I love international dishes. I love Indian cuisine, adore Greek food and could live every day eating Thai. But my first foray into any cuisine outside of the good ole US of A was from Italy.
Sure, we like to call the red sauce in the jar somethings Italians would like, but I think I might have found the secret. My brother is an accomplished home chef and lawyer and whipped this “red gravy” up yesterday and sent me the recipe. It’s what you might call a “red sauce.” And it is so good.
Chuck Gibson’s Homestyle Red Gravy
- 2 chopped onions
- 4 tablespoons minced garlic
- 4 teaspoons coarse or flaked salt
- 2 tablespoons fresh, rough ground black pepper [larger flakes]
- 1 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 3 28oz cans tomato sauce
- 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
- 8-10 oz. bone in beef steak (flavors the meat)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- ½ cup of water
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 cup of shredded pecorino or Parmesan cheese
- Optional: Italian sausage
- Sweat the onions and garlic in enough olive oil to do the job. This is an old-fashioned term for something you’ve done 1000 times. Cook them down with a lid on them, then remove the lid and don’t let them brown.
- Add the salt, pepper and red pepper. Now add the tomatoes. The key to this recipe is a good ratio between the tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes. Don’t make any tomato substitutions.
- Add a whole steak. I know that sounds crazy but it flavors the meat.
- Now add the sugar and onion and garlic powders.
- Add the Italian sausage if you choose.
- Mix the flour and cold water into a thin, well mixed slurry. Add it and mix well. It will thicken the sauce. But it must be cold water and whisk well and then add to the heated mixture.
- Oven cooking is best because the stovetop could burn and it makes a mess. If you have to cook it on the stovetop, watch it carefully. During the last 30 minutes or so, add the holy cheese of your choice.