Sauce for Duck and Ham : Black Cherry, Port & Redcurrant Jel

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 15 mins

This is a delicious and very easy sauce to make. It's also great with ham and all game -- and vanilla ice cream! For the redcurrant jelly I use a bottle (155g) of Staffords Redcurrant Jelly (a British product). It is usually available on the shelf where you find mint jelly and cranberry sauces. It's worth keeping a bottle of good port in your kitchen cupboard, as it's used in so many ways. *NOTE: if you don't have chicken stock powder, use the same amount of chicken broth. PLEASE NOTE: the sweetness of black cherries in syrup can vary a lot from one brand to another, so you'll have to adjust the taste with the lemon juice to prevent the sauce being too sweet.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. (Some cans of cherries have a lighter, less sweet syrup, some have a thicker, sweeter syrup than others, so please taste sauce as instructions below indicate, and adjust).
  2. Drain the cherries in a sieve over a bowl, and keep at hand.
  3. In a pot, measure off the water and stock powder OR use 1/4 cup chicken broth.
  4. Add all the ingredients, from the 1/4 cup water down to the pinch of ground cloves -- BUT do NOT add the cornflour and water.
  5. Use 2 - 3 tablespoons lemon juice to start, but keep extra juice in case you need to add more to the sauce when you taste it.
  6. Stir the sauce over medium heat until the redcurrant jelly dissolves, then boil quite vigorously until about 1 cup liquid is left. As you start out with about 1 3/4 cup, this does not take long.
  7. If in doubt about the amount as it boils down, pull off heat, cool slightly, and pour into a Pyrex or heat-resistant measuring cup. I simply tilt the pot, and take a guess.
  8. Pour sauce back into pot.
  9. Mix the cornflour with the water, add to the sauce, and bring to a simmer while stirring. Let the sauce thicken, and remove from heat. Do not boil longer than a minute, as the cornflour might split.
  10. Taste for seasoning: you will almost certainly want to add more lemon juice. I did not add salt, but a pinch will probably improve the taste.
  11. Add about 3/4 cup of the cherries in the sieve.
  12. Number of servings will depend a lot on how the sauce is used on the meats.
Most Helpful

5 5

This sauce was not difficult to make but added a professional taste & presentation to this dish. I just loved this & found it was a step up from the usual duck with orange sauce. I had a lot of leftover sauce & have used it on several cold meat dishes & tastes just a delicious. I feel privileged to have found this recipe... Many thanks Zurie

5 5

This sauce was outstanding on the roasted duck I made last night! It was just sweet enough without tasting like it should be dessert instead of dinner. It has a beautiful glossy texture, and is just thick enough to coat the meat. We also decided that this would be wonderful with pork, and since I have plenty left, I may experiment with that tonight. I had to make a few substitutions, but I think that they are still true to the recipe. I used frozen cherries, as there were only tart cherries in cans at my grocery. The port in my cupboard was ruby, rather than tawny, and was slightly sweeter than I was looking for, but some extra lemon juice at the end took care of that. I only had whole cloves, so I tossed 4 of them in while the sauce simmered, then fished them out before thickening the sauce. Overall, this was wonderful, and I'll definitely make again. Thanks, Zurie, for helping me make a lovely dinner!