Port Wine-Cherry Sauce

Port Wine-Cherry Sauce
So, worth the effort to make this sauce! Delicous, has a nice balance of sweet and sour with a little savory edge. Great with Duck or Pork.
Recipe type: Sauce
Serves: ¾ cup
  • 2 cups tawny port
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, plus 2 teaspoons minced
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces and chilled (2 sticks of butter)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  1. Combine port and cherries in bowl and microwave until steaming, 1 to 2 minutes. Cover and let stand until plump, about 10 minutes. Strain port through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium saucepan, reserving cherries.
  2. Add vinegar, thyme sprigs, and shallots to port and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high and reduce mixture until it measures ¾ cup, 14 to 16 minutes. Add cream and reduce again to ¾ cup, about 5 minutes. Discard thyme sprigs. Off heat, whisk in butter, few pieces at a time, until fully incorporated. Stir in cherries, minced thyme, salt, and pepper. Cover pan and hold, off heat, until serving. Alternatively, let the sauce cool completely and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Reheat in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, frequently stirring, until warm.
Beurre Rouge Sauce, which translates as “red butter, basically it requires just two components: butter and an acidic liquid. (Red wine and red vinegar for beurre rouge and white for beurre blanc are traditional.)
• The sauce can be prepared in advance of use of up to two days.

• The preparation is equally simple: Just whisk cold butter into the reduced acidic liquid. Butter sauces, like any mixture of fat and water, don't always stay emulsified. That's because the butter is temperature sensitive: If the sauce gets too hot (above 135), the butter will "break" and the butterfat will leak out. If it gets too cold (below 85), the butterfat solidifies and forms crystals that clump together and separate when the sauce is reheated.
• The key to fool proofing a butter sauce is stabilizing the butterfat so that it doesn't separate. We do this by whisking in the butter a little bit at a time, which keeps the temperature of the sauce relatively stable. Even more important, we also add cream. The cream contains a relatively high proportion of casein proteins that surround and stabilize the butterfat droplets so that they don't separate from the emulsion. The cream is such an effective stabilizer that our sauce can be made ahead, chilled, and gently reheated before serving.


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