A mother-daughter conversation on food and cooking (mostly)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Tomato Gravy II: A Recipe

Tomato gravy is one of those Southern foods for which there are hundreds of different recipes. I, of course, believe Lawson's recipe is the best. It's how he won over my parents, after all.

It's a simple recipe, but it requires lots of fresh tomatoes in season, and they're supposed to be peeled. I suppose one could make it with canned tomatoes, but since the fresh, bright tomato flavor is the whole point, I would advise against it.

With so few seasonings, the tomato flavor is brassy and acidic and not sophisticated at all, but it's wonderful.

This recipe serves 6 to 8 people.

Saute until crispy but not too brown:

- 1 package bacon

Drain on paper towels and set aside. Pour out all but 2 or tablespoons of the bacon fat, if there is extra. Saute:

- 2 onions, preferably Vidalia, diced

Add and simmer until slightly reduced and thickened, about 20 minutes:

- Several pounds of fresh tomatoes (~10 medium?), peeled, seeded, and chopped

Add salt and pepper to taste. Crumble the bacon and add it to the sauce. Serve over grits, garnished with parsley if you like. A fried egg on top is good. Sauteed shrimp are good. If you wanted to be really South Carolinian, you could top it with a thin fried pork chop.


Kris said...

Thank you for this recipe! I wasn't aware that we didn't truly show our approval of Lawson until he made this for us. If I hadn't been won over before, the noodle bowls would have done it.

Russell said...

I made this last night, then poured it over a casserole dish full of cheese and sliced polenta. Kind of completely delicious.