It took years to get this sauce just the way I wanted it, but I eventually found the sweet spot! I make large batches to freeze so I can have on hand any time.
Preheat oven (or toaster oven) to 325 degrees. Put garlic cloves in a baking dish and cover with oil. Roast 25–30 minutes just until cloves are lightly browning, soft and can be mashed with a fork. When done, remove cloves from oil with slotted spoon and mash. Save oil for later use.
Heat 1 cup of oil in a 12-quart pot over medium-high heat. Pinch sausage into 1" pieces and drop into the hot oil (no need to form the meat into balls). Cook in batches, stirring to brown. Remove with slotted spoon.
Brown beef in the sausage drippings, stirring to crumble as it cooks. Drain and return to pot. Stir in garlic and remaining ingredients except sugar and butter. Loosely cover and bring to a slow boil, stirring often. Simmer for about 2 hours. Remove from heat and stir in sugar and butter. Package, cool and freeze.
Use the roasted garlic oil in dressings, to sauté meats and vegetables or for dipping bread.