Cumberland Sauce is an old English sauce that is traditionally served with cold meats and is excellent with lamb, pork and just about any game. The Oxford Dictionary describes Cumberland Sauce as a “piquant sauce served esp. with cold meat”. And it is indeed piquant, with a touch sweet.
Its primary ingredients are redcurrant jelly, port, orange and lemon. There are many, many variations out there and the addition of mustard and ginger is quite a popular one that I think just enhances the acidity of the sauce and gives it depth. But not too much of either, a hint is perfect.
Cumberland Sauce is one of those sauces that I look forward to making with the advent of cold weather. At Christmastime, I love to have a variety of sauces at hand, given the prevalence of meat during the week between Christmas and New Year, so that I have a choice, o matter what I fancy rustling up from leftovers.
Be sure to use a good redcurrant jelly, check the ingredients and make sure that you have a very high proportion of currants to sugar. Of course, if you can get hold of redcurrants easily, fresh or frozen, making it at home isn’t rocket science, you’ll find the recipe here.
Are you a fan of traditional sauces? What’s your favourite? Do let me know with a comment below.
- 1 orange
- 1 lemon
- half tsp sugar
- 4 Tbsp redcurrant jelly
- 5 Tbsp port
- half tsp ground ginger
- half tsp mustard powder
- Using a vegetable peeler, thinly pare off the zest of the orange and lemon in long strips.
- Using a knife, slice the zest into thin strips.
- Bring a small amount of water to boil in a small saucepan.
- Add the sugar and the orange and lemon zest.
- Lower the heat down and simmer for 5 minutes. This is to get rid of any bitterness in the peel.
- Strain and leave aside until the end.
- Rinse and dry the saucepan and place the rest of the ingredients into it.
- Bring to a simmer and leave to cook for 10 minutes, to allow for a more concentrated flavour.
- Stir in the zest and the sauce is ready to be served. You can also serve it at room temperature and straight out of the fridge.
- It will keep in a clean jar in the fridge for a week.