I like to make Sunday Gravy from scratch, but it takes hours of work. That’s too much work for one hungry bachelor. I want my food ready in half an hour.
Then one day, I stumbled upon jars of Jersey Sunday Gravy at Brooklyn’s Whole Foods Market. WFM promised it was the real deal. The sauce maker’s website says he got his recipe from a pizzeria in New Jersey where he hung out as a kid.
Sunday Gravy ready in minutes? While my taste buds craved phenomenal pasta, my wallet hesitated at the phenomenal price.
A 24-oz jar costs $8.99. That’s incredibly pricey. Walmart sells Ragu sauce around the same size for $1.68.
Finally, I decided to try it. Will the results be worth it?
- 25 oz. Jar of Jersey Sunday Gravy
- 1 lb. Box of dry fettuccine
- 1.1 lb. Pork braciole (3 pieces)
- 1.38 lb. Meatloaf mix (beef, pork, veal)
- 1.38 lb. Ground beef, 90% sirloin
- Olive oil, salt and pepper
Heat olive oil, then brown ground meat in Dutch oven. Mix and mince meat with spatula. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.
Meat gives off grease and fat, so olive oil isn’t necessary. But I like olive oil.
Pour Sunday Gravy into Dutch oven. Heat and simmer.
Meanwhile, brown those bracioles on a pan. When I was cooking, melting cheese began bubbling out of one braciole (left one in the photo). Were the strings not tied tightly enough around the braciole?
Remove braciole from pan. Submerge and simmer in Sunday gravy for an hour.
Slow-cooking meat and vegetables in liquid breaks down their fibers — making them tender — and brings out their flavors. One of my favorite cooking methods.
Bring pot of water to boil. Put fettuccine in for 10–11 minutes until al dente. Add salt if you like.
Finally, drain pasta and serve with Sunday Gravy. Cut and remove strings from braciole. Mangia!
Gary’s Grocery Receipt
Total ingredients cost was $31.74. Here’s a breakdown:
- Jersey Sunday Gravy: $8.99
- Fettuccine, made by Weis Markets: $1 (was on sale)
- Pork braciole, Pasqualichio Brothers Inc. from Scranton, Pa.: $6.59
- Meatloaf mix, Catelli Brothers: $6.89
- Ground beef, 90% sirloin, Weis Markets: $8.27
The supermarket had only one pack of meatloaf mix left, so I bought ground beef, too. I purchased everything but the Sunday Gravy at my local Weis Markets.
I expect to make six meals out of this culinary adventure. That comes out to $5.29 per meal.
My Verdict on Jersey Sunday Gravy
Jersey Sunday Gravy wasn’t bad … It made for a decent dinner. However, nine dollars is just too much for a jar of sauce. I’d buy it again but at a lower price.
The pork braciole was tender and tasty!
- After cooking a steak, I always deglaze my skillet. That gives me flavorful juice/sauce to drizzle on the steak. Here I did the same with the pan after browning the braciole. In this case I used a little bit of water, then added the juice to the Sunday Gravy. Next time I might use red wine or beef broth.
- When I make Sunday Gravy from scratch, I like to splash red wine into the simmering sauce. Adds flavor and color. I use Cabernet Sauvignon from Sutter Home, since that’s what the local state liquor store sells.