There are two celebrations I particularly look forward to at the end of November. Both owe their dates, on the third Thursday and last Thursday of November, to laws in their respective countries. I’m of course referring to France’s Beaujolais Nouveau celebration and the United States’ Thanksgiving. Thanks to some rather brilliant promotion from Beaujolais’ PR people, the purple-pink Gamay wine is now often paired with turkey, stuffing etc. at tables across the country. This year, I decided to combine the two holidays in one festive dish: a Beaujolais Nouveau cranberry sauce. Since the recipe only requires about a cup of wine, it’s a perfect way to finish off a bottle!
- 3/4 cup of Beaujolais Nouveau (of course, another fruity red wine works too…)
- 2/3 cup of sugar
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice or 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 pinch of nutmeg
Start by combining the sugar, red wine, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon in a medium saucepan over moderate heat. Once the mixture is boiling, add the cranberries. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries begin to pop, which should take about 5 minutes. Add the cornstarch and the orange juice or zest and simmer for another 5 minutes or until the cranberries are soft and the sauce has thickened to an almost jam-like consistency.
Cranberry sauce can be served chilled or at room temperature, but you’ll still want to let it rest for a bit before serving. Cranberry sauce can be prepared up to 1 week ahead, which works perfectly with the timing of both celebrations! No wonder Beaujolais Nouveau and Thanksgiving are such a perfect pairing!