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Big Daddy's Italian Meat Gravy

This master recipe can be the basis for a limitless number of variations.  Feel free to add spices, herbs and veggies.  Serve over pasta, meats or fish to make your own creations.  The juices from the braised meats infuse this sauce with wonderful flavors all by itself.  Regardless of how you use this it is sure to be one you'll return to time and again.

½ pound beef ribs
I pound country spare ribs (bone in)
2-28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes (or use fresh)
2 medium bay leaves
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
½ cup Marsala
¼ cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large sauté pan over high heat and add the olive oil.  Saute the meat, turning occasionally, for a total of 8-10 minutes until the meats are well browned.  Set the meat aside and add the wine to the pan to deglaze, scraping up the bits of meat.  Allow to reduce to a glaze. 

Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion has softened, about 2-3 minutes.  Add the bay leaf and tomato and combine well.  Add the meat to the pan and cook over a low simmer for about 2 hours or until the meat is falling off the bone.  Remove meat and set aside.   Continue to reduce the sauce until a desired consistency is achieved.

We enjoy this this over ziti (piece pasta is recommended) with grated Parmesan and the meat served on the side.


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