I got the idea for this from Coleen's blog, Slice Dice & Dish. She mentioned that her family always cooks pork chops in their pasta sauce, that sounded like a serious flavor enhancing idea, so I decided to give it a try. The pork got wonderfully tender in the sauce. For this recipe I broke out my stainless steel dutch oven, I had an idea in the back of my mind that I might finish the sauce off in the oven, and I wanted to build a nice flavor profile by scraping up browned bits of the bottom of the pan... that just doesn't work as well with non-stick. At the last moment I decided to be adventurous and add some fresh orange juice. This was inspired by the wonderful BBQ sauce served with pork ribs at The County Line.
Pork Rib Meat Sauce
1 package boneless pork ribs, cut up
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground chuck, I used 80/20 beef for better flavor
1/2 cup wine, whatever kind you have
2 28 ounce cans of crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound pasta, I used pene rigate
2 tablespoons of juice from an orange, optional (Update, better without too acidic with)
Place a decent amount of oil in the bottom of the pan, heat & add the pork ribs. Cook for a few minutes browning on 2 sides, you don't need to cook them done, they'll finish cooking when the sauce simmers. Remove the ribs from the pan and set them aside.
Saute the onions until they are translucent, then add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Push onions to the side & place ground beef in the middle of the pan. Break up the beef as it cooks when the beef is mostly done add the wine. Bring the wine up to a bubble and scrape up any brown bits off the bottom of the pan.
Add the ribs and any accumulated juices back into the pan. Add tomatoes, stir everything together and leave on a slow simmer for about 1 hour and a half, stirring occasionally. I have a pot with a vented lid, so I simmered with the lid on and the vent open for 30 minutes, then I removed the lid, added the herbs, salt & pepper and simmered for the remaining 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. I used a splatter shield so I wouldn't have red sauce splatter everywhere.
Bring a large pot of water to boil, add salt then drop the pasta into the water & give it a stir. I cooked my pasta 5 minutes short of the recommended time. Drain the pasta & dump it into the sauce, simmer for 5 more minutes and check the pasta for doneness. Finishing the pasta in the sauce imparts more flavor to the pasta. Turn off the heat & add the orange juice if desired.