The Guardian

Monday, March 25, 2013

Italian "Gravy" with Spare Ribs and Meatballs

Italian Gravy with Spareribs and Meatballs
Hello Y'all!! Well so this weekend I entered into a meatball contest so I  had to make a full pot of gravy and meatballs and bring them to the contest in a crock pot.  So that gave me a great excuse to take step by step directions on how to make Italian Style Gravy and the losing Meatballs...hahaha...In my defense, the rules stated to enter the meatball WITHOUT gravy and no one listened to the rules EXCEPT me!! Of course mine lost, everything tastes better soaked in gravy for three hours..hahahaa...Now I know the secrets to winning this contest and I will be prepared next year!! hahaha....Ok so this recipe comes from my mom (a little tweaked, I'm sure) no real Italian cook has EXACT recipe directions...haha...It's always "A little bit of this, with a little bit of that."...This is my base for many things like Beef Stew, Pasta Fagoli, different soups, Lasagna, Baked Ziti and so much more. Actually when I do make Baked Ziti I use the leftover meatballs and crush them into the mixture with the motz cheese, pasta and gravy!! That will come later this week, I'm sure.... First we will start with the Spare Ribs and Beef Chunk and then once the gravy is cooking, start the meatballs and then add them to the gravy. Follow the pictures from bottom to top as far as the directions go. So I hope this helps you. Enjoy!!
Ingredients for The Gravy:
3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
4 whole large Garlic Cloves
Gravy meat from butcher (mine included 4 Pork Spare Ribs and a piece of Beef)
Handful of chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon Lowry's Garlic Salt to taste
 2 large carrots peeled only (leave whole)
1 large sweet onion or two small ones
a handful of whole Basil leaves
2 cans of tomato paste- plain
3 cans of Diced San Marzano tomatoes (2 1/2 Blended and 1/2 can of diced tomatoes) plain flavor!!
Directions For The Gravy:
Start with your biggest stainless steel pot and add the olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper, and gravy meat until meat starts to cook and sizzle. Then turn meat over to sizzle the other side. Then add 1/2 of the parsley,  a bit more salt and pepper and the Lawry's. At this time, blend ( in a blender) the diced tomatoes and add to the meat mixture. Leave a 1/2 can of diced tomato un-blended and add them in whole. Add the onions, carrots, basil, tomato paste and the rest of the parsley. Let this simmer on a med-low heat for 20 minutes, with lid on stirring occasionally so that nothing sticks to the bottom. Then turn heat to low and watch for bubbling. At this time you will have to stir it again. In the meantime, start your meatballs. From the time of adding meatballs into this gravy, you could have your gravy cook on low for up to two hours (on very very low heat). It will be ready long before then but the flavor really develops the longer it cooks on a very low temperature. That's just my opinion!!! and NEVER ADD SUGAR!! UGH!! hahahaha!!
Ingredients for The Meatballs:
For the pic above I used 3 lbs of meat. I cook a lot of gravy because I use it all week long. However I made three pounds of meatballs for the meatball contest. I usually use 2 lbs...hahaha... I know, I know what a difference!! haha....
3 lbs of Veal and Pork Ground in equal parts. ( From Butcher- LOMBARDI'S In South Philly on Packer Ave)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Lowry's garlic salt
Handful of parsley
2 eggs
handful of Parma Cheese
1 cup of Bread crumb- Fresh Italian bread crumbs from the same butcher.
3 hotdog potato rolls soaked in milk or water and then ring out liquid----funny right??
Vegetable Oil to fry
Add everything together in no real order and mix into balls about the palm size. Picture is above. Once meatballs are nice and rolled fill a frying pan with the oil and start frying baby!! I use a non-stick pan because I've noticed that the meatballs will stick to a stainless steel frying pan. You want to put enough oil that the meatballs aren't immersed in oil but the oil is 1/2 way up the meatball's side. Turn occasionally and then once cooked add immediately to the pot of gravy that is already simmering. No need to blot oil off, just slowly let it drip off from the slotted spoon into the frying pan as you bring the meatball to the gravy. Once all the meatballs are cooked, let the gravy simmer altogether for about 45 minutes on a very low heat. This gravy could be cooked longer if you'd like and then turn off heat and then re-simmer once you are ready to use on your pasta.


  1. This is making me so hungry!! Thanks or sharing:) Lisa


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