Cranberry-Port Sauce with Dried Figs

I know that many times in life it is tempting to take the easier route.  We are all very busy and sometimes we just don’t have the time  or energy to devote to certain things.  That being said, is the eyesore that is pictured to the right really necessary (double-click on it to enlarge)??? Recipe_pictures_028  I mean honestly, yes, it’s funny looking and can definitely serve a purpose, perhaps as a centerpiece for the “Kids’ Table”, but do you really want to serve this to your guests who have crossed six states to spend one day with you??  I didn’t think so.

Fortunately, I have a recipe for cranberry sauce that requires very little time, effort (only one ingredient to chop!),  or attention.  It can be made as far as a week ahead of time, and it will taste so much better on your after-Thanksgiving turkey sandwich than a slice of that jellied stuff.  The dried figs in the sauce add a sweetness that complements the Port and fresh rosemary.  It turns out a beautiful jewel tone–you can be proud to put this version on your Thanksgiving table.  This recipe is so straightforward that I only have a few of my usual tips to offer you:

  • If you don’t have any Port on hand, feel free to substitute a red wine (recommend Pinot Noir or Cabernet) for a similar product.
  • The dried figs can be found alongside the raisins and dried cranberries in your grocery store

Cranberry-Port Sauce with Dried Figs

Makes about 3 1/2 cupsRecipe_pictures_031

1 2/3 cups ruby Port

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

10 dried black Mission figs, stemmed and coarsely chopped

1 six-inch long sprig of fresh rosemary

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries

3/4 cup sugar

Combine the first six ingredients in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stirring until the brown sugar dissolves.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.  Discard the rosemary.  Mix in the cranberries and the 3/4 cup sugar.  Cook over medium heat until the liquid is slightly reduced and thickened and the berries burst, stirring occasionally, 6-8 minutes.  Cool and transfer to a bowl.  Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to use.  Can be served chilled, heated, or at room temperature.

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