Chef shows us how to cook the infamous Goodfellas’ prison sauce

I am still yet to see Goodfellas, so it really annoys me when I can’t get into any of the inside jokes and notable, quotable scenes from the film. What I do know is that prison scene wherein Henry Hill narrates how he and the gang would get together every night for a home-cooked meal behind bars is probably one of the best scenes in film history.

Someone wanting to relive the nostalgia has recreated the recipe to a T, and made it readily accessible for everyone to try. Make sure you have your razor blades at the ready. Use a razor to slice your garlic (this will liquefy it when you toss it in the pan).

Dice up three small onions: too many for some, but just right for the gang.

Now, it’s time to brown your meat. The gang use veal, beef and pork, but this recipe uses a pound each of sweet and hot Italian meat, as well as veal neck and beef shank to just as good an effect. Space them out, so they are not overcrowding each other, and get some good color on them.

Set the meat aside, and add the onions and a tablespoon of tomato paste. Sauté for a couple of minutes and add the thinly sliced garlic, sautéing until fragrant.

Deglaze with a splash of red wine, and add three cans of DOP San Marzano tomatoes. Crush up the tomatoes with the spoon if you want, or leave it be if you like your sauce chunky. Add a cup of water, your meat, a few stems of fresh basil and a large peeled carrot with the ends chopped off, cut into three pieces.

Simmer this bad boy for four hour,  scraping the bottom occasionally. In the last hour, add some meatballs to put the icing on the cake, so to speak.

While waiting, feel free to pour yourself a stiff one.

When it’s done, fish out the carrots and pour yourself a nice glass of wine. You’ll probably be getting quite close to drunk at this point.

Season to taste, and add as much sauce and meat as you want to some cooked pasta. Garnish with some cheese and basil.

I’ve never stopped to consider if that scene was anything close to realistically representing what life was like for connected organized crime bosses back in the day. After watching the scene, though, I do have to agree it’s a great film.

Paulie used a razor blade to slice the garlic super thin so that it liquified in the pan. Everyone thought Vinnie put too many onions in the sauce, ‘three small onions’ accompanied by three cans of tomatoes.

Three onions does seem like an awful lot of onions, but the whole Goodfellas crew seemed to enjoy the sauce every night. Nevertheless, Johnny Dio would give Vinnie endless grief for putting too many onions in the sauce.

If a film has good food in it, I’m always down to watch it. Heck, if it’s really good (like this one,) I’ll be one of the first to recreate it. I love when I can learn from my films, even if it’s not to snitch on fellow gang members. Especially if it’s not to snitch on fellow gang members.

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