French Tomato Sauce

Try one of the other five French Mother Sauces

We saved Tomato Sauce for last because this sauce has the most flair and lets us be reminded why we wear a cooking coat. Your thinking, Tomato Sauce, aren’t we drifting a tad Italiano? Well sort of, but once you see the ingredient list and process, you’ll realize this is not an Italian tomato sauce. The ingredient list for our French Tomato Sauce is

  • 8 oz or more of beef stock (unless you’re in France, then veal stock)
  • 2 oz butter
  • 1 oz salt pork cut into chunks
  • Mirepoix
    • 2 oz celery or 4 oz leeks if you want some sweetness
    • 2 oz onion – diced, ~1/2 cup
    • 2 oz carrots – diced, ~1/2 cup
    • 1 clove garlic smashed
  • 2 thyme sprigs or 1/4 tsp of dry thyme
  • 2 rosemary sprigs or 1/4 tsp of dry rosemary
  • 32 oz chopped tomatoes, ~2 lbs
  • 16 oz tomato purée, ~1.5 lbs
  • 4 oz browned pork bones
  • sugar to balance tomato acids
  • salt and pepper


  1. In large sauce pan or cast iron pot, heat oil and added salted pork and bones. Cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Add butter. Once melted, add mirepoix and sauté until onions are translucent.
  3. Add thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf.
  4. Add stock and tomatoes
  5. Simmer 2 hours
  6. Remove bones and strain. Pour sauce back into pot and reduce heat to a simmer. Be careful not to burn the sauce, tomatoes burn easily.
  7. Add pinch of sugar to balance tomato acids. Some Chefs say to add the sugar right after adding the tomatoes to the sauce. If you want the acids to work on the bones and vegetables during simmering, wait until this step.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add a little at a time.

Leave a Reply