Red Currant & Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Bog

Cranberry Bog

by Cat, Sept 2007 (photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

This wonderful Red Currant & Cranberry Sauce is the perfect match for wild game or other gamey meat, such as pheasant, duck, venison.  For example, with Roast Rack of Reindeer (Venison), Prime Rib, or Lamb – I make this with beef prime-rib for my Christmas Day celebration.  Also good with grilled lamb chops or rack of lamb.

See also: 1. Cranberry-Orange Sauce; 2. Cranberry-Orange Relish (fermented); 3. Roast Rack of Reindeer (Venison), Prime Rib, or Lamb

Red Currant & Cranberry Sauce

Red currants are not the same as dried Zante currants:

  • Red currants are a type of berry in the gooseberry family;
  • Zante currants are a type of raisin, made from the Zante grape.

Most commercial jams and jellies are sweetened with HFCS or sugar from GMO sugar beets, so pay attention to labels when shopping for the red currant jam/jelly; or make your own.

I don’t grow red currants, so I buy frozen ones to make my own jam or jelly. Like fresh/frozen cranberries, the currants are usually available in the fall. Local Harvest ( and Northwest Wild Foods ( are online sources of the frozen berries.

If you don’t want to use a jam, you could try adding the whole berries with the cranberries in this recipe; you may need to increase the sweetener. I’ve not tried this, however.

This recipe makes enough sauce for a 4-rib Prime Rib roast.

Equipment and Ingredients:

  • 4 cups homemade Veal or Beef Stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 3/4 cup ruby port wine
  • 1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup red currant jam or jelly
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen whole cranberries, preferably organic
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 2 tsp flour
  • 2 quart heavy saucepan


  1. Start sauce:  Combine stock, bay leaf, thyme, port, ginger and jam in a large heavy saucepan.  Bring to boil then reduce heat and simmer until reduced to 1 cup, approximately 1 hour.  Remove from heat, strain, and set aside until about 10 minutes (or longer) before serving.
  2. Finish sauce:  Return sauce to a boil.
  3. In small bowl, combine 2 tsp butter with flour and mix to a paste.
  4. Reduce heat under sauce, stir in cranberries and simmer until soft and sauce is glossy.
  5. Stir in butter paste, then transfer to a small pitcher or gravy boat.


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