I spent a lot of Saturdays and Sundays making gravy with an assortment of meats during 2020. As I indicated in an earlier post, it was a form of therapy for me as I joined everyone else in finding ways to keep my sanity without having much of a life away from home due to the pandemic.
It turns out there really can be too much of a good thing because I eventually got tired of making and eating Sunday Gravy and have done very little of it during the past year. But I’ve got a lot of canned imported San Marzano tomatoes on hand after receiving some for the holidays, and the urge hit me this week.
The first decision to make when it comes to Sunday Gravy is what kind of meat to use. Hot Italian sausage was almost automatic for me, and I decided they should be joined in the pot by meatballs. But rather than go with beef or a beef-pork-veal blend, I picked up a package of ground lamb. I buy it often, as it works well for both meatloaf and meatballs and is a nice change of pace from the usual.
Making gravy is an all-day affair. I started late this morning by sautéing chopped onions, carrots and celery in extra virgin olive oil and adding garlic after the trinity had softened a bit. Then I poured in some white wine and allowed it to boil and reduce for a few minutes.
It was then time to add a couple cans of tomatoes along with an herb pouch full of parsley and a bay leaf, sugar, salt, pepper and grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
At this point, all of the ingredients were in the gravy except for the sausage and meatballs. Those needed to be seared and partially cooked before they could be added to the pot to avoid excess fat and also add a nice texture.
The hard work was now done. It was just a matter of allowing the gravy to simmer over low heat for another five or so hours and stirring occasionally.
Here is a look at where it was about an hour before I took it off the stove.
And here it was just before I did that in preparation to add it to my pasta. I took the lid off the pot for the last hour to reduce the sauce and concentrate the flavor a little more.
As far as pasta goes, I also received a couple packages of Italian bucatini from my in-laws for the holiday and boiled some until it was nicely al dente.
It all came together beautifully for an excellent dinner that I’ll be repeating a number of times over the next week or two. Sunday Gravy isn’t something that’s made in small batches.