This is a riff on my regular “fix” for bottled spaghetti sauce, though I have readjusted the seasonings a bit, and added a dab o’ nice champagne vinegar at the end to finish it off. It worked a treat on these air fried frozen toasted raviolis, and, later, on an old favorite, my mom’s lasagna.
As always, I take the opportunity to sneak in extra veggies – coleslaw mix and lower sodium veggie juice – to up the nutritional values, and even though my husband knows this, he will still gladly eat it.
•12 oz cubed cooked pork belly
(I get mine at Trader Joe’s)
•1-1/2 lb ground beef/pork blend
•1 sweet onion, diced
•1/2 bag coleslaw mix
•3 cloves garlic, minced
•1 jar pasta sauce
•1 can reduced sodium V-8
•1 can diced tomatoes
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce*
•1 tbsp good sherry
•1 tbsp sugar
•1 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese
•1 bay leaf
•2 tsp dried oregano
•1 tsp dried basil
•1 tsp dried thyme
•1 tsp dried rosemary
•1/2 tsp black pepper
•1/2 tsp curry powder
•1 tbsp champagne vinegar
•1/8 tsp crushed red pepper – or to taste
*No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No Problem! Simply add a bit of decent sherry (none of that “cooking” stuff) and a dash or three of your fave hot sauce, to taste.
Warm one tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat, then add the pork belly and ground pork and beef.
Cook, breaking up the ground meat and stirring often, until the pork belly is a little bit crispity in places, and the ground meats are no longer pink.
If there is a lot of fat left in your pan, by all means, drain the meat before adding the veggies, but, for me, by the time the meat is cooked to my liking, most of those pan liquids have cooked off.
Add the onion and coleslaw mix to the meat in the pan, stir to mix, and then cook, stirring often for eight to ten minutes, until the onion and cabbage are tender.
Note: you like ‘shrooms and peppers? Go ahead and add them with the onion and cabbage mix, too.
Once the onion and cabbage are tender, add the garlic and cook for one minute or so, just until it is aromatic.
Reduce the heat to medium low and add the jarred pasta sauce, then, using the veggie juice, rinse the pasta sauce jar out and add to the pot along with the diced tomatoes, Sherry Peppers Sauce, sherry, sugar, cheese, and the remaining seasonings.
Cook, stirring often, for at least 30 minutes, though I usually cook mine for at least an hour to really let the flavors develop.
Give the sauce a taste and stir in the sherry vinegar and, if you like it a bit zippier, crushed red pepper to taste.
Cook for another 30 minutes and serve.