Welcome to Fruity Fridays today it is the lovely Juniper Berry something I hadn’t used in recipes until I moved to Thailand… Where I discovered that Juniper Berries…..make a beautiful sauce.
The Juniper grows either on a beautiful evergreen tree which can grow as high as 131 ft or Junipers come on small low growing spreading shrubs so depending on where in the world you are you should able to find these luscious little berries although I use them dried and they are very nice.
They are the only spice which comes from a conifer tree and the spice is used in a variety of cuisines and culinary dishes.
The extract is also used to make essential oils.
Also Girls just in case you didn’t know it the primary flavour in Gin… Oh yes, one of those would go down very nicely at the moment…lol
The berries are green when young, and mature to a purple-black colour over about 18 months in most species. The mature, dark berries are usually but not exclusively used in cookery, while your Gin ladies is flavoured with fully grown but immature green berries.
Paired with game meat like Venison, quail or pheasant it makes a great sauce.
- 1 banana shallot peeled and finely chopped.
- 8 juniper berries very lightly crushed.
- 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped.
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 200 ml white burgundy or a dry white wine.
- 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 40 gm butter
- 25 gm flour
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves.
- 300 ml venison stock
- 100 ml double cream
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Put shallot, garlic, sugar, white wine vinegar, juniper berries, white wine and thyme in a pan and bring to the boil.
Lower the heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes this needs to reduce to about 2 tbsp.
In another pan melt the butter and whisk in the flour to make a roux. Strain your wine reduction through a fine sieve and still whisking…we don’t want a lumpy sauce now do we? Add the wine reduction….keep whisking!
Pick out the juniper berries and add to the sauce. Keep whisking and add the stock slowly now….to the sauce a ladle at a time. Cook the sauce for 10 mins or until it coats the back of a spoon.
Finally, pour in the cream and bring to a very slow simmer.
Remove from the heat and season.
The sauce can be used immediately or reheated when it is needed.
This is a beautiful sauce over when poured over a luscious piece of beautifully cooked venison or my favourite quail… if you have guests for dinner or just for that special occasion.
Juniper berries are used widely in European and Scandinavian cuisine they go especially well with wild birds and game.
My next recipe was given to me by my Swiss friend Marianne and it was a recipe which her mother used to make every single weekend for her father…A family tradition. I have copied Marianne’s recipe exactly as she gave it too me..no changes…
Tip: 1dl equals 100ml.
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