Fresh red currant sauce is great to pair with meats (like pork and venison), poultry (like duck and chicken, and fish (like swordfish and salmon) and it’s also easy to make! So, when you see baskets of red currants at the farm stand or farmers’ market, pick them up and make sauce.
One of my favorite things about summer is stopping by a farm stand and picking up something a little unusual! Fresh red currants are not something I often see, and never at the supermarket, so when I saw baskets of them at my local farm I snatched them up.
The only question was what to make? A dessert? Muffins? Jam?
But I’ve been making enough sweets lately, so I decided to go with an old favorite – tangy fresh red currant sauce to have with dinner. This is a recipe I developed years ago, but haven’t made too many times (see above about not finding fresh currants often). Now was the time to make it again and I hope you find some currants and can make too!
What do you need?
- Red currants. Obviously! And no need to stem them since you will be straining the sauce later.
- Port. I prefer a ruby port, but I have made the sauce with tawny and also with basic port which isn’t any particular type. Just don’t use expensive port.
- Orange. I like orange zest to give the orange flavor, but you can switch to orange juice instead.
- Garlic/shallots. They give the sauce a great savory flavor!
- Balsamic. Many recipes are better with a little balsamic and this is one of them. Acid, sweetness, and complexity.
- Sugar. As with cranberries, you need a little sugar to take the edge off of the tartness. You may find you only need a little, so taste and decide.
How to make this
To make a savory red currant sauce combine red currants with port, orange, garlic, shallots, and vinegar. Cook the sauce until done, then strain, and reduce. Taste and add sugar as needed.
- Everything goes in the saucepan. Including the stems! You will be straining them out.
- Then heat and simmer until you have sauce.
- Now strain and return it to the pan.
- Bring back to a bubble and enjoy.
If you try my recipe for Fresh Red Currant Sauce, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
Fresh Red Currant Sauce for Meat and Fish
- 2 cups fresh red currants, washed
- 1 cup port, preferably ruby port
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 small shallot, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp orange zest, optional
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar, or to taste
- *There is no need to stem the currants.*
- Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and let simmer for 10 minutes.
- Strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer. Discard the solids.
- Pour the sauce back into the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer until reduced by about half, around 10 minutes.
- Taste and add more sugar if needed.
- Orange zest: If you choose not to add the orange zest, add 2 tablespoons of orange juice to the saucepan instead.
- Currants: You can use all red currants or a mix of red and white currants in the sauce.
- Herbs: I don't use any herbs in the sauce. However, a sprig or two of fresh thyme and/or rosemary is a nice addition. Add the herbs with the rest of the ingredients at the beginning.