We've shamelessly put the flavors of Zinfandel into this sauce: dried cherries, anise seeds (Zin often has faint licorice flavors), black pepper, and lots of the wine itself. Prep and Cook Time: about 40 minutes. Notes: You can make this sauce up to 3 days ahead of time; chill airtight, then bring to room temperature before using.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 1/2 cups dry red Zinfandel
1 cup ketchup
2/3 cup dried tart cherries
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 tablespoons Worcestershire
3 tablespoons lightly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon anise seeds
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
About 3 tbsp. lemon juice
How to Make It
Pour olive oil into a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until limp, 3 to 4 minutes. Add Zinfandel, ketchup, cherries, vinegar, Worcestershire, brown sugar, mustard, ginger, black pepper, anise seeds, and cayenne. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid begins to thicken slightly, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Pour mixture into a blender and add 2 tbsp. lemon juice; whirl until very smooth. Taste and add more lemon juice if desired. Use warm or at room temperature.
"Cook with the wine you will drink" is good advice for this wonderful recipe. The cherries really complement the fruitiness of the zin. It was great over grilled tri-tip. It was not too sweet, and I was able to adjust the heat to our liking. This is a go-to sauce for many kinds of grilled meat.