Cumberland Sauce

Hank Shaw's spin on Cumberland Sauce, a classic British sauce that dates back to the 1800s, includes dry sherry, beef stock, and red currant jelly combined with shallots, mustard, cayenne, and lemon zest. The resulting Cumberland Sauce is a sweet, salty, savory, spicy glaze that's perfect for Venison Meatballs and other game meats. If you cannot find red current jelly, any tart red jelly, such as lingonberry or cranberry, will work here.

Venison Meatballs with Cumberland Sauce
Photo: Photo by Greg Dupree / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
45 mins
1 cup


  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 2 large (1 1/2-ounce) shallots, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)

  • 2 cups (16 ounces) dry sherry

  • 2 teaspoon dry mustard

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 2 cup lower-sodium beef stock

  • 1 cup red currant jelly (about 11 ounces)

  • 2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste


  1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium. Add shallots; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add sherry, mustard, and cayenne. Bring to a boil over high. Boil, undisturbed, until mixture reduces to about 1 cup, about 11 minutes. Add stock; bring to boil over high. Boil, undisturbed, until mixture reduces to about 3/4 cup, 18 to 28 minutes. Add jelly and zest. Bring to boil over high, stirring constantly to dissolve jelly. Boil, stirring often, until sauce thickens to a glaze-like consistency, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat.

  2. Pour mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a medium-size heatproof bowl; using a rubber spatula, press solids against strainer to extract liquid. Discard solids. Stir salt and pepper into sauce. Let cool 5 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Make Ahead

Sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days; reheat in a saucepan over low.

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