black currant sauce

Beef in Black Currant Sauce Recipe

Black currant sauce, with chocolate. Wow! Outrageous!

Sorry I can’t contain myself!

Is this combo even safe, you might wonder?

It is much better than safe: It’s wonderful! The chocolate, cassis (a Black Currant Liquor, available at all liquor stores: Couldn’t live without it!) and black or red currant jelly are quite a powerful team.

I always find the way the butcher cuts the beef makes it look ragged and shredded (good enough for cholent, but decidedly not for a main course), and therefore not too presentable. I like to buy a shoulder beef roast (quite affordable), take it out of its net, and cut it in 2 inch cubes. This extra step only takes a few minutes, but guarantees me a great looking beef in black currant sauce!

I love to use those disposable muslin bags:

Easy to find, a real low-tech marvel!


  • 4 pounds large beef chunks
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 large onions, sliced very thin
  • 2 tablespoons peppercorns
  • 6 bay leaves, or 1 tablespoon ground
  • 2 cups red wine
  • ¼ cup crème de cassis
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 good pinches saffron
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1/3 cup pure cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup black or red currant jelly


Put the beef and water to boil in wide bottom pot. Place the onions, peppercorns and bay leaves in a cheesecloth bag, tie the bag securely and immerse in the cooking water. Reduce the flame to medium, and cook covered two hours.

Stir in all but last 2 ingredients, cover again and cook 1 more hour. Discard the cheesecloth, pressing hard on the solids first to extract all liquids. Transfer the meat to a platter with a slotted spoon. Stir the cocoa powder and currant jelly into the pot, and cook 5 more minutes, or a little longer, until the liquids in the pot are thick. Pour this sauce over the meat. Serve hot, over rice or noodles, or mashed white vegetables.

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