Cranberry port source

This should be made well ahead of time. After tremendous success of my first attempt, after Christams I went and bought as much cranberries as I could get at local Waitrose at half-price and made enough to have a few bottles for the next couple of years. I am told that the sauce tasted even better matured for a year or two.


300g fresh cranberries
100ml port
1 small stick cinnamon, snapped in half
1 orange finally zested and juiced
140g caster sugar (or to taste) – I always put less sugar than recipes call for and all the alcohol in this preserves it sufficiently
1 tbsp Grand Marnier or Cointreau (which is what I used)

Place the cranberries, port, cinnamon, orange juice and zest in a small non-corrosive saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer uncovered until the berries begin to pop and soften. Stir in the sugar and Cointreau, then adjust the sweetness to taste. The sugar will toughen the cranberries, so do not add it until this stage.
Remove the cinnamon stick and allow the sauce to cool before serving. It will thicken as it cools.

Andalusian sauce

Another new recipe that I had time to try out over Christmas, from 100 Hot and Spicy Sauces by Sally Griffiths.

A fairly robust sauce, serve with boiled gammon or bacon joints, pork or chicken breasts.

4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 red onion, quartered
1 fresh medium-hot red chilli, or pureed and sieved 1 dried guindilla chilli (I used ancho)
4 tablespoons of chopped fresh mint
3 tablespoons of olive oil
225g (8oz) smoked ham or bacon
400g (14oz) green lentils with juice (waitrose canned verte lentils or sainsbury's or tesco's green lentils)
pinch of saffron threads (I forgot to add this time!)
salt and freshly ground black pepper (I used smoked bacon, which is salty enough and no salt really needs to be added!)
150 ml (5 fl oz) water or splash of red wine

Place the garlic, onion, chilli and mint in a food processor and blend until finely chopped.

Heat the oil in a wok or deep sided pan and stir-fry the processed mixture with the ham for 1-2 minutes.

Season to taste.

I served this with boiled gammon (add celery, peppercorns, bay leaf to water) and mustard mash. Next time will try with chicken breasts and adding some boiled carrots as a side dish.