This seasonal sauce pairs well with seared duck breasts, game meats, roast lamb and, of course, turkey.
A little butter at the finish adds a lot of flavor and provides enough fat to balance the tang of the fruit.
If you like the taste of cranberry on the sweeter side rather than tart, add sugar as needed. For a vegetarian version, replace the chicken broth with additional apple juice.
Make Ahead: The sauce can be made, cooled, covered and refrigerated up to 3 days in advance. Reheat in a medium saucepan over low heat.
Servings: 4 - 4.5 cups sauce
- 1 or 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, cut into small dice (1 cup)
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 12 ounces (1 bag) fresh cranberries, rinsed and stemmed as needed
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar, or more to taste
- 1 3- to 4-inch vanilla bean
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, or more as needed
- 1 cup apple juice
- 1 cup low-sodium or homemade chicken broth (may replace this amount with more apple juice)
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into about 16 cubes and kept cold
Add enough oil to just coat the bottom of a 3- or 4-quart pot. Heat over medium heat, then add the onion and cook for 3 or 4 minutes, until softened. Add the raisins, cranberries, brown sugar, vanilla bean, cinnamon stick, salt, apple juice and broth, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium or medium-low so the mixture bubbles gently. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have burst or can be mashed easily. Remove from the heat.
Discard the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean. Use an immersion (stick) blender to process the sauce until smooth. (Alternatively, puree the mixture in batches in a blender or food processor; if using a blender, remove the center knob of the lid and place a clean dish towel over the opening to prevent steam from escaping.)
Return the pot to the stove over medium-low heat. When the sauce is heated through, whisk in 4 or 5 small cubes of butter at a time, incorporating them after each addition to form an enriched sauce. Taste, and add seasoning or sugar as needed (making sure to stir and dissolve any additional sugar). Serve warm.
From columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.