Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible


Red Currant Port Sauce

Recipe from Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible Sauces, Rubs and Marinades, Bastes, Butters & Glazes

If you like the robust flavor of game, this spice-scented, sweet-sour Central European-style sauce is just the ticket. The inviting flavors of red currant jelly and Port wine also make a great accompaniment to grilled chicken, spit-roasted duck, smoked turkey, and even barbecued pork. Game calls for a touch of sweet and sour: That’s why I’ve included lemon juice and orange marmalade.


  • Yield: Makes 2 cups; enough to serve 4 to 6
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  • 1 orange, scrubbed
  • 1 lemon, scrubbed
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick (3 inches)
  • 1/3 cup red curant jelly
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon Port
  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Step 1: Using a vegetable peeler, remove 2 strips of zest from the orange and 2 strips from the lemon. Stick 1 clove in each piece of zest.

Step 2: Squeeze the orange and lemon and strain the juice into a medium-size nonreactive saucepan. Add the zests, cinnamon stick, red currant jelly, and stock and gradually bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer the mixture until the jelly is dissolved and the mixture is reduced by one quarter, about 10 minutes. Remove and discard the orange and lemon zest and cinnamon stick.

Step 3: Add 1/2 cup Port and orange marmalade and simmer until the marmalade is dissolved and the sauce is richly flavored, 5 minutes. Dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining 1 tablespoon Port. Stir or whisk this mixture into the sauce and simmer for 15 seconds; the sauce will thicken. Correct the seasoning, adding salt and pepper. Serve the sauce warm or transfer to a large jar, cover, and refrigerate. The sauce will keep for 5 days. Warm it before serving.

Tips:

If ever there were a sauce to go with spit-roasted partridge, pheasant, venison, or grilled elk, this is it. It’s also great with turkey, duck, and quail.

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