Cumberland Sauce, red sauce in a white bowl

Cumberland Sauce (a Classic English Sauce for Cold Meats)

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6 1x


Cumberland Sauce is an old English sauce. Sweet and sour, it is traditionally served with cold meats and is excellent with lamb, pork and just about any game. A must at Christmas for us.



  • zest and juice of 1 orange
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 5 Tbsp redcurrant jelly
  • 5 Tbsp port
  • 2.5cm (1″) fresh ginger, grated, OR 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp mustard powder


  1. Using a vegetable peeler, thinly pare off the zest of the orange and lemon in long strips.
  2. Using a knife, slice the zest into thin strips.
  3. Bring a small amount of water to boil in a small saucepan.
  4. Add the sugar and the orange and lemon zest.
  5. Lower the heat down and simmer for 3 minutes. This is to get rid of any bitterness in the peel.
  6. Strain and leave aside until the end, throwing away the liquid.
  7. Rinse and dry the saucepan and place the rest of the ingredients into it. So, the orange and lemon juices, redcurrant jelly, port, ginger and mustard.
  8. Bring to a simmer and leave to cook for 5-10 minutes, to allow to thicken and for the flavours to deepen. The time depends on how you like your sauce, thick, strongly flavoured and almost syrupy, or light. I go the full 10 minutes for a lick the spoon Cumberland Sauce! Take it off the heat when the time is up. For a perfectly smooth sauce, strain to as sieve. I rather like the bits of ginger in mine, so I usually leave it as it is.
  9. Stir in the orange and lemon zests and the sauce is ready to be served, once cooled to room temperature. You can serve it at room temperature or straight out of the fridge.
  10. Store in a clean jar in the fridge for up to a week.

  • Category: Sauces
  • Cuisine: British