3 Sunday Suppers

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This is a great way to save money and time in the kitchen especially on a Sunday when you really want to enjoy your family and friends instead of constantly being in the kitchen preparing Supper. I call it stretching my meals. Set a side a day when you can do this.  You can make three meals for a family of 4 to 5 from a 5 to 5-1/2 pound chuck roast. That’s right, 6 juicy cheeseburgers, 12 moist light meatballs in a delicious tomato sauce and a tender bursting with flavor meat loaf all from a single roast.  Ask your butcher to grind the chuck roast for hamburger. Divide up the meat, put the hamburger in the fridge for dinner that evening. I highly recommend you prepare and eat the hamburger the same day. Cooking it the same day that it has been ground makes a HUGE difference in the flavor of the beef.

Prepare the meatloaf and meat balls with sauce and freeze. When Sundays roll around you already have two meals ready to go! The meatballs with sauce and meatloaf will last in the freezer for up to 2 months!

For the Cheeseburgers you will need I-1/2 pounds of beef. For the Meatballs 2 pounds, for the Meatloaf  1-1/2 to 2 pounds







1-1/2 pounds ground chuck roast

Kosher salt

Cracked pepper

6 slices sharp cheddar cheese (I like extra sharp)

6 hamburger buns, white or whole wheat

2 tablespoon canola oil or vegetable oil

Bread-and-butter pickles

1 red onion, thinly sliced, lettuce, tomato, (optional)

Shape 6 (4 ounce) hamburger patties, each 1/2 inch thick. Be careful not to pack the meat tightly. You will have dry burgers if the meat is packed too tightly. Sprinkle a healthy pinch of kosher salt over the top each burger. Crack  some pepper over the top as well.

The secret to great burgers is to get the grill or cast iron skillet  super hot.

Heat the grill pan or cast-iron skillet over high heat for 3 minutes. Place the seasoned side of the burgers on the grill pan. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the top of the burgers. Grill for 2 minutes, then flip the burgers over. Grill for 2 minutes, flip the burgers over again, and grill for 1 minute. Flip the burgers again, and add the cheese on top. Grill for 1 minutes more. The burgers will be medium rare. Grill longer if you want your burgers cooked more (medium to well done) Using an instant meat thermometer, test your burgers. Rare beef should be 140 degrees F. well-done beef should be 170 degrees F.

Remove the burgers to a warm plate by the stove (do not cover) Place the hamburger buns on the grill, and toast (on one side only). On a clean plate, assemble the burgers and buns. Use any condiment you like, but I can tell you, these are so tasty that you don’t need anything.  You are now ready to bite into the tastiest, juiciest hamburger so simple, no fuss, just the pure taste of the beef!


My dad would always make his famous (in our family anyway) meatballs every Sunday while listening to Tony Bennett songs. The house would fill up with the sounds of music and the aroma of the meatballs cooking making everyone excited about the meal to come. I remember it as if it were yesterday all of these happy times gathering family and friends around the dinner table. I’ve continued that tradition to this day, even the Tony Bennett songs! I modified the original method  slightly by having the butcher grind a chuck roast fresh instead of purchasing ground meat already packaged, this way the meatballs cook up moist, tender and light. I have also reduced the cook time down from 3 to 4 hours (that is how long Sunday sauce would simmer back then) to 30 minutes. You can freeze these meatballs for up to a month, or it will stay 3 days in the refrigerator.

Start by making the sauce first!


1/2 cup olive oil

2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

(28-ounce) can chopped canned tomatoes, pureed in a blender for 5 seconds

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup water

2 teaspoons sugar

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus additional for sprinkling

8 ounces of your favorite pasta

Freshly grated Romano cheese

Have all the ingredients lines up and ready to go before you start cooking.

Heat saucepan on medium-high heat. Add olive oil and garlic, saute the garlic turning gently until it starts to turn golden on all sides. Be careful not to burn the garlic or the sauce will taste bitter. If this happens discard and start again. Add the tomatoes, salt, water, sugar, butter, and red pepper flakes. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. If the sauce looks to thick or gets too thick while simmering add water 1/4 cup at a time. You don’t want it watery, but you do want it to have a silky consistency. Turn off heat and set aside while you make the meatballs.


2 (3-ounce) sweet Italian sausages, casings removed

2 pounds freshly ground chuck roast

1/2 white onion, cut into pieces

1 celery stalk, cut into pieces

1 small carrot, cut into pieces

1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley

1 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup Romano cheese

2 pieces of white bread, crusts removed, torn into shreds

1/2 cup whole milk

1 garlic clove, crushed through a garlic press

1/2 teaspoon table salt

1 egg, slightly beaten

1/4 cup ketchup

1/4 cup olive oil

Place the sausages along with the ground chuck in a large bowl. In a food processor, pulse to chop the onion, celery, carrot, and parsley until finely chopped. Add the vegetable mixture to the meat. Add the bread crumbs, Parmesan and Romano cheese, white bread , milk, garlic, salt, egg, and ketchup.

Using your hands, mix gently until all of the ingredients are incorporated. Form twelve 4-ounce meatballs (to help you gauge the size, you can use a 1/4? inch dry measuring cup) Roll them in your hands to make smooth, round balls. Do not pack them too tightly.


Bring the marinara sauce to a low simmer.

Heat a frying pan until hot, add the olive oil, and swirl the oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Add the meatballs and brown on all sides; they brown quickly, so watch them to be sure they don’t burn. DO NOT cook them all the way through; they will finish cooking in the sauce. Carefully lift and place them in the marinara sauce you have prepared, and gently simmer for 30 minutes. Serve with your favorite pasta.



Take what is left over from the meatballs and shape it into a loaf. Place in a 9-by 5 inch loaf pan.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.

Spread 1/4 cup ketchup over the top of the loaf.  Take a  baking pan with a two and 1/2 rim large enough to hold the meat loaf pan  and fill the baking pan half way up  with water. Place the meatloaf pan in the water and slid it in the oven to bake for 60 minutes in a water bath. Remove from the oven and let cool. Cover and freeze for next Sunday Supper!

Remove from freezer and let sit for at least 1 hour at room temperature. Bake at 350 to warm for 30 minutes or until  warm on the inside.

Makes great meatloaf sandwich’s!


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