Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cumberland Sauce – It Only Sounds Stuffy

I’ve always wondered why Cumberland sauce wasn’t more popular around the holidays. It’s such a delicious and versatile condiment, and just as easy and fast to make as any cranberry sauce out there.  Maybe it’s the name?

Cumberland sauce sounds more like something that the Queen would be spooning over a Quail en Croute than it does Uncle Charlie over a slice of ham. However, despite this sassy sauce’s upper-crusty sounding name, it’s actually quite rustic.

My “Black Cumberland” version uses black currants instead of the traditional red, and also includes some very browned-blackened onions, but like all similar recipes, this begs for even further adaptation depending on the meat. Maybe a little mint for lamb, or a touch of cardamom for that smoked duck breast?

Notwithstanding any flavor variations, you will still need to decide whether to serve hot or not. I definitely prefer the thick, shiny cooled-down version as shown, but happily, there’s no wrong choice. I hope you give this extra special holiday sauce a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients to make about 1 1/2 cups Cumberland Sauce:
1 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup minced onions
1 cup black or red currant jelly
zest from 2 oranges and 1 lemon
1/3 cup red wine
1/2 cup orange juice
2-3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp black pepper, or to taste
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp dry mustard
pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground ginger


Phillip said...

What is the little spatula you used and what is the hash tag supposed to mean?

Thanks, Phil

Chef John said...

It was just a tiny spatula I got in a swag bag. The # is a running joke with my Youtube folks, relating to the freakishly small wooden spoon.

Bethany said...

Substitution for wine?

Chef John said...

You could use some vinegar for acidic, but nothing can replace the wine.

Michele Cryan said...

I made this sauce one day ahead as there will be huge competition for the stove top tomorrow. I can't wait to serve it. It looks amazing!! Thanks Chef John!


Unknown said...

Thank you I have loved Cumberland souse for years but never had a recipe.