Slow Cooker Sunday Gravy

Just a very few years ago, I was so naive about Sunday Gravy.  Perhaps it just sounded like a heavy topping that would sink to the bottom of your stomach, sapping all of your energy.  Or maybe it was just one of those terms used in Italian families to make something we all knew about, like spaghetti sauce.  Since it resembles marinara on first glance, maybe it was just an East Coast term.  After some delicious test dishes for a Sopranos Sunday Dinner dinner, and some very helpful background information from FoodBlogga and her first hand experience with such meals, we gave Sunday Gravy a try.  It looks like a nice little pasta sauce, but oh, the depth of flavors is amazing!

If you are from an Italian family, you may just want to stop reading right here.  What comes next is so sanctimonious it would cause Tony Soprano to cry.  Sunday gravy can indeed be made in a slow cooker with darned good results.  There is a bit of prep work in the morning, but then you can go on your merry way and let the Sunday Gravy love happen on its own.

Slow Cooker Sunday Gravy


2 TBS olive oil

1 1/2  pounds pork country ribs (boneless)

1 pound Italian sausages

4 garlic cloves

1/4 cup tomato paste

3 cans Italian peeled tomatoes

2 cups water

salt and pepper


1.  In a large cast iron or heavy skillet, heat the olive oil.  Pat the pork country ribs dry with a paper towel and cook in the skillet over medium heat until nicely browned on all sides.  Work in batches so as not to crowd the meat.  When each batch is browned, move the pork to the slow cooker.  Brown the sausages the same way, and move to the slow cooker when lightly browned.

2.  Drain off all but 1 TBS of fat from the pan.  Keeping it on medium heat, add the garlic cloves and cook for about 2 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove the garlic, chop finely, and add to the slow cooker.  Stir the tomato paste into the skillet, cook for 1 minute, and add to the slow cooker.

3.  With blender or food mill, puree the tomatoes with their juices and add them to the slow cooker.  Add the water, salt and pepper to the slow cooker.  Mix gently.

4.  Cover and cook on low for 6 to 10 hours.

5.  To serve, cook up a pot of pasta, drain and return to the pot.  Add ladles of the tomato sauce from the Sunday Gravy to the pasta and stir.  Serve pasta with Sunday gravy and sausages on the side.


  • The country ribs pretty much dissolve into the Sunday gravy.  Anything you can pull from the sauce can be served on the side or added to another meal.
  • These sausages were most certainly from our most recent Sausage Saturday!  No post due to abysmal photos of the process.   😦
  • Yes, there is a bit of prep work in the morning, but the results are spectacular.

3 responses to “Slow Cooker Sunday Gravy

  1. I have a slow cooker that I rarely use, but this sounds so intriguing, especially the country ribs melting into the gravy… I’m inclined to give it a try!

  2. Definitely going on my to try list. And I have NO problem with using a slow cooker.

  3. oh, tony soprano can stick it–i’d like this just fine.

    and, um…i was just kidding about the sticking it, mr soprano. i have nothing but respect for ya. sir. 🙂

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