Sunday Supper: Meat Hook Meat Sauce

  • Updated: July 25, 2014 - 1:51 PM

Meat Hook Meat Sauce. “Excerpted from The Meat Hook Meat Book by Tom Mylan (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2014. Photographs by Michael Harlan Turkell. Illustrations by Kate Bonner."

Photo: Michael Harlan Turkell,

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Meat Hook Meat Sauce

Makes 2 quarts.

Note: This meat sauce is what the Meat Hook staff makes from various Italian sausage blends that are left in the shop’s sausage-making stuffer tube. As a result, the sauce is never quite the same from week to week. The author suggests that this recipe is more of a guideline than a formal procedure for making the sauce. He suggests improvising on it — or not — as you like. He serves the sauce over pasta. Leftover sauce can be refrigerated for up to 7 days or frozen for up to 3 months. From “The Meat Hook Meat Book,” by Tom Mylan.

• 1 lb. loose bulk Italian sausage

• 1 large onion, finely chopped

• 5 garlic cloves, finely minced

• 1 tbsp. flour

• 1 c. beef or pork stock

• 1 (28-oz.) can whole tomatoes

• 1/4 c. unflavored vodka, optional

• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 1/4 c. finely chopped parsley

• Cooked pasta of your choice


In a large pot, cook sausage over medium-high heat, smashing and cutting it up with your wooden grandma spoon. (No grandma spoon? Get one!) The idea is to chunk up the sausage into bite-sized or smaller pieces.

After the meat has cooked for about 15 minutes, add the onions and garlic and cook until everything is sticky, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the stock and stir well, then add the tomatoes and vodka. (Feel free to omit the vodka, the not-so-secret ingredient in vodka sauce, if you like. It’s used here to help break down the tomatoes and make the texture smoother.) Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer, stirring every 5 minutes or so, for about an hour, or longer if you have time.

Finish the sauce by seasoning with salt and pepper to taste, then add the chopped parsley.

Serve over pasta.


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