What is a Cumberland sauce? I had never heard it by name before either, though I have made it many times. A Cumberland sauce is a sauce made with either port or a dry red wine and fruit or fruit juices. It originated in Germany around 1846, as an accompaniment to meats like ham, pork, lamb and venison. It was officially created as a sauce around 1846, but its traditions of serving meats with port and/or wine and fruit dates back to the medieval times. It is a sweet and sour sauce of sorts, but with a European heritage rather than an Asian heritage, as we would normally think of a sweet and sour sauce. Like with any recipe that has been around through the ages, and is found in many different areas and regions, there are many different variations. It is said the name comes from the name of the Cumberland region in England, where it is a very popular sauce for meats, but no one really knows for sure.
Pork with Cumberland Sauce
1-2 lbs pork – either as chops or loin (or venison, lamb or ham)
1 shallot, minced fine
1 cup dry red wine
salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp cornstarch
1 TBSP lemon juice
2 TBSP pomegranate juice or red currant jelly
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
As always, I did my version slightly differently than the recipe calls for. I mixed the red wine, brown sugar, mustard, pomegranate juice, lemon juice and salt & pepper together to make a marinade and marinated my pork in it for about 4-5 hours. This way, the pork was nice and flavorful and very tender. I also added some of my fancy peppercorns I got for my birthday too. Another Birthday Surprise
When it is time to cook the pork, get the skillet very hot and add olive oil with a little butter to completely brown the pork on all sides. Once it is completely browned, remove it from the skillet and keep warm.
Saute the shallots in the oil until they are translucent, then add the marinade, reserving a little to mix with the cornstarch. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a medium/low heat and cook for about 5-7 minutes.
Mix the cornstarch into the reserved liquid and add to the skillet, then add the pork and coat it with the sauce. The sauce should be thick and glossy.
When the pork is heated and thoroughly cooked, serve it up and top with the sauce. I served it with roasted potatoes and green beans. I also added some mushrooms, garlic, onions and peppers and finished it all off with more of the same red wine I made the sauce with. Delicious!
Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.