Really Red Sweet Pepper Sauce:
Prep: 10 mins.
Cooking: 15-20 mins.
Rating: 2: Not difficult.
- 2 long, sweet red peppers
- 1 red onion
- Olive oil
- A little stock – meat or veg
- A little water
- Redcurrant jelly/ blackcurrant jam
A very sharp cook’s knife is definitely required for the preparation of this sauce.
- Take a couple of the long red sweet peppers, not a normal capsicum pepper if you can help it – though this will do at a push – skin them (see Tricks’n’Tips) and cut it into slivers of 2 or 3mm width, perhaps 30mm long. Cut a red onion into the thinnest slivers that you can manage without incliding finger nails and put red pepper and red onion into a frying pan on a very low heat for 10 or 15 minutes. They need to sweat, rather than fry or even sauté. As they cook they should produce a little liquid – conserve it, don’t let it evaporate, as this is really flavoursome.
- Add some tasty meaty stock or stock jelly (see ‘Tricks & Tips’) and just enough water to make the quantity you require. Remember that this is a sauce, not gravy – you really do not need much of this as it is there for flavour, rather than to have the food to swim in it.
- Add some paprika. Now, how much paprika is up to you, but remember that paprika pepper is not a particularly hot pepper (not like cayenne pepper or chilli – WOW!) Paprika is mild and flavoursome, almost a sweet addition and will alter the colour of the sauce more than the spiciness of it. Give the paprika jar a bit of a stir with a skewer first, as if has been stored it will probably have settled and be a bit difficult to get out of the container.
- Put in about a levelled out teaspoonful, mix thoroughly and then taste. Use more if you would like. It does need to give a kick, but not a blow to the head!
- Season as you consider necessary, just leaving the sauce needing a tiny bit more salt for your taste – as when it is served, the first thing some people do is to add salt & pepper before they taste it! Add further paprika until the ‘weight’ of the sauce is about right. By ‘weight’ I mean the effectiveness of the sauce to add to the flavour of the meat/general meal.
- Please don’t put the spoon you’ve used to taste the sauce back into the sauce, use a clean one. Hygiene rules!
- Ok now, this is where you’ll have to be brave. If the sauce is to accompany duck, pigeon or any other gamy, strongly flavoured meat, you’ll require a bit of a fruit bite. Redcurrant jelly is a favourite for this and is very safe. Blackcurrant jam is also a notable alternative. A couple of tablespoons of redcurrant jelly really makes a sauce pop up like a jack-in-the-box! It’s a lovely addition to all sorts of gamey foods, but it’s also really nice with good quality sausages. Sausage & mash (see Cheap’n’cheerful) with Red’n’redcurrant sauce (what we can call this sauce with the addition of redcurrant jelly) is just lovely.
- Just simmer this sauce on the lowest heat possible, uncovered, so that the flavours mingle & enhance. Taste it as much as you like but leave enough in the pan for the original purpose – the meal that you are cooking. (There is a danger of not leaving enough in the pan because you’ll like it so much!).
- When it is served, just spoon all of the onions, peppers & liquid over the meat. If there is any over, you made too much. Save it for next time.