Delia

A Confit of Redcurrants, Orange and Mint

Remember the last few straggler leeks, where we began our year in the kitchen? Six months on there are some new stragglers on the block, namely redcurrants, right. After 6lb of redcurrant jelly (made, I must add, by Michael) and 6lb of redcurrant and raspberry jam (made by me), we have also dined richly on summer puddings, redcurrant and raspberry Eton Mess, meringues with summer berries and so on and so on. We also have summer berry crumbles tucked away in the freezer, to give us some winter cheer if things get tricky weather wise (or F-word wise)…Yet after all this a bowl of stragglers was left sitting in the fridge with all their dazzling beauty challenging me every time I opened the door to get something. 


Yesterday, I’m pleased to say, I succumbed and as is so often the case with impromptu ingredients, we came up with an absolute stunner. I have always loved the redcurrant jelly, orange and mint sauce of Cookery Course fame, so why not try a version made with real homegrown redcurrants? July and August are possibly the very best months for lamb, which by now has had all the benefits of grazing on the sweet grass of spring and summer, and we have had some of the finest Welsh lamb from Waitrose. 

So whether it’s leg, shoulder, chops or braised neck of lamb (even kidney or liver) the following is a brilliant accompaniment. And that’s redcurrants done and dusted for another year!


Serves 4



A Confit of Redcurrants, Orange and Mint
Ingredients
 8 oz (225 g) redcurrants, stripped
 1 teaspoon olive oil
 ½ red onion, finely chopped
 1 tablespoon chopped mint
 zest of ½ orange
 1 rounded tablespoon caster sugar
 ¼ pint (150 ml) dry white wine
 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
 salt and freshly milled black pepper

Method

Start off by heating the oil in a medium-sized saucepan, then add the chopped red onion and cook gently for 5 minutes or so. After that add the redcurrants, mint, orange zest and sugar, then pour in the wine and wine vinegar. Season with a little salt and pepper, give everything a good stir and simmer gently for 1 hour.

Keep an occasional eye on it and after the hour is up, check the consistency of the confit. It should have just a little syrup left in the bottom – if there is too much continue to cook for another 10 minutes. Pour into a serving bowl, leave to cool then pass round for everyone to help themselves.

Note: we like it quite tart, but you may care to check the sweetness before leaving it to cool, and add a little more sugar if it needs it.

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