How to Make a Port Wine & Sun Dried Cherry Brown Sauce
This is one of those awesome sauces I would serve with roast pork or a whole roasted chicken. It’s the kind of sauce you would get in an expensive restaurant because one of the ingredients is demi glace which is difficult to make at home but is available commercially from some reputable sources.
If you wanted to make your own demi glace, check out this recipe but if you don’t, I have some sources at the end of this recipe. I started using demi glace in my sauce recipes over 30 years ago and have never looked back.
It’s amazing stuff that professional chefs have been using to make restaurant quality sauces since Georges Auguste Escoffier first wrote about it in the 1800’s.
Port is a fortified wine from Portugal and is made by adding a grape spirit or brandy to the wine while it is still in production before the wine has finished fermenting.
There are several different categories of Port but the most common 4 styles are:
Ruby Red Port – this is a deeply colored Port and included the most expensive, Vintage Port, plus Late Bottle Vintage, Crusted and Ruby Port
Tawny Port – an extremely sweet barrel aged port with caramel flavors
White Port – made with white grapes
Rose Port – made with rose wine as the name suggests.
I would suggest you stay away from the more expensive Vintage ports for making this or any sauce and opt for a nice Ruby Port or Tawny Port. I don’t know that much about White or Rose Port so I have no idea how they would work in this sauce.
You can find sun dried cherries in most supermarkets but if you can’t find them in your market, try substituting dried cranberries. I always think of craisins when it comes to dried cranberries but did you know the word “Craisin” is a registered trademarked product from Ocean Spray? I hope I can use the term here.
Brown Sauce Made With Port Wine and Sundried Cherries
- 1 ounce butter
- 1 shallot about 2 tablespoons, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme finely minced
- 1/4 cup Port wine
- 1/2 cup sun dried cherries
- 1 cup demi glace
- 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 - 2 tablespoons half & half cream if you want to make it really rich
- Heat up a sauce pot over medium heat and add the butter. When the butter melts, add the shallots and saute until translucent. Add the thyme and cook for 30 seconds more.
- Add the port wine and then the sun dried cherries. Reduce the port until there is barely any wine left in the saucepan, an essence.
- Add the demi glace, stir, then add some freshly ground pepper. Be sure to keep stirring while you are preparing this sauce so it doesn't burn. That's a big no-no.
- Let this reduce until the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon. Add some half & half or cream to give it even more richness (and some extra calories) and the sauce is ready to go.
- If you want to get really fancy, you could strain the sauce before serving but I like the texture of the sun dried cherries in my sauces.
- Warning - if you happen to be serving mashed potatoes with your meal, you may want to make extra sauce. I guarantee your family and friends will be asking for more sauce for their potatoes.