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Recipe from the Past: South Jersey Tomato Gravy

Updated on August 22, 2014
5 stars from 1 rating of South Jersey Tomato Gravy

Tomato Gravy: Historical South Jersey Cuisine

Every summer in South Jersey when tomato season is in full swing, many of the old families of South Jersey make Tomato Gravy - for breakfast, lunch or dinner (not to be confused with South Jersey Italian gravy/sauce). It is an easy and delicious meal that can be prepared in a matter of minutes. Served over mashed potatoes, fried potatoes, buttered toast points or rice, Tomato Gravy is as versatile as eggs and as delicious as filet mignon (at least to a South Jersian!). My recipe is a combination of a recipe passed down from my Grammy who lived on a farm (where I spent most of my childhood) and the recipe of an old neighbor, an elderly man who befriended me when I decided to stay home and raise my boys. We would chat while I worked in my garden and he tended to his lawn. He graciously gave me his recipe, which I combined with my Grammy's to make the best Tomato Gravy ever. I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as we do and maybe make it a part of your culinary heritage.

South Jersey Tomato Gravy
South Jersey Tomato Gravy | Source

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 8 min
Ready in: 13 min
Yields: Will serve 3 to 4 people, graciously

Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 large Ripe Red Tomatoes
  • 1 T. Bacon fat
  • 1 T. Butter
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup All purpose flour
  • 1 cup Whole Milk, or more to desired consistency
  • sprinkle Salt to taste
  • sprinkle Pepper to taste
  • 2 pieces buttered toast, cut into points (per serving) or
  • 1 serving fried potatoes (per serving) or
  • 1 serving rice (per serving)
sliced tomatoes with bacon fat and butter
sliced tomatoes with bacon fat and butter | Source
tomatoes cooked down and skins removed
tomatoes cooked down and skins removed | Source
flour sprinkled over top of tomatoes
flour sprinkled over top of tomatoes | Source
tomatoes with flour mixed in ready for the milk to be added and whisked in
tomatoes with flour mixed in ready for the milk to be added and whisked in | Source
Tomato Gravy, finished, served over buttered toast points
Tomato Gravy, finished, served over buttered toast points | Source

The Gravy Making Process!

  1. In a large skillet, melt bacon fat and butter together. Slice the tomatoes into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices and place in pan with melted fat and butter. Cook over medium heat until the tomatoes have broken down and are chunky. At this time the tomatoes will shed their skins and you can remove them to a plate or to the trash. Some people leave the skins in the gravy, I prefer them taken out. After the skins have been removed, sprinkle the flour over the top of the cooked down tomatoes. Using a flat whisk, whisk the flour into the tomatoes until almost paste-like in texture.
  2. At this point, slowly pour the milk into the tomato/flour mixture all the while stirring gently with the whisk to incorporate the milk into the flour and tomatoes. Pour enough milk into the tomato mixture to make a gravy like consistency (like dried beef gravy, if you have ever made that). Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and add more milk if needed to make it the consistency desired. Add salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to low until toast, potatoes or rice is ready.
  3. Prepare the toast with butter. Cut into points and lay on a plate. Pour the gravy over the toast points. Enjoy.
  4. This gravy is delicious over homemade fried potatoes or hash browns, as well. And, with rice, too!

Comments

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    • sallieannluvslife profile image
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      sallieannluvslife 2 years ago from Eastern Shore

      Hi peachpurple....cheese? what cheese are you referring to?

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      this is really easy gravy except for the cheese, i gotta buy it

    • sallieannluvslife profile image
      Author

      sallieannluvslife 2 years ago from Eastern Shore

      Hi peachpurple....this is a very easy recipe...and it goes well with so many different things....Hope you give it a try....and if anyone has tried this recipe and added you own twists, I would LOVE to hear them! peachpurple, I hope you have a great day!!

    • sallieannluvslife profile image
      Author

      sallieannluvslife 2 years ago from Eastern Shore

      Stephanie! Nice to see someone who has actually even heard of tomato gravy before! Tomato gravy over mashed potatoes - YUM!!! Hope you have a wonderful day!

    • sallieannluvslife profile image
      Author

      sallieannluvslife 2 years ago from Eastern Shore

      Hi Rebecca - you are right! This is definitely a different recipe, but also definitely a keeper if you want a delicious and quick meal! Thanks for your comment! Blessings to you!

    • sallieannluvslife profile image
      Author

      sallieannluvslife 2 years ago from Eastern Shore

      Thanks, pstraubie48! I hope you try this recipe...if you like comfort foods, this ones for you!! Have a blessed day!

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      Looks easy than expected, i usually buy tomato paste

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 2 years ago from USA

      How I miss those fresh Jersey tomatoes we used to enjoy as kids! Love tomato gravy over mashed potatoes...thanks for the recipe and the memories!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Sounds great! I love anything tomato, and this is deliciously different!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      Yes please...I have not had this but it sounds like divinity. I am pinning and sharing and voting up++++ and saying yee haw!!!!

      Angels are on the way to you this evening ps

    • sallieannluvslife profile image
      Author

      sallieannluvslife 2 years ago from Eastern Shore

      Hi Paula! Thanks for reading my Hub on Tomato Gravy! You should give it a try..I would love to know your thoughts since you have never heard of it before....it is best to use homegrown tomatoes - rather than store bought tomatoes...the deep red, juicy sweet home grown tomatoes are the best for this recipe. I hope you have a great and blessed day!

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Sallieann, this sounds like a very yummy and interesting recipe! I actually have never heard of tomato gravy, but love tomatoes and tomato soup, salsas, etc. So I can't imagine I wouldn't like this. I think its wonderful that you combined two amazing and special recipes, to create your own and share here! So thank you for that. Its so interesting to see what people have come up with down the ages to deal with an abundance of a certain kind of vegetable. How fun!

    • sallieannluvslife profile image
      Author

      sallieannluvslife 3 years ago from Eastern Shore

      Hi AliciaC! Thanks for reading my hub...I hope you give this gravy a try. It is super delicious over fried potatoes!!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I've never heard of a gravy like this before. It sounds very tasty. Pouring it over fried potatoes would make a delicious combination!

    • sallieannluvslife profile image
      Author

      sallieannluvslife 3 years ago from Eastern Shore

      Thanks for reading my recipe hub, Jodah! I hope you give it a try...I actually like it best over the fried potatoes...it is delicious!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      I don't usually read recipe hubs Sallieann, but I was feeling hungry when I came across this and now I am even hungrier. This gravy looks delicious especially over some fried or mashed potato. Well done.