I make this homemade meat sauce with pork, at least once a week. I am ashamed to admit that I am a recovering canned and jar pasta sauce buyer. Because once you try and make your own homemade meat sauce, you’ll be asking yourself why you ever purchased anything pre-made.
Ok maybe not ever. I am a busy Mom and I completely get the “I don’t have time for this” dinner moments. There’s a time and place for store bought pasta sauce, and a time for homemade. One of my favorites is the Victoria White Linen Marinara Sauce that is almost like a Costco cult favorite. But I promise you, this is so easy to make, that you will wind up wanting to experiment with flavors and spices in future recipes.
EASY, HOMEMADE MEAT SAUCE WITH PORK
The first time I ever tried to make homemade sauce of any kind, I was well into my adult years. Cooking often can be very intimidating when you don’t grow up cooking alongside your parents, family members and so on. When I was younger, I had no interest in cooking or baking. Plus my Polish mother is an extraordinary cook, so if ain’t broke.
Then I moved out of the house.
If your experience is similar to me, you default to the pre-made jar sauces thinking that restaurant caliber food is just that. Only available at restaurants.
Stop thinking that.
Seriously. You can make quality, homemade food that tastes like you ordered it from your favorite bistro. You may mess up a few times before you get it right, but I still burn grilled cheese sandwiches from time to time.
I am hardly some chef extraordinaire. I just cook a lot. So the recipes I share on here, are things I make my family and my husband, who eats line an Olympic athlete.
WHY PORK INSTEAD OF GROUND BEEF?
I bought ground pork years ago because it happened to be on sale and I haven’t been back to ground beef since. I use it in hamburger patties, casseroles, soups – basically any place you would have a recipe with ground beef. I substitute with ground pork.
You can absolutely use ground beef or lamb or any meat of your choice with this, but our favorite is ground pork.
ANYTHING I NEED TO KNOW BEFORE I MAKE THIS?
- You can substitute dried Italian Seasoning in place of Oregano and Basil and Thyme. Yes you can use fresh herbs (I highly recommend this if you get a chance).
- Adjust your garlic as to your personal taste preference. I love garlic.
- Use unsalted or low sodium canned tomatoes. This way you control the taste more. I find that canned tomatoes with salt, often have too much salt for my personal liking. Not all canned tomatoes are created equally, and sometimes you just have an odd batch.
- If you find that the sauce is too tart, adjust how much sugar you use. I go between 1 tsp to 2 tsp, but usually settle in around 1 and 1/2 tsp. Add the sugar in last and add more AFTER simmering for a bit.
- If you’re used to store bought sauces, it may take a couple of tries to figure out what level of flavor you want in your sauce. This includes spices. Maybe you’re a big fan of oregano or want to add in some red peppers. Do it. This is a great, simple base recipe that you can adapt to work with what you’re in the mood to eat.
- The longer you simmer it on low, the richer the flavor.
Easy, Homemade Meat Sauce with Pork
500 g of Ground Pork
1 can of Diced Tomatoes, unsalted (2 cans if you want a heavier tomato base)
1 can of Tomato Paste (6 oz but you will only be using half of this)
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 TSP of Dried Basil
2 TSP of Dried Oregano
Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
1 tsp of Salt
1 and a 1/2 tsp of white granulated sugar
1 cup of water (use your pasta water if you’re making this with pasta)
Optional: cut up veggies of your choice (i.e. carrots, celery, etc).
- Cook ground pork with onion, until no longer pink.
- Add in diced tomatoes, half a can of tomato paste, minced garlic, spices, salt, sugar and water. Mix well.
- Let simmer and thicken on low for a minimum of 30 minutes. The longer you simmer, the more infused the flavor. I would recommend putting this on low and doing an hour if possible.
- NOTES: the sugar is added to get rid of the tartness / acidity of the tomatoes. Start with 1 tsp and add as you taste. You can use brown sugar if you prefer.
- If you are someone who loves a thick tomato sauce, add in a cup of fresh tomatoes or use 2 cans of diced tomatoes instead of one. You can also use Tomato Puree.
- Have fun with this and experiment each time. Everyone has different tastes for sauce and this is to help you create a base that you can tailor make to your preferences. Want more basil and less garlic? Go for it!