Monday, September 10, 2012

Mr. Hawthorne Makes An Outageously Delicious Meat Sauce.

Good neighbor Zippy was over at the house
having drinks with us the other night
and we were discussing family recipes.
Zippy told us of his sister's recipe
for a basic meat sauce.

It combines 4 different types of meats -
pork, beef, chicken, and sausage -
with tomatoes and is cooked down overnight
until the meats break down.

It is a rich, hearty, and satisfying sauce.
And once it's made,
you can add additional seasonings 
depending on how you want to use it.

I added a little oregano to this batch
to make a spaghetti sauce and poured it over whole wheat spaghetti.

If you wanted to put a Mexican spin on it,
season with some oregano, cumin, and cayenne
and add it to a burrito or taco or enchilada.
Whip up a homemade red chili sauce with dried peppers
  and you have a winner.

Our ingredients:
3 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes
2 small cans tomato puree
1 large chicken breast
3 links sausage
1 rump roast, cut into large dice (about 3 pounds)
Country Style Pork Ribs (about 2 pounds)
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
bay leaves

Mr. Hawthorne cooked the Country Style Ribs in salted water
for about 1 hour 15 minutes,
until they almost start to fall apart.
Set aside.

Sear the beef chunks in butter and oil.
Butter is for flavor.
Oil is to raise the smoke point of the butter.

Sear the sausages.
This was a Chinese hot sausage
we found at the Teeter which rendered virtually no fat.

Add the chicken in.

Stir around a bit.

Add  the garlic.

Chopped onions.

And the first two cans of diced tomatoes.
Always rinse out the cans with water
to get every bit of tomatoey goodness out.

Shred the Country Style ribs.
Add a can of tomato puree,
being sure to add water and wash out all the puree.

Add in bay leaves.

About a teaspoon of fennel seeds.

Chop about 2-3 tablespoons fresh basil and ...
... add to pot.

Add in parsley.
3-4 TB.
Stir to mix.

Add chopped green pepper, salt, and pepper.

Add in sliced, partially cooked sausage.

Add in the third can of tomatoes.

Partially cover and barely simmer
until the meat breaks down.
We started on this around 3 in the afternoon
and let it cook over night,
adding a cup or so of water every now and then.
This is not etched in stone.
You cannot screw this up.
If you feel more comfortable doing this in a crock pot,
go right ahead.

The next morning,
Mr. Hawthorne added in another can of tomato puree
and some more water.
He simply wanted more tomato flavor in his sauce.
Always taste test throughout the cooking process.
Taste as the flavors change and develop and merge.

Since Mr. Hawthorne was cooking breakfast now,
he added about 1/3 pound of pinched-off raw breakfast sausage.
He wanted a little grease and more flavor in the mix.
Continue simmering until sausage is cooked through.

For a spaghetti sauce,
stir in some oregano, 
pour over whole wheat spaghetti,
 grate Parmesan cheese over top,
and savor.

This meat sauce is sublime.

This recipe made about 5 1/2 quarts of meat sauce.
I poured what was left (3 quarts)
into containers and froze it,
anticipating some hearty eating during the winter months.

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