Meat Sauces

Ragù, Bolognese and carbonara are some of our favorite meat sauces, all hearty companions to a bowl of pasta—the perfect one-dish meal. An easy way to whip up a meat sauce is by mixing together sweet Italian sausage, canned tomatoes, chopped veggies and fresh parsley for a simple Bolognese, which is especially delicious atop creamy polenta. For a truly low-maintenance meat sauce, try using your slow cooker. A combination of ground beef and sausage, lots of herbs and plenty of garlic make this flavorful Bolognese incredible—and it tastes even better the next day. Get these recipes and more in Food & Wine's guide to meat sauces.

Most Recent

Mint Chutney
The bright, herbal flavors of this chutney are the perfect counterpoint to grilled meats of any kind. Chef Chintan Pandya of New York City's popular Dhamaka and Semma restaurants, among others, serves this chutney alongside lamb and chicken kebabs. It can also be used as a topping for burgers or sandwiches, or as a dip for vegetables.
Short Rib Ragù with Orange-Parsley Gremolata
Rating: Unrated 2
This ragù stands apart from most with the addition of fennel seeds, ground allspice, and habanero hot sauce. Like most great braises, it tastes even better after a day or two in the fridge, making it a great do-ahead dish for entertaining. Be sure to look for meaty short ribs; they can sometimes be skimpy, consisting of mostly bones. The ragù is topped with gremolata for a bright, fresh finish. Traditional gremolata is made with parsley, garlic, and lemon zest, but here the lemon is swapped out with orange zest, a nice match for the fennel and habanero in the ragù.
Cumberland Sauce
Hank Shaw's spin on Cumberland Sauce, a classic British sauce that dates back to the 1800s, includes dry sherry, beef stock, and red currant jelly combined with shallots, mustard, cayenne, and lemon zest. The resulting Cumberland Sauce is a sweet, salty, savory, spicy glaze that's perfect for Venison Meatballs and other game meats. If you cannot find red current jelly, any tart red jelly, such as lingonberry or cranberry, will work here.
Thanksgiving Gravy Fountain with Holiday Hors d'Oeuvres
Rating: Unrated 1
This recipe takes our Best-Ever Turkey Gravy and adapts it specifically for a gravy fountain, creating cascading streams of savory gravy that pair perfectly with skewered roasted vegetables, stuffing bites, French-dip-style turkey sliders, and mashed potato croquettes. We've included mini-recipes for all of those hors d'oeuvres (made with Thanksgiving leftovers) in this recipe, plus three different flavor variations on the gravy itself. The gravy recipe yields enough to fill a chocolate fountain that calls for 4 pounds of melted chocolate. If you have a fountain that calls for 2 pounds or less, either divide this recipe in half or add half to the machine, and use the remaining gravy to refill as needed. While it's perfectly safe to run the gravy fountain for a few hours, the gravy temperature does hover around 105-110°F; a little cooler than what is considered to be food-safety temperature, so keep it flowing for under 2 hours. Add the fountain to your Thanksgiving menu for maximum joy.
Mushroom-and-Herb Gravy with Apple Brandy
Rating: Unrated 1
Multiple factors take this umami-rich gravy to the next level, from the caramelized mushrooms to the herb "whisk" used to impart a fresh herb flavor. Melting cultured butter into the sauce at the end ensures a velvety texture, and also gives the gravy a subtle tang. It's perfect with Thanksgiving turkey and delicious with roast chicken; substitute well-reduced homemade chicken stock for the turkey jus. Learn more about how to upgrade your gravy for Thanksgiving.
Make-Ahead Smoky Madeira Gravy
Rating: Unrated 3
You can make this gravy ahead of time in a pressure cooker or simmer it on the stovetop; either way, this Madeira-spiked gravy recipe will lighten the load on Thanksgiving Day. A concentrated smoked turkey stock serves as the base of this gravy, which will keep in the refrigerator up to three days and also freezes beautifully. Wondra flour helps ensure a smooth consistency.

More Meat Sauces

Sambal Matah
Chef Lara Lee's Sambal Matah is bright and fresh, packed with lemongrass, lime, chiles, and ginger. Sambal refers to a group of Indian and South Asian condiments, usually based on a mix of hot chiles and fresh aromatics like shallots and ginger. Use this version as a relish with noodles or fried rice, or to accompany fish, a steak, or fritters. While its best the day it is made, Sambal Matah can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
How to Make Perfect Gravy Every Time
Fat, flour, and liquid is all you really need for a gravy recipe.
Smoky Turkey Gravy

This wonderfully rich gravy is taken up a notch with smoky Spanish paprika and an aromatic guajillo chile. Plus:  More Great Thanksgiving Recipes