Recipe: Grandpa Jim’s Italian-American Meat Sauce


This family heirloom is my Daddy’s meat sauce recipe.  It is my version of comfort food.  It brings back memories of my childhood and my Daddy. I always try to make extra, because it is even better heated up the next day, but it is such a favorite that there is usually not enough left over for another meal.

This sauce works well on all types of pasta and in lasagna (more on lasagna later). It should feed five and it takes between an hour to two hours to cook.  The longer it simmers the more the flavors marry, and the better the sauce.

Grandpa Jim’s Italian-American Meat Sauce


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large yellow onion, coarsely diced
  • 1 tablespoon Herb Garlic Oil (available at Vom Fass)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • 1 whole bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 2 cans tomatoes, diced
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup white button mushrooms, diced
  • 1/4 cup Aceto Balsamico Golden quality (available at Vom Fass)
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine (I like Montepulciano de Abruzzo)


  • Pour the oil into a large Dutch oven over medium heat on the stove top.
  • Add the beef, garlic and onions.
  • Brown the ground beef with the onions.
  • Drain off any excess fat.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients.
  • Simmer with the top of the Dutch oven on.
  • Check and stir periodically.
  • Use to top any pasta or in a lasagna.
  • Serve with a glass of the Montepulciano de Abruzzo. Enjoy!

About Author

Never one to shy away from trying something new, Kim Weiss shares her love of cooking and her taste for experimentation with us each week in The Creative Kitchen. Weiss was born into a family of cooks. Her father was a gourmet. Her aunts could collectively cook circles around anyone, and her grandmother, she claims, “was the best southern cook God put on the face of this earth.” Weiss began cooking for her family and friends at age 10 and hasn’t stopped. While formally schooled as a lawyer and not as a chef, she applies the same kind of creativity to cooking that she once put into crafting a legal argument. Weiss is also the owner of Vom Fass, a store selling gourmet culinary condiments, fruit vinegars, exquisite oils, selected wines and spirits.

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