Italian Sunday Gravy

Terry Heese


I got this recipe from the PBS show "America's Test Kitchen". The ingredients sounded so different that I had to try it. This is hands-down the best gravy I have tried. Add meatballs, if you can manage to stuff them in the slow-cooker, but with all the other meats, you won't miss them. Serve with a fresh loaf of bread, and salad, and you've got a crowd-pleaser.


★★★★★ 1 vote

1 Hr
8 Hr


  • 1 Tbsp
    vegetable oil
  • 1 lb
    sweet italian sausage
  • 1 lb
    hot italian sausage
  • 2 medium
    onions, chopped
  • 12 clove
    garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp
    dried oregano
  • 1 can(s)
    6 oz tomato paste
  • 1/2 c
    dry red wine
  • 1 can(s)
    28 oz diced tomatoes
  • 1 can(s)
    28 oz tomato sauce
  • 2 lb
    bone in pork country-style ribs, trimmed
  • 1 1/2 lb
    beef flank steak
  • 3 Tbsp
    fresh basil, chopped
  • ·
    black pepper, to taste

How to Make Italian Sunday Gravy


  1. Heat vegetable oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sweet sausage and cook until well browned and fat begins to render, about 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to paper towel-lined plate to drain. Then place in a large 5-6qt slow-cooker. Repeat with hot sausage.
  2. Cook onions in sausage fat over medium heat until well browned, about 6 minutes. Stir in garlic and oregano and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomato paste and cook until paste begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in wine and simmer, scraping browned bits from pan bottom with a wooden spoon, until wine is reduced, about 3 minutes. Transfer to slow-cooker. Stir in diced tomatoes and tomato sauce.
  3. Submerge uncooked ribs and flank steak in sauce, in the slow-cooker. Set slow cooker on low, cover, and cook until meat is tender, 8-10 hours. (Alternatively, cook on high for 4-5 hours)
  4. About 30 minutes before serving, transfer sausages, ribs, and flank steak to a baking sheet until cool enough to handle. Shred ribs and flank steak into small pieces, discarding fat and bones. Slice sausages in half, crosswise. Using wide spoon, skim fat off surface, then stir meat back into sauce. Stir in basil and pepper. Serve. Leftover gravy can be store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days. It freezes quite well.
  5. MAKE AHEAD: The recipe can be prepared through step 2 up to 2 days in advance. After reducing the wine in step 2, add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and browned sausages to the dutch oven and simmer over medium-low heat until the sausages are cooked through, about 12 minutes. Refrigerate the sausage and sauce mixture in an airtight container until ready to use. When ready to cook the gravy, warm the sauce and sausages together over medium heat until heated through, and transfer to slow-cooker. Proceed with step 3.

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