See, that post title is exactly why I shouldn’t be allowed to talk on the Internet.
BUT WHATEVER NO LIMITS WOOOOOO
What I mean to say is, it’s recipe time, you sons-a-bitches. Which further means, you’d better get under that Gallagher tarp, because it’s about to get sloppy all up in this muh-fuhuh.
It’s time to talk about meat sauce.
Which was, coincidentally, my nickname back in the Royal Air Force. “Oy, Meat Sauce!” a fellow pilot would call. “Get the dog’s bollocks with a fanny cracker, you chip-twiddler!” And we’d all laugh.
Whatever. That was then, this is now. And now is the time for meat sauce.
I make this from time to time and the recipe swerves drunkenly about like Lindsay Lohan in a Lexus, bringing in new ingredients and discarding others. But this is the most current iteration of my meat sauce.
And it requires a bit of multitasking. Not the kind where you juggle chainsaws with one hand and manually masturbate a sea lion with another — by the way, who let that sea lion in here? This is a kitchen and he smells like herring. Ugh. Whatever. What it will require of you is to: a) put something in the oven and b) put something on the stove all at the same time. Gasp! Crash of thunder! Tense violin music!
First, the oven.
Set your fire-box (insert Lindsay Lohan vagina joke here) to 425. That’s Fahrenheit, because that’s how we roll in America. Then, once it gets all roasty-toasty, it’s time to throw in the vegetables.
In a roasting pan, deposit the following: one sweet onion, chopped into maybe eight pieces. One small carrot, skinned like a rare African monkey, chopped into four or five rough pieces. Two bell peppers — one red and one yellow if you like the color. Sometimes, though, I use smaller sweet peppers if they’re available. (And when they’re not available, I throw a tantrum in the store, whipping nearby shoppers with a cat-of-nine-tails made of cilantro and asparagus.)
Then, finally, the tomatoes.
Listen, I don’t care what kind of tomatoes you use. That’s your business, not mine. I’ve done cherry tomatoes, plum tomatoes, fat heirloom tomatoes that have funky names like Green-Breasted Sioux Daddy or Farniker’s Morbidly Obese. One’s choice in tomatoes is like one’s choice in a God; it’s between you and your pantheon of divinities. I shall respect your decision, whatever it may be.
I use a pound of chosen tomatoes.
Chopped and seeded and de-snotted. Because that’s what’s in tomatoes. Seeds floating in a sea of tomato snot. So appetizing. That stuff is naaaaasty. What is wrong with the guy who invented tomatoes? I mean, cripes, after I’m done de-snotting a pound of tomatoes, it looks like a llama sneezed into my garbage bowl. (And if you’re not using a garbage bowl to collect all your vegetable garbage, then there’s your pro-tip of the day. Use a garbage bowl. Then compost your garbage. Then use the composted earth to grow new tomatoes with new tomato snot. THEN THE PROCESS BEGINS AGAIN OH MY GOD I’M TRAPPED IN SOME KIND OF RECIPE HELL THE SNAKE BITES HIS OWN TAIL AND)
Whew, sorry. Feeling better now.
Garlic. You want garlic. A bulb’s worth of cloves, skinned and tossed in there.
Upon your roasted vegetables, you want to grease them up with liberal use of olive oil. Like, imagine you’re about to have sex with them? Use that much culinary lube. Then: salt, pepper, and a heavy sprinkling of some kind of Italian herbaceousness. You know, the oregano and marjoram and — hey, is marjoram even a real herb? I bet it’s something someone just made up. Anyway. My secret weapon is Herbs de Provence, which features lavender, and I don’t know why, but I think it kicks the sauce up a notch in terms of its olfactory power. So, use Herbs de Provence or I’ll break your femur with a mad karate kick.
Finally, you want to select a good Italian sausage. I like a mix of sweet and hot. You get the best Italian sausage in New Jersey (and this is not a reference to truck stop male prostitution no matter what the gossip blogs say about me), but I live in Pennsylvania so I get whatever I can get. Lube up the sausage. Pop it on top of the soon-to-be-roasted vegetables. Then, into the oven the whole thing goes.
One hour. No less. Maybe more. Till your veggies start to scream and burn.
“Caramelized” is the name of the game.
Now, while that’s cooking:
BEHOLD, THE BIG-ASS SAUCE POT.
Get some heat under that fat-assed pot and then it’s time to put some shit — not literal shit, mind you, because ew what’s wrong with you — into the steel receptacle. First up?
Big motherfucking can of tomatoes. I know, canned tomatoes? Aren’t we roasting real tomatoes? We are. And we’re also putting canned tomatoes in there. Make peace with this now.
Big can means 28 oz, probably. I go with crushed tomatoes. No spices or salt or anything because uhh, we can handle that, thanks, can of tomatoes. I got this. Don’t be pushy. Stupid can.
Then, two little cans of tomato paste. That’s all they seem to sell of tomato paste are little cans. But I guess that’s fine because tomato paste is like, the potent uranium of tomato sauce. You only need a little to go a long way. Whatever. Both those cans go into the bubbling brew.
Then: two cups of chicken stock. Homemade if you can. If not: store-bought, low-sodium. If not that, then veggie stock. If not that, then water, I guess. What are you, poor? How do you have the Internet?
Then: one cup of red wine. Your choice here is your own. I like a simple “cab-sauv,” which is what we call Cabernet Sauvignon in the wine world. Pinot Grigio we call “pee-gree.” Merlot we call “Merbugluh.”
As a sidenote, Wine World is definitely a planet I want to call home.
Then, into the mix: one squirt of ketchup, one tablespoon splash of Worcestershire sauce (aka Shire Sauce, or Hobbit Sauce, or It’s Actually Fish Sauce But Nobody Really Realizes That), one splash of cider vinegar, a dash of pepper, a sprinkling of salt, sprinkling of white sugar, a flurry of Italian seasoning, one bay leaf, and then the milk squozen from two lemur bladders.
JUST SEEING IF YOU WERE PAYING ATTENTION.
No lemur parts. Too acidic.
One more thing goes into the pot:
In this case: pepperoni.
Get a whole “dick” (AKA one stick) of pepperoni, then chop it into little quartered bits.
Those go into the bubbling red mire.
Cover and simmer while the veggies roast.
While all that’s happening, kill time with whatever time-killing task that makes your grapefruit squirt. Tetris, gardening, whale-taming, donkey-shaming, engaging in copious alcoholism, practicing rampant masturbation, hunting the Most Dangerous Game (which contrary to rumors is not “man” but rather, “robot orangutans armed with bazookas and garotte wire”). Your call.
When your roasted veggies are done, uhh, roasting, take ’em out. I pop ’em in the blender or into a food processor (or, if you have one, the mouth of a Labrador Retriever) and coarsely blend ’em up.
Then they go into the pot.
[EDIT: The sausage? Oh, you wanna know what to do with that. Fine. Fine. Slice it when it’s cooled down, then plop it into the sauce with the rest of the deliciousness. Do not blend.]
Then, you wait another, mmm, ohh, two hours.
And that’s it, really. It’ll give you a metric orificeload of meat sauce.
Rescue the bay leaf because, y’know, yuck.
If you cook pasta, remember to cook the pasta in water just prior to “al dente status,” then finish the cooking of said pasta in the meat sauce itself. Because that’s just how you do it, shut up.
Prior to eating, I’ll chiffonade (which is French for “cut into hoity-toity little ribbons”) some basil and put in there. And I like to grate some Parmesan cheese upon the dish just before consumption.
And praise my meat sauce.
PRAISE MY MEAT SAUCE.