Friday, December 30, 2011

Boozy Cranberry Sauce

I'm one of the many who bought more cranberries than I needed this season.  I fell for the trap of  "Gee, just throw the extra package into the freezer and use it later" advertising.   Actually not, but it sounded good.   I just like cranberries and yes I did buy more than I needed this year, but that was because I was trying a new recipe and wanted a back up package just in case the recipe tanked.   Well, it didn't, or at least I don't think it did.   I mean, I had to make some changes, due to my own lack of making sure I had all the ingredients on hand.   Famous last words, huh?   I thought I had everything I needed to make _______  and I didn't.   Oh well, it was a happy accident this time.
Boozy Cranberries ready for the oven
Sugared and ready to go in the oven, see the Anise and orange peel?

I found this recipe for Cranberry Sauce with Bourbon at Brooklyn Farmhouse and thought that it sounded good.   I mean I knew  I had a half bottle of Bourbon and there was a package of Anise sitting in the spice drawer that needed to be used in something.   I've been listening to it for awhile now, it keeps asking me 'Why did you buy me?   Why don't you use me?   Sad...   At any rate, I figured that with all the ingredients in house as it were, I could try this recipe out.   Imagine my surprise when I went to pull the bourbon out so it could be ready to pour, and it wasn't there!  I had it in our camper and wasn't about to drive 14 miles for a lousy 1/4 cup of bourbon.  sheesh, I mean I'm willing to do a lot, but this was beyond me.   At any rate, I looked in the liquor cabinet and spotted the bottle of Brandy I had sitting there, barely touched.   Got one of those AHA!!!! moments and decided to substitute Brandy for Bourbon.   They both start with the same letter, don't they?   So when the Cranberries came out of the oven the second time, I poured the Brandy over it and WOW, gotta say the scent of the HOT BRANDY that came off of those berries was enough to clear my head out.   But I persevered and stirred the sauce and let it sit for awhile to cool down, not.   I had to taste it, I mean I am a cook, and really wanted to see if it would be OK.   I burnt my tongue, but it was worth it.   The brandy taste was a little harsh, but I let the whole thing cool down and tasted it again.  And felt as if there was something lacking, so I grabbed my bottle of Grand Marnier out of the cupboard and poured in about a tablespoon or so and stirred it up again.   This time, the flavour was spot on.   It was good.   So I stuck it in the refrigerator and brought it with me to Christmas dinner at a friends house.    Asked people for their honest opinions, but the proof was in the empty container, it got et!  No leftovers, or at least very little.     
I did modify this recipe a little, so I can't say it's the same as the original one I started with so I've renamed it.    And here's the recipe:

Boozy Cranberry Sauce.

1 package fresh cranberries, rinsed and sorted (they come in 12 oz packages)
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 star anise
1 piece of orange or lemon peel, about 1x3 inches, wash this real well if it's waxed.
1/4 cup Brandy
1 tablespoon or more, to taste, of Grand Marnier

Mix the cranberries with the sugar and dump into a 9x13 casserole dish, add the orange peel and the star anise.  Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
After 30 minutes in the oven.

Take out of oven, give it a stir, so that the undissolved sugar has a chance to meet the rest of the cranberries and the peel and the anise.

Ready for the booze.
Cover it again, and place back in the oven for another 30 minutes.   Take out of oven, remove the orange peel and the anise and discard them.  They've done their job, thank them and let them go to their rest now.

Stir the cranberries and pour the Brandy over them and mix in well.   They'll look a little like they've been candied at this point.  The aroma right now will be a smidge overpowering, but that's OK.

Let it sit until cooled, and then stir in the tablespoon of Grand Marnier.   Taste at this point (well, you can taste at any point actually, it's all good), and add a little more Grand Marnier if needed.  Chill for a couple of hours or longer and serve with your turkey.

When I made this the other day I portioned it out and froze it.

I'm going to take some out and use it on a pork roast in a couple of weeks, I think this would be great on a turkey sandwich, or with roast chicken.  Any place you want a sweet fruity, boozy note.  
I'm ready for that pork roast now.
Sidsel Munkholm - Author
Sidsel Munkholm - Author

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.


  1. looks really good Sid will have to try this!

  2. Try it and let me know what you think. I liked it, but then again, I like cooked cranberries, and brandy and Grand Marnier and ...


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