Bobby Lovera's Sunday Gravy Recipe

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3 votes | 8186 views

Use Fresh excuses.
Takes at least 6 hours.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Servings: 15


Cost per serving $2.54 view details
  • 2 lb. Meaty Pork neck bones or Spare ribs or Pork chop.
  • 2 lb. Meaty Beef neck bones or Stew Meat.
  • 1 lb. Ground Veal
  • 1 lb. Sweet Italian Sausage
  • 12 Roma Tomatoes
  • 12 oz. Tomato Paste
  • 28 oz. Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 2 C. Stock or Brodo
  • 1/2 C. Red Wine
  • 1/4 C. mixed dried Italian Herbs
  • 2 T. Fennel Seed
  • 1 t. Anise Seed (not needed with good sausage)
  • 1/4 C. Sugar
  • 3 T. Granulated Garlic Powder
  • 2 T. Sea Salt
  • 2 T. Black Pepper
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1/4 C. EV Olive Oil
  • 2 Yellow Onions
  • 2 Stalks of Celery or Fennel, chopped
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, chopped no seeds
  • 1 Portabello Mushroom, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 C. Fresh chopped Garlic
  • 2 t. Anchovie paste
  • 1 bunch of Oregano no stems
  • 1 bunch of Basil chopped
  • Finishing Touches...Romano, Lemon Juice, Vinegar, White Wine Insolia, Hot Sauce, To taste ect.


  1. Season neck bones with Salt, Pepper, Granulated Garlic Powder, some of the dried herbs, and splash with wine and olive oil then let stand for about an hour to penetrate.
  2. Spread Tomato Paste over neck bones reserving any unused amount to be added to the sauce.
  3. Remove seeds from Tomatoes but leave the peel intact and cut into quarters.
  4. Roast neck bones, meats, vegetables, and any other gently seasoned meats you may need to use for 1/2 hour at 425F.
  5. You may puree some or all of the vegetables in the blender but it is not necessary.
  6. In large stock pot or Dutch Oven add all ingredients except fresh herbs and the finishing touches. Do not add fresh herbs at this time or they will turn black during boiling.
  7. Simmer covered on very low heat for 4 hours stirring occasionally to check for tenderness.
  8. The meat will be ready to surrender now so if you have used meat with bones. ..remove the bones from the sauce. Just pull the meat out and let it cool until you can work on it then return meat only to sauce and discard bones.
  9. Check for seasoning it should be slightly under salted until the very end so you can monitor the true Tomato flavor.
  10. Slow Simmer another 2 hours slightly covered to thicken...then push the chopped herbs under and turn it off.
  11. Leave covered for at least 30 minutes and reheat just before serving.
  12. Adjust Salt and Wine flavors to your liking while bringing back to simmer and add finishing touch ingredients (cheese, vinegar) from list.
  13. Serve over homemade cooked Pasta. I like Paccheri, Mostaccioli (this I buy dried), Manicotti, Raviolis, Spaghetti Buccatini, or Rigatoni.
  14. Top with Fresh Grated Parmegianno Cheese and remaining chopped parsley.
  15. Makes about 5 Quarts depending on thickness. I immediately canned 1 quart in a Ball jar and still had almost a gallon left in the blue bowl. Makes a great gift !
  16. Smaller Crock Pot will easily handle a half recipe although the lid must be in place to hold the cooking temperature and therefore it will not thicken as well...another dab of tomato paste should help.


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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 366g
Recipe makes 15 servings
Calories 407  
Calories from Fat 211 52%
Total Fat 23.47g 29%
Saturated Fat 8.53g 34%
Trans Fat 0.0g  
Cholesterol 90mg 30%
Sodium 1045mg 44%
Potassium 1012mg 29%
Total Carbs 25.44g 7%
Dietary Fiber 5.2g 17%
Sugars 9.09g 6%
Protein 24.08g 39%
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  • Bobby Lovera
    I have a collection of 50 recipes for this sauce. This one I created allows for flexible cost control using scraps and less expensive pieces of meat. Technically it is a Ragu with this amount of meat and I like it chunky but it can be made smooth and with meat flavors and have a gravy texture but it is not a Bolognese sauce. We should discuss this next time after I show you the brown style.
    Promise that you will use 12 Fresh Roma Tomatoes, a cup of Wine and plenty of herbs...then you will not be disappointed. Of course I used extra garlic without telling you and a splash of hot sauce...shhhh.
    I did add the Veal and Sausage...Trinity was sauteed and steamed into paste but I did roast some of the onion. Once you have learned the red style you can create on the spot variations with ingredients and procedure. I'll show you the brown style next time.
    Neckbones...enormous flavor and low cost...but there will be a few pieces of bone that inevitably will escape your attention.
    You can easily half the recipe.
    The photo of the sauce with the herbs waiting to be pushed under represents the most accurate color of the sauce.
    I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
    This is a variation
    • K. Garner
      I'm really looking forward to trying this.
      • Robyn Savoie
        Oh...this recipe sounds delicious. I too make my own stocks/broth to use in cooking rice, polenta, dressings etc. I just read on another site about freezing your extra herbs in broth and ice cube trays. Love that Idea.
        2 replies
        • Bobby Lovera
          January 25, 2014
          I have seen many ideas go around the block and come back with someone else's name on it.
          Try my method for making dried herbs on the stove top. I have never published this idea before....See new pics added. :)
          1 reply
          • Robyn Savoie
            February 17, 2014
            I'll have to try drying the herbs that way. Thanks!


        • ShaleeDP
          January 22, 2014
          oh so much to do, overwhelming recipe :)
          • K. Garner
            January 21, 2014
            I haven't studied it yet, but I love it! I can't wait to do this. I've been using pork neck bones in place of middlin' meat, a.k.a., salt pork or fatback, when I cook beans. They add a lot of flavor and are quite affordable, plus more meaty than salt pork. I'm going to try it with this ragu for sure. I love using scraps. Jeff and I once won 2nd place in a chili cookoff using smoked pork scraps that had been saved (frozen). Chili is a great way to use left over meat and make it WAY GOOD. Okay, Bobby, I made homemade chicken broth this weekend, and I don't want to use it in a risotto--as good as risotto is--because it just disappears into the rice (I'd be hard pressed to attempt risotto without homemade stock, but I'm not in the mood for it this time). I want to make a soup, or something else that will benefit from a good chicken broth made with a turnip. I clarified the broth. What would you make with it? I've got about 3 quarts. Thanks for your input!
            1 reply
            • Bobby Lovera
              January 21, 2014
              Duck and Sausage Gumbo...As duck and Turnip go together very well and you'll need plenty of that stock.
              I have 2 duck breasts in the freezer right now waiting for my Paccheri with Duck and Veal.
              I'm also a big fan of Panade Bread Dressings and stuffing, and Polenta...must use stock instead of water.
              You can use a good stock on many different things including pasta dough.
              Also you can freeze it...even in ice cube trays with the last of your fresh herbs minced then take them out of the tray and collect them into a ziplock freezer bag... to add a cube of fresh herbs and stock to anything. Never throw out fresh herbs again. Nifty.
              I suggest an extra, separate, and dedicated ice cube tray for this as the flavors may get locked into the plastic and then your drinks will be contaminated.

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