Monday, April 15, 2013

52 Meals #2: Sunday Ragu

52 Meals, is a weekly Sunday dinner challenge. Each Monday I'll be sharing our Sunday dinner, complete with pictures, recipes, and tips for making cooking at home fun and easy. 

This week's meal: Sunday Ragu was inspired by our trip last weekend to Brooklyn's Smorgasburg and specifically the first vendor we hit up: Sunday Gravy

This meal is a labor of love and will feed an army. It's an all-day cook fest with at least three hours of active prep and three more hours of inactive time; but the result is totally worth it. One of the best parts of this meal is that you can use up whatever meat that you might have in your fridge or freezer. The recipe below is a great starting point, but feel free to substitute in whatever you have.

TIP: Make sure to use at least some meat that's still on the bone for depth of flavor. 

Sunday Ragu


1 3/4 lb St. Louis Style pork ribs
2 lbs assorted italian sausage (hot, sweet, hot chicken are what I used)
2 medium onions, diced

5 garlic cloves, minced.
3 28oz cans of organic tomatoes (WF 365 diced tomatoes are my staple)
Olive Oil
Fresh Basil

Brown all the meat (in batches) and then set on a platter.
Add onions and scrape up all brown bits. Cook until onions are softened.
Add minced garlic, cook until garlic is fragrant.
Add tomatoes (I milled half of the tomatoes for a smoother sauce). 
Cook for five minutes and then add all the meat back in.
Let sauce cook for several hours until desired flavor is reached.

1 lb ground beef (mix of beef/pork or beef/pork/veal would work too)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup pecorino romano cheese
1 egg
1 tbsp heavy cream

Mix everything together and form into meatballs. Brown on all sides. Let the meatballs fully cook in the ragu.

The Verdict: super delicious. Jeff said it was the best thing I've ever made (but he says that about a lot of stuff). A long day of cooking but totally worth it, especially when you take into account the massive leftovers that can be turned into other great meals during the week (lasagne and meatball
parm sandwiches come to mind).

Time in the Kitchen: a lot. 3+ hours of prep & active cook time and 3+ hours inactive cook time.

Servings: about 16.

Difficulty: 3 out of 5

Tips & Tricks
  • Serve with crunchy Garlic Bread
  • Freeze half of the ragu. Use within 6 months.
  • Add parmigiano reggiano or pecorino romano cheese to the top
  • Use leftovers for lots of other great meals like Lasagne, Meatball Parm Sandwiches, Baked Ziti, or anything else that calls for a good meat sauce.
If you have any questions at all, leave a comment below and I'll make sure to answer as quickly as possible.  

Follow along during the week on twitter & instagram; I'll be using the hashtag #52Meals to corral all my photos in one place.