Monday, January 17, 2011

Sunday Gravy or All Day Tomato Meat Sauce

Every few weeks some form of tomato sauce in made in the kitchen.  I like to keep frozen containers of home made sauce on hand for easy weeknight meals.  Today I made Sunday Gravy.  The entire process took about 4 hours.

Ingredients:  Olive oil, 1/3 cup of red wine, 1 large can crushed tomatoes, 1 small can diced tomatoes, 1 small can tomato sauce, 1.5 pounds of lean ground beef, 1 large onion, 6 cloves of garlic, 2 tablespoons of sugar and my spice blend.
Spices: salt & pepper, 1 teaspoon of each of onion granules, garlic granules, oregano, dried sun dried tomatoes, and 2 large bay leaves.
You'll also need about 2 cups of water on hand.

In a large stock pot heat a few tablespoons of olive oil.  Sweat the onions and garlic until tender and translucent.  Add in the ground beef and all the spices except the bay leaf.  Slowly brown the beef.  Take your time.  You want to develop a nice color.  Once the beef is browned add in the red wine to deglaze the pan.  Simmer until the wine is reduced by 1/2.   Add in all the canned tomato ingredients along with the sugar and the bay leaves.  Simmer for 30 minutes.
Add in 1/2 cup of water.
Simmer for 45 minutes.
Take a taste.  Add in a little more salt if needed.
Add in 1/2 cup of water.
Simmer for 45 minutes.
Take a taste.  The sauce should be getting nice and rich at this point as the water keeps evaporating off.
Add in 1/2 cup of water.
Simmer for 45  minutes.
Add  in another 1/2 cup of water and let simmer for another 30-45 minutes.

During the entire simmering process make sure you give it a stir every 15 minutes or so.  You want the heat to be barely on, just high of a flame to keep it cooking.  

At this point it should be irresistible.  I then turn the heat off and put on the lid while it comes down to room temperature.  Once its cooled down I portion it out into freezer containers.

Don't forget to pull the bay leaves out before portioning it out.  If you don't want to use red wine use a little beef broth instead.

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