Cranberry sauce with Zinfandel, Star Anise and Black pepper

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 30 mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a non-reactive saucepan, combine the cranberries, wine, balsamic, cinnamon sticks and anise pods.
  2. If you’re unsure about how sweet the sauce will be, begin with 1/2 cup sugar.
  3. The rest may be added later to taste.
  4. Use a tea ball or cheesecloth bag to hold the peppercons and cloves.
  5. Add to the pot.
  6. Bring the berries to boiling then reduce to medium-low.
  7. The cranberries will cook completely in 20-30 minutes, bursting and turning deep red.
  8. In the last few minutes of cooking, taste for sugar and stir in more as desired.
  9. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  10. Remove the spices sticks, pods and the peppercorns.
  11. Add more wine for a more pronounced Zinfandel taste if desired and adjust the sugar.
  12. Store in a clean jar and it will last indefinitely refrigerated.


Most Helpful

So decadent and unusual. I halved the wine and it still was rather runny up to until 45 minutes cooking. Great flavor.

rosslare June 05, 2009 the flavours, they are amazing! Substituted merlot also as we had no Zinfandel. Tucked star anise, peppercorns and cloves into my tea ball which hung on the side of the pot steeped in sauce. Reduced a bit longer than amount of time given as sauce seemed a bit thin, and it turned out perfectly well. I wanted to strain it and drink this, quite frankly! Thanks so much for your post.

woodland hues December 26, 2008

Absolutely superb. I'm trying out different cranberry sauces in anticipation of the holidays, and this is by far the most elegant, interesting and delicious recipe I've found. And I bet it's even better if you follow the recipe! I had to substitute merlot for Zin (because it's what was on hand); what's worse, I didn't have whole spices, so I had to use powdered. It is absolutely amazing, and a definite keeper. Thanks for posting this!

KLHquilts November 10, 2007

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