When a man drops dead in a restaurant, doctors and police insist the death was natural. But Chef Merle Blanc, he has the nose, and the nose he smells the murder. Now it's up to Chef Blanc to don his apron and cook a killer's goose before closing time!
Chef Merle Blanc's Perfectly Safe Signature Meat Sauce for spaghetti, etc.
(This is the sauce he prepares for visiting Italian dignataries)
Two pots, one at least 3 quarts, the other about 2 quarts.
For the larger pot (or large frying pan)
1 lb. ground beef
¼ lb. pork sausage (or Italian sausage, or a slab of salt pork, removed before serving)
About ¾ cup of each, chopped in ¼ in. squares:
1 can of chopped tomatoes, drained. (Drain the juice into the broth mixture). If using petite cut, add to the meat mixture. If using regular chopped tomatoes, place drained product on a cutting board and chop a little before adding to meat mixture.
½ cup olive oil
All this goes into the pot. Cook over medium heat until veggies are tender and meat browned.
In the smaller pot add:
4 cups broth (This can be beef, chicken, vegetable or, in a pinch: water.)
You can make easy broth using tinned broth or chicken or beef flavoring, usually 1 tsp. per cup of water, and adding:
5 peppercorns (Or goodly sprinkle of ground pepper)
½ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup sugar
1 Tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. anise (not star anise)
½ tsp. allspice
½ cup dry basil leaves, chopped or ground. If you have fresh basil, use more.
1 Tsp. oregano (Be careful not to overdo the oregano).
1 whole head of garlic, cut coarsely.
1 large bay leaf, crumpled.
Bring to a boil and lower heat.
With both mixtures going, simmer the broth gently while browning the meat and vegetables.
When the meat and vegetables are done, remove from heat and add:
2 small tins of tomato paste.
Strain the broth into the sauce and mix thoroughly. Simmer for twenty minutes. At this point, if desired, a little red wine can be added. (To the sauce. No tippling . We don't want to fool around and burn our fingers).
When Chef Blanc prepares this, everything comes out perfect the first time, naturally. But if your sauce (or gravy as the Italians call it) comes out a bit thin, you can add a small can of tomato sauce. If too thick for your taste, add a bit more broth. If needed at this point, add salt and/or additional sugar.
Spoon over drained spaghetti or other pasta and top with freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese. Serve with fresh bread and a green salad with oil and vinegar dressing.
Buon appetito !