Italian Gravy

3/4 cup olive oil, divided 
4 beef short ribs, 1/2 to 3/4 pound 
6 oxtails, about 1/2 pound 
1/2 pound country style spare ribs 
1 prime rib or beef neck bone, about 1/2 pound 
Salt to taste 
Pepper to taste 
2 1/2 teaspoons granulated onion, divided 
2 tablespoons garlic powder, divided 
2 links Italian sausage, 1 sweet and 1 hot, casings removed 
1 1/2 pounds unseasoned pork sausage 
1 pound ground beef 
3 large onions, finely chopped 
1 bunch Italian parsley, stems removed, finely chopped 
12 cloves of garlic, minced 
2 tablespoons minced shallot 
2 jalapeno peppers, stems and seeds removed, minced 
1/2 cup pesto, made without cheese or pine nuts (available frozen) 
2 cups of good red wine 
10 cremini mushrooms, sliced 
10 button mushrooms, sliced 
2 portobello mushrooms, sliced 
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar, divided 
106 ounces tomato puree 
106 ounces tomato sauce 

Cover the bottom of a 10 quart pot with olive oil and set over medium heat. Add short ribs, oxtails, country style spare ribs and beef neck bone and brown them with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon granulated onion, and 1 teaspoon garlic powder. Cook until both sides of meat are browned. Remove meat to a bowl and set aside. In the same pan add the sausage and ground beef. When ground meats are cooked through, drain grease and oil from pan. If there are any large pieces of the ground meats, break them up or pulse in a food processor. Add to bowl with other meats, set aside. Pour 1/4 cup olive oil into pot and saute onions, Italian parsley, garlic, shallots, jalapeno peppers, and pesto. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic and 1/2 teaspoon granulated onion. When onions are limp, add all of the reserved meats. Over medium heat, add 2 cups red wine. While this mixture is cooking, in a separate saute pan, add 1/4 cup olive oil and over medium heat saute mushrooms. Raise heat to medium high and add 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 granulated garlic, 1/2 teaspoon sugar. When mushrooms are browned add them to meats along with the tomato puree, tomato sauce and stock. In a food processor pulse stewed tomatoes with tomato paste until smooth and add them to the pot. Add allspice, Italian seasoning, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 teaspoon granulated garlic, 1 teaspoon granulated onion. The gravy must cover the meat and come close to the top of the pot. Reduce heat to the lowest simmer and cook uncovered for approximately 4 to 5 hours. Stir occasionally to keep from sticking to the bottom of the pan. When meat on oxtail is tender, take all of the whole meats out of the pot, leaving the ground meats in. To complete gravy, add 1 tablespoon granulated garlic, fresh basil and cream sherry. Serve the meat with gravy and pasta. Remove the rest of the gravy from the heat and let cool for 2 hours at room temperature then divide into pint containers and freeze. 

2 head each - romaine lettuce, butter lettuce, iceberg lettuce, cut into bite-size pieces 
1 cup each rinsed canned red kidney beans & garbanzo beans, patted dry 
8 ounces salami, cubed 
6 ounces Provolone, cubed 
2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped 
Red Wine Vinaigrette, recipe follows 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
Combine the first 8 ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with enough vinaigrette to coat. Season the salad with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve. 
Red Wine Vinaigrette: 
1/2 cup red wine vinegar 
3 tablespoons lemon juice 
1 teaspoon honey 
2 teaspoons salt 
1 cup olive oil 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
Mix the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, and salt in a blender. With the machine running, gradually blend in the oil. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper, to taste. 

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Italian Antipasto Salad