Redcurrant Recipes

  • 4 duck breasts (about 140g/ 5oz each)
  • pinch Chinese five-spice powder

For the relish

  • small red onion, chopped
  • 1 small green apple, cored and chopped
  • 1 fat garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh root ginger
  • 1 large fresh red chilli, chopped (optional)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 100ml red wine vinegar
  • 2-3 tbsp light muscovado sugar
  • 140g fresh or frozen redcurrants
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1. Gently fry the onion, apple, garlic, ginger and chilli, if using, in a pan with the oil for about 10 mins until softened. Pour in the vinegar and bubble down until reduced by half. Add 100ml water and sugar to taste. Cook until reduced by two thirds and thickened. Stir in the redcurrants and balsamic vinegar, and cook for another 5 mins. The relish can be made up to a week ahead and stored in the fridge.

2. Using a sharp knife, slash the fat of the duck breasts in a criss-cross, cutting almost through to the flesh. Rub the skin with salt and five-spice powder.

3. Heat a heavy-based frying pan, until you can feel a gentle heat, then place the duck, skin-side down. Cook for 5 mins on a low to medium heat until the fat begin to melt. Spoon over the duck and season.

4. When the skin begins to brown and crisp, after about another 2 mins, tip out the excess fat. Flip over the breasts and cook for another 5 mins on the flesh side. This will give you medium-rare duck. If you prefer well done, cook for a further 3 mins or so. Remove from the heat, allow to stand for 5 mins then slice diagonally. Serve with watercress salad and the relish.

  • 600g cooked and peeled beetroot (vacuum packs are easiest to use)
  • 4 tbsp redcurrant jelly
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 85g watercress
  • 250g crumbly British goat’s cheese (such as Ragstone from cheese shops, or Capricorn from supermarkets)
  • 12 small white marinated anchovies , from the deli counter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 lemon wedges
  • soda bread, to serve

1. The day before, cut each beetroot into quarters, tip into a saucepan and spoon in the redcurrant jelly and vinegar. Bring to the boil over a high heat and simmer for about 10 minutes until the beetroot is well coated. Transfer to a bowl and leave to cool, then cover and keep in the fridge.

2. About an hour before serving, remove the beetroot and sauce from the fridge and let it come to room temperature.

3. To serve, spoon the beetroot and sauce on to 6 serving plates. Top with a little pile of watercress, crumble over the goat’s cheese and top with the anchovies. Season with salt and ground black pepper and drizzle over the oil. Put a lemon wedge on each plate for squeezing, and serve with soda bread on the side.

  • 300g redcurrants
  • 100g caster sugar , plus extra to taste
  • 1 orange , zested and juiced
  • 1 glass sweet dessert wine , such as Muscat

1. Put the redcurrants, sugar and orange juice and zest into a large pan with 100ml water. Cook gently for 5-10 minutes until the redcurrants have burst. Whizz in a food processor or blender then push through a sieve (taste and add a little more sugar if needed).

2. Stir in the wine. Pour into a large baking dish and freeze for at least 4 hours. Serve in small glasses.

  • 2 medium red onions , peeled and cut into thin wedges
  • 1 small red pepper, seeded and cut into small chunks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 plump red chilli, seeded and chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 small knob fresh ginger, chopped
  • 200ml red wine vinegar
  • 140g light muscovado sugar
  • 1 tsp five spice powder
  • 200g redcurrants , stripped from stalks

1. Toss the onions with the red pepper and the oil, then fry in a frying pan for 5-8 mins over a high heat until lightly charred and softened. Remove from the pan and set aside.

2. Put the chilli, garlic and ginger in the pan with half the vinegar. Bring to the boil then simmer for 2-3 mins. Add the onions and pepper plus the remaining vinegar, all the sugar, spice and 1 tsp salt.

3. Bring to the boil then bubble away for about 5 mins until thickened. Add redcurrants and simmer for about 5 mins more, or until they have burst, but still have some shape and the liquid is syrupy.

4. Remove and pour into a large heatproof jar. Cover and seal while hot. Keeps in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.