Pressure cooker, Sunday dinner
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Pressure Cooker Italian Sunday Gravy

Pressure Cooker Italian Sunday Gravy |

Pressure Cooker Italian Sunday Gravy

When I imagine the sauce that an Italian grandmother spends all Sunday simmering, I picture a simple tomato sauce. Garlic, onions, olive oil, tomatoes, basil, and a lot of stirring.

Then I read about Sunday Gravy – pork, beef and sausage, simmered all day…and I knew I had to try it. Now, this isn’t an exact recipe – I’m not Italian, so I never had a Nonna simmering sauce all Sunday long. And, it seems like there is a lot of disagreement about the meats. Some want spareribs, some want sausage. Some want braciole (thin-sliced meat rolled around stuffing), and some want meatballs. They all agree on a mix of pork and beef, so that’s what I’m going with. (And I threw in sausage, because I always want to throw in sausage.)

The name “Italian Sunday Gravy” was messing with my head, because this really is a meat stew. It’s not thin like gravy, or a sauce; it’s more like an Italian style chili. But, no matter what it’s called, it is fantastic!

Of course, instead of simmering all day, I pressure cook for a little under an hour; 30 minutes pressure cooking with a natural pressure release. (My apologies to your Italian Nonna who is spinning in her grave right now at the thought of pressure cooking.) That said, this really is a Sunday recipe – the pressure cooker speeds up the “simmer all day” part, but there are a lot of steps to get there. Three different meats to brown, onions to sauté – assume at least a half an hour of work before the pressure cooker lid is locked.

Video: Pressure Cooker Italian Sunday Gravy – Time Lapse (2:04)

Pressure Cooker Italian Sunday Gravy []

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Pressure Cooker Italian Sunday Gravy |

Pressure Cooker Italian Sunday Gravy

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x


Pressure Cooker Italian Sunday Gravy. The Italian meat stew, with pressure cooking for about an hour replacing the traditional all-Sunday simmer.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut into inch chunks
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 pound boneless chuck roast, cut into inch chunks
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 pound hot (or sweet) Italian sausage links, cut into 1½ inch lengths
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil (or Italian Seasoning, or minced fresh basil)
  • 1/2 cup red wine (a cheap merlot or blend of wines is good)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes


  1. Brown the meats on one side: Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat (sauté mode adjusted to high in my Instant Pot) until the oil is shimmering. Start with the pork: sprinkle the pork with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and then add it to the pot in a single layer. Sauté until the pork is browned on one side, about 4 minutes, then move the pork to a large bowl, leaving as much fat behind in the pot as possible. Next, the beef: sprinkle the beef with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and then add it to the pot in a single layer. Sauté until the beef is browned on one side, about 4 minutes. Move the beef to the bowl with the pork, leaving behind as much fat as possible. Finally, the sausage. Add the Italian sausage to the pot in a single layer, and sauté until browned on one side, about 3 minutes. Move the sausage to the bowl with the pork and beef, again leaving behind as much fat as possible.
  2. Sauté the aromatics: Add the onion and garlic to the pot, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and sauté until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. While the onion is sautéing, scrape the bottom of the pot with a flat edged wooden spoon, loosening all the browned bits of meat into the onions. Pour in 1/2 cup of wine, bring to a boil, and boil for 1 minute, while scraping any remaining browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Pour in 1/2 cup of water, the bowl of meat and any juices, and stir in the crushed tomatoes.
  3. Pressure cook for 30 minutes with natural pressure release: Lock the lid and pressure cook at high pressure for 30 minutes in an electric PC, 25 minutes in a stovetop PC. Let the pressure come down naturally, about 20 minutes. (You can quick release any pressure left over after 15 minutes if you’re in a hurry).
  4. Serve: Carefully remove the lid on the pressure cooker – the steam will be hot. Ladle the Sunday Gravy over pasta and serve. 


  • I forgot about the wine in the video – that’s OK. If you want to skip it, just replace it with 1/2 cup water.


  • Category: Sunday Dinner
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Italian
Pressure Cooker Italian Sunday Gravy - Tower Image |

Pressure Cooker Italian Sunday Gravy – Tower Image

What do you think?

Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

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My other Pressure Cooker Recipes

My other Pressure Cooker Time Lapse Videos

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Filed under: Pressure cooker, Sunday dinner


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.


  1. I make this each time with sweet sausage, pork, beef, and two pieces of braciola. The sauce and whatever remains is the frozen and used when I make homemade baked meatballs. The ragu enhances the meatballs to another level when baked twice. This recipe is 5 stars. Make it your own!

  2. MadDawg says

    I just shared this recipe with a friend of mine that has been making the “Sunday Gravy” for her family almost every Sunday for the past 15 years. She said that other than the wine and crushed red pepper, this is almost her exact recipe that her mother-in-law gave her. She was excited about it and now I’m excited to try it too.

  3. zak66 says

    Going to try this tomorrow. Can I double it in my 8 lt Instant Pot? Do I need to adjust anything?

    • I think it will fit, but it will be close – right up against the max fill line on the 8 quart. To double the recipe, shouldn’t need to adjust anything – but hold back the second can of tomatoes until you’re sure it will fit under the max fill line. (And, if you try it, let me know how it goes!)

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