- Sunday Gravy with yeah right: Steak Diane. – July 5, 2020
- Sunday Gravy with yeah right: Chef’s Series. Julia Child’s Coq Au Vin – June 28, 2020
- Sunday Gravy with yeah right: Pollo Asado with homemade flour tortillas! – June 21, 2020
Good morning fellow shut-ins.
It’s great to see you back.
The past week showed some actual first signs of positivity since our current life situation was enacted 2 months ago.
For me it can be the little things. I’ve finally been able to consistently find and purchase my favorite variety of apple (Honeycrisp), last week they finally had my preferred brand of flour tortillas (Guerrero because frankly Mission flour tortillas suck balls), I can routinely find my weekly organic chicken breast (Smart Chicken) and now you can even consistently find hand sanitizer and toilet paper.
Well actually go ahead and shit away.
Most importantly though, this past week LA County had a limited opening of our beaches. On Friday for the first time in two goddamn months I was able to do my regular morning beach-adjacent walk.
It was fucking gorgeous.
At this point all of my usual purchases and activities, with the very obvious exception of most live sports and going to the movies, are all back to the same as before the shutdown.
As long as all of these things remain consistent then I can survive the next few months and feel positive that I can survive this whole motherfucker.
Turns out that I’ve now lost 12 pounds since the lock down started too. I did not see that coming.
Maybe I’ll order some Popeye’s this Saturday to celebrate.
Today’s meal was inspired by simply being one of my very favorite meals that I cook. I absolutely love my Mother Sauce and have been cooking it for over 35 years. By now I’ve gotten pretty goddamn good at it.
If we hop into the “way back machine” all the way back to June of 2015 we’ll find my second ever Sunday Gravy post. It’s called The Mother Sauce and it gives the exact recipe for today’s meal but it was also seriously lacking in photos and in need of an update.
We’ll do that today.
I know that some of you out there already use this recipe exactly as is and, according to your comments, with great results. I’m flattered that you do because I love this shit too.
I mean just fucking look.
What will we do today to level this fucker up?
How about homemade French Bread and let’s go ahead and make some homemade pasta too as long as we’re getting crazy.
That’ll fucking work.
The Mother Sauce!
ingredient list taken verbatim from the original post.
1 medium to large onion chopped
1 green pepper chopped (yes dammit, green! Don’t wimp out and use a red pepper. Green!)
5 cloves of garlic minced
7-8 mushrooms sliced
1/4 cup of olive oil.
1 28 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes (San Marzano preferably)
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes (San Marzano preferably)
1 15 oz can of tomato sauce (just in case) * not needed for today’s version
1/4 cup of red wine
5-6 sweet (mild) Italian sausages
1 lb ground meat. Seriously beef, pork or ground veal will all work gloriously well
2 tsp red pepper flake
some fresh basil
fresh oregano * substituted today with 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
salt and black pepper to taste
Quick note: I also used fresh parsley today since I have some in my newly refreshed herb garden.
Left to right we’ve got cilantro, parsley, basil and rosemary
Here are today’s sauce ingredients in pictorial form.
We’re using sweet Italian sausage and 80/20 ground beef today. The same way I prepared it the first time over 35 years ago. I’ve been fucking around with a version that substitutes beef short ribs for the ground beef and lemme tell yez, holy fucking shit is that fucking spectacular. But today is the original and it still kicks all of the ass.
We’re also doing the full 2 day method here so keep that in mind.
On day one get to chopping up the onion and pepper.
Take out your trusty Dutch oven and set it on the stove top over a medium heat. Pour in your glugs of olive oil and let’s get to sauteing the onion and pepper.
Set a kitchen timer for 7 minutes and let the veggies saute down until they cook through fairly well. Next we’re going to add in the Italian sausage. Please notice! We have not added the minced garlic yet!
When the sausages start to brown and get a slightly disturbing shade of grey, it’s time to add in the ground beef.
Here’s my handy trick number 1: Open your can of whole tomatoes and dump them into a bowl.
The purpose of this trick is twofold. First it allows you to chop the whole tomatoes up a bit before adding to the sauce and secondly if you reserve the can, you can use it as a handy grease depository during the first day’s cooking process!
Let’s go ahead and finish browning the meat.
NOW add in the minced garlic and cook for about 2-3 minutes until the aroma gets all garlicky and shit.
Another thing to notice: I haven’t added any herbs/spices at this point.
In all previous versions of this sauce I took those whole tomatoes and squished them one at a time into the browned meat. I mentioned this in the original post too. If you cut them up first you really do save yourself a shitton of staining and flying tomato sauce and cleanup without losing any of the flavor, so save yourself some fucking grief and cut them into pieces in advance.
Now add them to the meat mixture.
Bring this to a simmer then reduce the heat to LOW and place a lid slightly ajar over the pot. Set your kitchen timer to 1 hour and let this fucker simmer away. Give a stir every 10-15 minutes or so.
During the hour of simmering go ahead and gather your spices and herbs together. Give the parsley and basil a good chop.
A fine mince is in order here to avoid the dreaded “You’ve got some something green stuck between your teeth” scenario. That shit’s important.
When the sauce has finished its first hour we add in the 28 ounce can of tomato sauce.
Now it’s time to add in the herbs, the oregano, the red pepper flake, the salt and pepper and the wine. Give another good old stir.
The wine used today was from Bold Vines vineyards and is a California cabernet sauvignon. For its lower price point, this is one fucking delicious glass of red. It’s in my regular rotation as we speak.
This lovely pot of love is going to now simmer for… about 5 more hours.
