Monday, July 15, 2013

Sundee Sauce

Remember awhile ago I promised I would teach you how to make sauce, or gravy to some.  I don't personally call it gravy, nor do I know any Italians who really do.  Gravy is brown, ya dig?

Next thing,  you are probably thinking I spelled Sunday wrong.  Nope.  Ask any old school Italian the days of the week and this is what you will hear:  Sundee, Mondee, Tuesdee, Wensdee, Thursdee, Friday, and SATURDAY (pronounced correctly for some reason).

So, here is my recipe for Sundee sauce.  One thing to know ahead of time,  sauce is an art form.  No one person's sauce tastes exactly like any other person sauce.  I learned from my father and my sauce is no longer exactly like his.  Also,  my sauce could vary according to spice, meat used, etc.  It also requires TLC.  Any person who tells you their sauce is set it and forget it is a liar.  You have to stir sauce, about every two hours so it does not stick and burn. No one is going to eat your burned sauce.  Might as well go get a jar of prego..GROSS.   Also, anyone who says their sauce is a secret cant remember the crap they put in it,  because we don't tend to measure things.  Everyone does do something a little different, but overall the different shouldn't be that dramatic.  Now, my meatballs, they are my secret---that's why I'll show you pictures but I am not sharing my secret! NEVER.

Sundee Sauce
Prep Time: 10-15 Minutes
Cook Time: No Less Then 4 Hours-Max 6
Serving: 6 People

  1. 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  2. 1 Package Oxtail or Pork Neck Bones
  3. 1 Package Spare Ribs
  4. 1 Small Onion, diced
  5. 3 cloves of garlic, diced
  6. 1 Large Can Diced tomato (Tuttorosso Preferred)
  7.  1 Large Can Purred Tomatoes (Tuttoroso Preferred)
  8. 1 Large Can Peeled Plum Tomatoes (Tuttorosso Preferred)
  9. 1 Small Can Tomato Paste (Tuttorosso Preferred)
  10. Palm full of sugar
  11. Palm full of Loccatelli Grated Romano Cheese
  12. Tbsp Parley
  13. Tbsp Salt and Pepper

You can use either pork neck bones or Oxtail, I just happened to grab oxtail.  Some people eat it, some people just use it to flavor the meat.  You can really use any meat with a bone in it.  I like Pork and Beef in my sauce.  

Hey, how did that Shoprite Brand sneak in there?  You can really use any brand you want,  but I prefer Tuttoroso.

1.  Put a deep sauce pan on medium low heat with 2 tbsp of olive oil.  Saute garlic and onion until translucent and tender, about 5-10 minutes. DO NOT LET THE GARLIC BURNS.  If it burns, sorry your screwed.  It will ruin your whole sauce.
       *Side note--Some people also include diced carrots and zucchini into their sauce for added sweetness, which is a good idea.  I just did not happen to have any. 
2. While the garlic and onion is sauteing open up your canned tomatoes.    
3. In a blender combine Plum tomato can and Tomato Paste.  Blend until completely incorporated.   Put mixture aside until ready.


Left- Before Blending  Right- After Blending
4.  When garlic and onions are fragrant and translucent add meat into the bottom of the pot.   Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let the meat brown.  Why are you asking yourself?  When we sear the outside of the meat we lock all of the moisture and juice into the meat, hence making the meat tender and fall off of the bone. All the meat to brown for 2-3 minutes on each side.

*Side Note-- This would be the time, after the meat is browned to add a 1/2 cup of red wine if you desire.  I usually do,  I just didn't feel like opening the bottle.  With or without the wine your sauce will be good.

5. After the meat is completed browned on each side add in all of your tomatoes, including the tomato mixture from your blender.
6.  Add One Palm Full of Loccatelli Grated Cheese and One Palm Full of White Sugar. 

Okay, remember something about sauce--you can always add, you cannot take out.  It is important to start small with the sugar and add in as necessary--after a couple hours of cooking.  Why sugar?  Sugar cuts through the natural acidity of the tomatoes.  Without the sugar, your sauce will be sour and acidic.  You could use Stevia or Sweet and Low if you'd like, but I never have.
7. Stir everything together, well.
8. Allow the sauce to come to boil, and then reduce the heat to low.  Let cook for 2 hours and it will look like this:

9.  Since the sauce has meat in it, you will see some of that natural fat rise to the top.  You can just skim it off.  Let the sauce cook for another 2 hours then stir and skim.  Repeat, Repeat.
10.  After about 4-6 hours your sauce will have reduced by about half--

This is where your guests may be arriving shortly, or your husband/wife, so you can stir and cover the pot.  Covering the pot will stop the sauce from continuing to reduce.
So, that's Sundee Dinner in a nutshell.  I added ChickPea's to mine, that's old school.  I add them in around hour 3 and let them cook in the sauce for one hour.   

OH YEAH---your short ribs are going to fall off the bone, don't forget to remove the bones : )

If you cook your sauce long enough and right, the meat will just fall right off the bones. 

Sauce is a labor of love.  I am guaranteeing you that you most likely will not get it right the first time.  After that, you'll find your groove like Stella did.

Here is what Sundee Dinner looks like at my house:
Tomatoes, Buffalo Mozzarella, Roasted Red Peppers--aka Antipasta (Italians say Antipas--meaning no pasta).

Meatballs, Shortribs, and Oxtail.  I cook the meatballs in the oven and then put them in the sauce for about 1 hour before I pull them.  You cannot be too rough with the sauce once the meatballs are in, or else they will fall apart.  

My secret to my meatballs makes them so good you can eat them without sauce. That's what you want. When someone walks in the house they should be able to pick up one of your meatballs and eat it as is.  My grandmom made the best meatballs and the whole house smelled of fried meatballs.   
Also, if you go to someones house and the meatballs are all perfectly round you can bet they are frozen from a bag.  Meatballs should not all be the perfect shape.

Red wine!! VINO!!!

Red wine goes with sauces and meats
White wine goes with light fare, like fish.

 Nice thick cut crusty bread.  Yes, this is a cheat meal.  I made my pasta last night with Wheat Pasta,  Which of course I forgot to photograph.


My sister is far left, next to her is Alli who is a crossfitter and my BFF, and Joe who is a crossfit trainer and friends who is allergic to smiling.

Oh yeah, and after dinner drinks.  My brother in law Jeff loves Jameson on the rocks!

and..ICE CREAM!!!! Mr. Dippys!!