Sunday, 25 October 2015

Slow cooker Pontack Sauce recipe

This is taken from the River Cottage handbook no. 2  - Preserves - by Pam Corbin.

Makes 1 350 ml bottle

500g elderberries
500 ml cider vinegar
200g shallots, peeled and sliced
6 cloves
4 allspice berries
1 blade of mace (I didn't have any so I used a little - 1/2 tsp? - ground mace)
1 tblspn black peppercorns
15g fresh root ginger, bruised

Strip the berries from the stalks as soon as possibvle after picking - a table fork is useful for doing this. Place them in an ovenproof earthenware or glass dish with the vinegar and put in a very low oven (about 130 deg. C/Gas Mark 1/2) for 4-6 hours, or overnight.  (I put mine on the low setting of my slow cooker for about 3 hours or so).  SO much easier and it freed up the oven.  Remove from the oven and strain through a sieve, crushing the berries with a potato masher as you do so, to obtain maximum juice.  (I did this, and then put it through a jelly bag, so I could squeeze every drop out.)

Put the rich, red-black juice in the pan along with the sliced shallots, spices and ginger.  Bring gently to the boil and cook for 20-25 minutes until slightly reduced.  Remove from the heat and strain through a sieve.

Return the juice to the pan and bring to the boil, then boil steadily for 5 mins.  Pour the sauce into a warm, sterilized bottle and seal.  Store in a cool, dark cupboard.

This sauce grows better with age, so try to lay some bottles down for a few months if you can.  Apparently after 7 years it is AMAZING.  So roll on 2022.

Use to spice up winter stews, casseroled liver, slow-roasted belly of pork, or anything wild and gamey.  besides serving this sauce alongside meat dishes, you can add a couple of tablespoonfuls to sauces and gravies.


  1. Sounds like a good addition to the storecupboard.

  2. These fruity sauces make such a good addition to any dish that needs a bit of spicing up don't they?

  3. Well, I know my OH wouldn't have it in anything HE is eating, but I shall give the girls a bottle each instead.

  4. It sounds delicious and my OH would eat it if I didn't tell him what it was!!

  5. Oh My Goodness, this sounds so wonderful.

    cheers, parsnip

  6. Rachel & parsnip- it has oomph, when it is well-matured. Rachel - my husband wouldn't have it if he KNEW it was in anything, but he has Super Tastebuds so hard to fool.