce spoon. Pour the wine into the pot with the meat, tomato, onion, garlic and peppers. Add just enough water to one of the tomato cans and make sure the meat is just covered with sauce. Next add the bay leaves to the pot and stir to combine. This is where I add about on 1 tsp of concentrated stock to the pot as well...bring the sauce to a slow simmer and reduce the heat for just a few bubbles. Cover the sauce and fahgedaboudit for about 6 or so hours.

When you return to your sauce make sure you stir it well and the meat should fall off the ox tail. Remove the bone from the ox tail and the bay leaves; now is a good time to "smoosh" the veal chunks with the sauce spoon so that it incorporates into the whole sauce. Stir the sauce well and remove lid to allow it to breathe...then add your salt and pepper to taste. Make sure you have you favorite crusty Italian bread handy to dip in and taste test...!

Serve with your favorite pasta (I used Dreamfield Spaghetti) and top with a dollop of Ricotta Cheese. Of course make sure there is a good parm on the table with slices of that yummy bread you have been sopping up the sauce with...remember save some for everyone else.

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