To re-iterate you very well could add in the mushrooms at this point, simmer for another hour and serve and you would be ecstatic with the results. Not as ecstatic as you will be if you cool this down and refrigerate overnight and finish with the mushrooms the next day and that’s exactly what we’re gonna fucking do today.
Turn the heat off of the pot and let cool to room temperature.
There she is after cooling down
Using your spoon cut the sausages into chunks before refrigerating. The reason for this is when you reheat the sauce tomorrow you will be able to more easily remove the excess grease from the pot.
If that’s something important to you.
I like to cut each sausage link into 4-5 bits. It gives them almost a meatball touch but with way more flavor than a meatball.
Place this baby in the fridge, grab a cold one – or better yet go ahead and start finishing that bottle of vino – and let’s call this the end of day one.
It’s day two! Or as we will now call it “Kitchenaide Appreciation Day!
We’ve got a bit of work today making bread and pasta but one thing we don’t have to fuck around with much is the Mother Sauce.
Let’s get our sauce back out of the fridge and over a low flame. Today we will add in the mushrooms.
I also add in a bit more basil and oregano to “brighten” the sauce a bit. If you had company over this is where you would add that extra 15 ounce can of sauce but since we’re in “safe at home” mode there were just 3 of us and the extra sauce wasn’t needed.
Let this baby simmer until everything else is ready.
Recipe once again inspired by Tasteofhome.com
Before getting started you need to know that there are 3 separate rises for the dough. One hour, 30 minutes and 30 minutes. Schedule your shit accordingly.
Yes, we’ve done this before but to save you having to search for it:
3 to 3 1/4 cups of flour
1 package of Instant Yeast
1 cup of warm water at a temperature of 110-115 degrees. This is important dammit.
2 tablespoons of sugar
2 tablespoons of canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
1 egg white
1 teaspoon of cold water
Add the yeast to the working bowl of your mixer then pour in the water. Let bloom for a couple of minutes. Now add in the oil, salt, sugar and the first 2 cups of flour. Put your paddle attachment on the mixer and give it a spin.
Next, replace the paddle attachment with the hook attachment on the mixer. Now add in enough flour to form a stiff dough. Start with 1 cup of flour and adjust as needed until you have a stiff dough that pulls away from the mixing bowl. Set a kitchen timer and let this bastard go for 10 minutes.
Form into a ball, place in an oiled bowl, rolling the dough over to coat with oil. Cover with a kitchen towel and let it do rise number one for an hour.
Punch that dough down and get into the second rise, about thirty minutes. After that rise take a baking sheet that’s been sprinkled with cornmeal and shape your bread loaf. Turns out this part is critical for final results. You want this only about 2 1/2″ wide and about 14-18 inches long. It’s KEY.
Let rise again for another half hour, then score with a bread knife and baste with the egg wash. That’s the egg white mixed with the teaspoon of cold water.
Then give it a bake in a preheated 375 degree for about 25 minutes.
Let rest for a few minutes.
Want to slice and serve as is?
That shit will work.
Now it’s pasta time baby!
This is probably the 10th time I’ve made fresh pasta on Sunday Gravy but once again for your convenience.
1 1/2 cups Semolina flour
2 Eggs beaten
2 Tbsp Water
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Toss everything in a bowl and combine into a rough dough. Most of you will remember that we CANNOT use the stand mixer for the kneading of this since it’s too small of a dough ball so we’ve got to do some work. Knead on a lightly floured surface 10 agonizing minutes.
Remember? Glutens and shit?
Let this bad motor scooter rest for about 20 minutes.
Place the roller attachment on the Kitchenaide.
We’re going to roll out some pasta sheets. You’re going to want to break the dough into about 6 pieces.
Start with the widest setting then roll through. Adjust to setting 2 and repeat. Finally setting three and run ‘er through again. When all of the sheets have been rolled out like so…
It’s ready to cut these fuckers!
Place the pasta cutter attachment on the mixer.
And cut your pasta. A sheet at a time.
Hang to dry for an hour or more.
To finish, get a pot of salted water going over the stove.
Take the pasta off of the drying rack.
Into the boiling water it goes.
For about 3-4 minutes.
Turn the heat off of the Mother Sauce cuz that shit’s going to be hot as FUCK.
Drain your pasta.
How about we make some of that bread into garlic bread?
All we did was melt some butter, added some granulated garlic, maybe 1/2 tablespoon? Sure. Then half a teaspoon of salt. Brush the butter mixture over slices of the bread and place under the broiler set to high.
Take some of that pasta and place in a sauce pan. Get a ladle of sauce and combine with the pasta. Get your plate ready. Plate that pasta and sauce. Add more sauce over the tossed pasta as desired. Grate some parm over the top, get a couple of slices of bread and serve.
Good Golly Miss Molly!
How about a close-up of that sauce.
And that bread?
I said god DAMN!
This may have been the most overall satisfying meal of all time. The pasta, my God, you know how I feel about fresh pasta. The sauce? Shit yes! Perfect. Rich, savory, tomatoey goodness with a bit of an herbal note and that sausage in there? Wow.
Want to hear about the star of the goddamn show?
The bread. This is easily the best results I’ve ever had with my French bread.
The big difference here was when we made some of it into garlic bread. That was the best garlic bread EVER. The bread still had the fresh baked, yeasty action going and when broiled with the garlic butter it produced a delicate chew rather than a “chewy” chew that’s standard with typical garlic bread.
This is also the first time an entire loaf of French bread disappeared while feeding only 3 people.
My bread game is getting stong as fuck, yo!
Once again try one disciple or try all three. You’re going to love the shit out of each of them.
Be well good folks. Stay home. Stay safe and we’ll get through this.