A few weeks ago, a friend called. We don't get together as much as we might like, so we just planned on cooking together at her house. I showed up with nothing exactly in mind, with some salad makings, and some fruit. She had beautiful lamb chops. We raided her fridge for the currant preserves. I'm not sure exactly how the following sauce evolved that evening, but here's what I do know: it would be perfect with your holiday dinners. And it's so easy!
I had brought Granny Smith apples, but any tart crisp apple would work equally well. I used the wine we were going to drink later, and thyme from my garden.
The slightly tart flavor of the currants, the tang of the apple, the thyme scented wine base, all made for a sauce that was quick and easy to do, stores well, and was wonderful on the grilled lamb chops. It would be a superb complement to a turkey, ham or roast pork dinner. It would also be tasty with a firm full flavored fish like salmon or swordfish, simply grilled. It's good warm from the pan, or chilled.
Or put into pretty jars, it would be a thoughtful hostess gift. Just make sure it stays refrigerated!
BLACK CURRANT-APPLE RELISH
2 tbsp butter or vegetable oil
2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large tart cooking apple, peeled and cut into 1/4" dice
3/4 cup (half a 12 ounce jar) black currant preserves
1/2 cup dry red wine
3 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1/2 tsp dried
Salt and pepper to taste
In a heavy skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until just soft and translucent. Add the apples and toss to combine well. Add the preserves, wine and thyme and simmer until the wine has reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes about 2 cups relish. May be doubled or tripled with no change in measurements.