Mr. Pete’s “Ugly Meatballs” and “Gravy”

My parents’ incredibly warm, Chicago-based neighbors in Florida are planning on moving and although I’ll miss knowing that my parents have beloved friends so close to them, I selfishly will miss the mouth-watering spaghetti and meatballs they make for us when we visit.  In case someone wants to Muslimize this and make it for us, here’s the recipe:

Makes 1 gallon
Takes 1-2 hours prep
Gravy takes 4 hours to simmer

Start with:

  • 3 lbs. ground beef for meatballs rolled into 1 1/2 inch balls
  • 1 1/2 lbs. sweet mild sausage cut in half
  • 2 1/2 lbs. pork finger ribs (“bone in” is best)
  • 4 29 oz. cans of Hunt Tomato Sauce

It’s called “ugly” because you want a loose meatball to absorb the sauce so don’t roll it tight! In large mixing bowl, fan out the ground beef until it’s molded to it.  Add:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 c. parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 c. garlic powder
  • 1/16 c. parsley flakes
  • 1/2 c. Italian bread crumbs (if it looks dry, add more)
  • Add water only if it looks too dry

Fry in about 1/4 inch oil depth until done. Save drippings.

In a large pot 12 quarts or bigger, brown sausage in 1/4 inch deep oil again. rub sausage on all sides around the pan in oil first so it doesn’t stick. Take out and put into separate bowl and set aside.

Brown pork pieces in the oil and drippings of sausage for about 10 minutes. Add all cans of tomato sauce, sausage, meatballs with drippings from other pan for flavor.

Add in 1/2 c. parmesan cheese and 1/8 c. garlic powder – only stir after the cheese goes down on own.

Cook for 4 hours or until pork falls apart. Skim oil before serving.

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