Friday, 10 March 2017

Cumberland Sauce

Cumberland sauce, named for the Duke of Cumberland, is - it will not surprise you, given the name - an English sauce from the Victorian era. Unlike an awful lot of Victorian English cooking it is not difficult, overly elaborate, or bland. This is actually quite zippy, even zingy.

Believe it or not I have reached the ripe old age of 56 without previously tasting Port. It's more like sherry than I would have supposed, given its' reputation as a purely masculine drink. A good robust sherry would probably make a respectable replacement for it, if you liked. Likewise, instead of half each of a lemon and an orange, I used an entire Meyer lemon - my first ripe one of the season.

Cumberland sauce is traditionally used with just about any kind of red meat; I made mine to go with a duck recipe. Next week is going to be duck week - stay tuned.

6 to 8 servings
15 minutes prep time

Cumberland Sauce on Duck Terrine

zest of 1/2 of a lemon
zest of 1/2 of an orange
the juice of 1/2 of a lemon
the juice of 1/2 of an orange
1/2 cup red currant jelly
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon arrowroot or cornstarch
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup Port

Zest the lemon and oranges into a small pot, then squeeze out and add the juices. Add the remaining ingredients, with the exception of the Port. Stir well to be sure the starch is completely dissolved.

Heat the mixture gently over medium to low heat, stirring regularly, until the currant jelly has dissolved and the starch has cooked and thickened the sauce very slightly. This is a thin sauce; the starch is just sufficient to give it a little body rather than to thicken it substantially.

When the sauce is ready, stir in the Port and remove it from the heat. Strain it through a sieve into a serving pitcher or gravy boat. Serve at once.

Last year at this time I made A Late Winter Salad with Avocado.

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