Steve's Port Reduction Tomato Sauce

Blanch the tomatoes by placing them in a large pot of water which has been brought to a rolling boil. Don't place more tomatoes in the pot at one time than can float to the top. Remove each tomato when its skin splits by about ¼ inch. Let each tomato cool enough to handle and then remove and discard the skin. When all the tomatoes have been blanched, discard the water.

Tie all the branches of thyme together with a string and place in a large pot along with the tomatoes and one bottle of the port. Bring to a steady simmer.

Chop onions into medium pieces (about 1 inch square) and dice shallots and garlic. Place onions, shallots and garlic in a large sauté pan with the butter and olive oil and sauté on medium heat until well browned (about 30 minutes). Add to the tomatoes.

As the tomato sauce liquid continues to reduce and thicken, continue to add port a little at a time until both bottles have been added to the sauce.

Remove tarragon, oregano, and basil leaves from stems, chop, and add to the sauce. Add the black pepper. Add brown sugar and red pepper flakes to achieve the desired level of sweetness and spiciness. Continue to simmer until enough liquid has evaporated to achieve the desired thickness. The liquid reduction process will take several hours.