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Cumberland Sauce Recipe

A traditional sauce made from red currant jelly, mixed with orange and lemon juice plus a little Port. It is used to accompany robust cold meats, such as strong patés, lamb and venison. Here is our version.

Key Features

  • Suitable for Vegetarians
  • Suitable for Vegans


For about ½ pint/300ml:
1 large Orange
1 Lemon (unwaxed)
8 oz/250gr Red Currant Jelly
¼ pint/150ml Port
1 rounded teaspoon (5ml) Cornflour
a little Salt and Freshly-ground Pepper


1. Peel the orange and lemon, either just removing the zest without any white pith, or completely peeling and then removing the white pith. Either way discard the white pith, but keep the peeled orange and lemon.

2. Cut this zest into julienne-strips to resemble match sticks.

3. Bring a small pan of water to the boil, then add the rind strips and simmer for 2 minutes.

4. Drain and rinse the rind under very cold water, this will both set the colour and stop any further cooking - then set them aside.

5. Put the red currant jelly and port into a stainless steel or glass saucepan (but not aluminium) and heat very gently until the jelly has dissolved.

6. Squeeze the juice from the orange and lemon into the saucepan through a strainer.

7. Increase the heat until the sauce simmers, then leave it to simmer for a minute or two while you mix the cornflour with a little water (just enough to dissolve it).

8. Add this dissolved cornflour to the sauce - stirring as you do so.

9. Add the reserved zest plus a little salt and pepper and cook for a further minute.

Allow to cool before serving, stirring occasionally as it cools so it doesn't form a skin.

The sauce will keep well in the fridge for several weeks - so perhaps put it in a sterilised jam jar, if you think you won't finish it at one sitting.

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