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Trilo's Monster Sauce
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5 from 3 votes

Trilo's Monster Tomato Sauce

A monstrously good all-day sauce with wonderfully complex flavors.  Don't scale this one down, make the whole batch and then you'll have plenty left over to refrigerate or freeze.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time6 hrs
Total Time7 hrs
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: dutchoven, sauce, tomato
Servings: 24 servings
Calories: 136kcal
Author: Trilo Byte


  • 112 ounces whole peeled DOP San Marzano tomatoes (4x 28oz cans) make sure it says DOP, it’s worth it
  • 1-1½ pounds ground beef (optional, you can also probably substitute with minced/ground protein of choice and be really happy with the results) browned & drained
  • 2-4 oz red wine (a few glugs) it doesn’t have to be fancy, but it shouldn’t be swill
  • 8 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 whole medium onion cut in half
  • ½ whole carrot shredded (or wazzed up in a food processor)
  • ¼ cup olive oil (plus a little more for finishing) extra virgin (even better if you’ve got a really good first pressing or finishing oil)
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 bunch oregano leaves (just the leaves, not the entire bunch with the stems you monster!) chopped
  • 1 whole large stem of fresh basil chopped
  • ½ cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground black pepper


  • Assemble all the ingredients.  This might seem silly, but going though the recipe and getting everything together before you start will keep you from getting caught in the middle of cooking something and suddenly realizing that you don't have something you need.
    Monster Sauce ingredients!
  • Brown and drain ground beef.
  • Adjust oven rack to lower position and preheat oven to 300°F.
  • Whack the butter into the dutch oven on medium heat until the butter is melted. Add the garlic and cook, stirring regularly until softened and fragrant and just starts to turn color. Add the pepper flakes and oregano and cook, stirring, for another minute or so. Remove from heat and add the ground beef.
    Trilo's Monster Tomato Sauce
  • Get ready for a tomato party in the large bowl - this bit will be both messy and awesome. If you have a bowl that can hold all 4 cans worth with room to spare, great - if not, do them one can at a time. Open the can(s) into the bowl and crush in your hands. Squeeze and squeeze and squeeze again, until the pieces are no more than half an inch or so. Empty the bowl into the dutch oven and repeat until all the tomatoes are done.
    Monster Tomato Sauce
  • Optionally, if you want your sauce to have a little extra pizzazz, empty the last can’s worth of tomatoes into a sealed container after you’ve crushed them. You can put those into the refrigerator and add them at the end if you want a brighter, fresher flavor. It really is a totally optional step, as this sauce is going to be a stunner whichever way you go.
  • Add the wine, fish sauce, carrot, onion halves and basil and give it all a good stir. Season it lightly with salt and pepper and bring it to a simmer over high heat.
    Monster Sauce in progress
  • Put the lid onto the dutch oven, but slightly ajar, and then pop it in the oven. You’ll want to cook for 6ish hours, pulling it out to give it a gentle stir every 90 or so minutes. If it’s bubbling rapidly, turn the heat down a bit. It should reduce by a third to a half (the more it reduces, the more complex the flavor).
  • Remove from the oven, and using a pair of tongs remove the onion halves. If you held some back, now is the time to add the last of the tomatoes and then bang in the basil and parsley, and then finish with a little more olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Give it one last stir, and then you can either serve it immediately or let it cool to room temperature before transferring to containers for storage and freezing. 
    Trilo's Monster Tomato Sauce


Reheat by warming gently in a saucepan with a little water, stirring until it all melts and heats through.


Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 136kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 286mg | Potassium: 345mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 400IU | Vitamin C: 14.4mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 2mg