January 20, 2003

Meat Gravy

Tonight I made a long simmered "meat gravy" or "Italian Red Sauce." It's cold and overcast here in the Bay Area, so something warm and comforting made sense.

First, I browned:
- 2 pounds of fine chopped chuck steak "boneless short ribs"
- 2 pounsd of italian sausage, crumbled
- 1 large onion, minced fine
- 6 garlic cloves, miced fine

and then placed them in a large stock pot along with:
- 1 C red wine
- 3 medium cans tomato sauce
- 1 small can tomato paste
- 1 medium can worth of water

and then added:
- basil
- oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- salt
- pepper

and let it all simmer for two hours, uncovered, so that it reduced a bit as well. I hit it with a little bit of vinegar at the end to brighten up the long-cooked down flavors. Served it over rigatoni, which is still my favorite pasta after all of these years.

I did the browning using The World's Stupidest Sautee Pan (tm). I found it in my Amazon Gold Box for around $30. It's a 12 inch Emiralware pan. I needed another large pan, and figured at $30 it was worth it for an experiment -- Boy was I wrong!

It combines the worst of the two worlds of cheap and high end cookware. It has an incredibly heavy bottom of what appears to be 1/8 of an inch of copper and another 1/8 of an inch of stainless coated aluminum. This part is fine -- it does in fact heat up well and evenly distribute the heat over that part of the pan. But, having spent so much of the cost on the bottom, the sides are razor thin, plus this includes the bottom edge of the pan where it slopes upwards. It is impossible to heat the bottom to high-sautee without also scorching the sides. So, you get all of the weight of a high end pan (and it is heavy) with all of the burnt sides of a cheap one. Joe Bob says: don't check it out.

This is the third time I've attempted to use this pan, and from here on out I think I'm going to have to confine it to use as a roaster in the oven.

Posted by dowdy at January 20, 2003 10:01 PM