A delicious and mildly spicy raisin sauce for your New Year’s ham!
There are many sauces served with ham, but one of the best and most complementary is traditional raisin sauce.
Ham is traditional on New Year’s Day–actually I believe it’s fresh ham that is traditional, but most folks have substituted cured ham for the fresh because of it’s availability.
I was first introduced to this when I went to my Eastern Star chapter’s annual fall ham dinner not long after I became a member.
The sauce that was always served belonged to Pat (member and past District Deputy) and it had an incredible flavor. She was famous around here for her raisin sauce and one taste will tell you why.
Most raisin sauces contain multiple spices, but this only contains 2–dry mustard and ground cloves–and not in abundance. The sauce is very delicately flavored and not overpowering as some can be. It’s subtle spiciness is offset by a subtle sweet-sour flavor.
I deviate from Pat’s original recipe in that I use apple cider vinegar instead of the white variety. The apple cider vinegar gives it a slightly more fruity taste, but feel free to use any vinegar you have and suit your own taste. It’s important here to add the vinegar at the very last–reason being that the acid tends to break down the thickening quality of the cornstarch.
- 1 cup raisins
- 2 cups water
- 1½ tbs cornstarch
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ¼ tsp dry mustard
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- 1 tbs butter
- 1 tbs cider vinegar
- In a small saucepan, bring raisins and water to boiling over medium heat; boil for 5 minutes
- Mix together the brown sugar, cornstarch, dry mustard and cloves.
- Add the cornstarch mixture to boiling raisins; cook for 1 minute
- Add the butter, stirring till melted.
- Add the vinegar and stir to blend.
- Serve sauce immediately.