Date & red wine sauce

Ready in about 20-30 minutes


This red wine sauce from Gordon Ramsay makes the perfect accompaniment to a Christmas goose

Nutrition and extra info


  • kcal-
  • fat-
  • saturates-
  • carbs-
  • sugars-
  • fibre-
  • protein-
  • salt-
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  • 600ml chicken stock
  • 250ml red wine
  • 3 tbsp port
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    Balsamic vinegar

    Balsamic vinegar

    bal-sam-ick vin-ee-gah

    True Balsamic vinegar is an artisan product from Modena, in Emilia Romagna, Italy, and is made…

  • 200g halved, stoned date



    Dates are one of the oldest cultivated fruits - it's thought that they were a staple part of…


  1. Boil down the chicken stock, red wine, port and balsamic vinegar by two-thirds. Meanwhile, cover the dates with boiling water, leave for 5 mins and then drain. Strain the reduced stock and return to the pan with the soaked dates. Simmer sauce for 3-5 mins, then check seasoning and keep warm.

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Comments (23)

mixgently's picture

Good sauce..needed a few tweeks and I found it benefited greatly from much longer simmering once the dates were added in order for the flavours to really develop...also made it the day ahead and felt it tasted richer with more depth the next day. Served it with goose, made a nice change.

rakeypakey's picture

Made this sauce with homemade chicken stock. But I took the organ meat from the goose and pan fried them. Then I added my stock to the pan, scraping up the brown bits. I let that reduce for a few minutes while the wine (barbaresco) / port and balsamic started simmering. I then added the hot stock along with organ meat to the wine mixture and continued to reduce. I added the boiling water to the dates, strained them and then added them to the mix while still continuing to reduce....until I had my desired thickness and then strained the whole mixture. I had to add salt as my homemade stock is made without. YUM!!! Made it a night in advance and reheated.

chessop's picture

I have made this sauce the way described, and also by just adding the dates to the nearly reduced liquor and I can't tell the difference. It seems a shame to lose some of the sweetness and flavour of the dates to the discarded boiled water in the recipe method. Also i think you only need to strain it once, at the end, and then you get a sweet naturally thickened sauce pushing it through the seive with a spoon to get as much of the fine date pulp into the finished sauce. You can leave the sauce simmering with the dates in it for much longer than 5 mins if you want to, as long as it doesn't get too reduced and I agitated the dates as it simmered to break them down. All in all this is a great sauce, so flexible and easy. The only thing I would say is that to make the balance perfect if you have been simmering it a long time is to add a splash of balsamic vinegar to taste at the end just to add the necessary piquancy as the balsamic loses its acidic punch after a while. Quick Sunday lunch: confit duck, oven chips, spiced red cabbage, peas and carrots, and this sauce, washed down with a glass of red burgundy: hard to beat!

Cpw362's picture

This sauce is amazing. I made it with prunes as the store was out of dates, and it was still delicious though more tart. To those commenters who mention the sauce not reducing, note that adding the fruit helps considerably in thickening the sauce to the proper consistency. Would make this again. Just wish I could find dates.

darkginger's picture

It's become a Christmas tradition for me to leave a comment on this recipe - having it yet again today - 3rd year running, and it's as good as ever! Merry Christmas all :)

ibuckle's picture

This is so good

orange_blossom's picture

I was slighty disappointed with my result (practice makes perfect), my family thought it was lovely but I think next time I will try it with less dates. The sweet savoury flavour went well with the partridge we had for xmas dinner.

melaniespiteri's picture

The goose is not complete without this sauce! Even my dad took second helpings of this and he doesn't like sweet sauces.

darkginger's picture

For those who didn't like this - I'm wondering whether your chicken stock was strong enough, or maybe your wine was too sweet? I'm making it again tomorrow, since it was such a success last year (as you'll see from my previous comment). I stand by my recommendation - it was really good last year!

bazza123's picture

I was very surprised at how bad this is, given the delicious ingredients involved. I guess I dismissed the scathing reviews by MissMoss & KateTereza as anomalies. Basic problem seems to be a lack of savouryness which leaves it unbalanced, over-sweet and tasting of cooked wine. Try gravy.

anitahunnisett's picture

not made it yet but looking for a sauce to go with goose!
Can the dates be dried?

russell1980's picture

Hello people ,
I was looking for a Date compote rescipe , to go with Froi Gras , but this is all i came accross , can someone please send me one or post it on here?? I would be very gratefull.

Thanks again.



amanda_c's picture

Had this with Goose at Christmas and was loved by all, will definitely do this again, maybe with duck.

darkginger's picture

Absolutely tremendous - am about to serve it with our Christmas goose but couldn't resist few tastes beforehand. It's rich, it's both sweet and savoury, and it was pretty easy to make. Whoever it was who 'spoiled very good ingredients' - you're doing it wrong!

katetereza's picture

I spoiled very good ingredients. Never ever will make this recipe again.

kmacgregor's picture

Fantastic sauce which I have only done twice now but it went down a treat with Goose... doing it again for this Christmas... but in the qualtities I need to make it does take hours to reduce the 5 litres of liquid down... but then the house does smell lovely! :)

silviag's picture

Very nice.
Goes well with beef too.
I have added a little piece of star anise and a tiny clove.

samancell's picture

An incredibly tasty sauce which went very well with the goose. It did however take ages to reduce and I was afraid of losing the sauce altogether as it wasn't thickening so I cheated with a little cornflour which did the trick. Not a big lover of dates but admit they were delicious in the sauce. ( Even had goose sandwiches with cold sauce on a few days later...v tasty too! )

jadess's picture

hmm, is this freezable? and if so, what's the best way of reheating on the day?

juditht4's picture

this sauce is amazing, it works great with turkey grill the liver in advance, and then warm it up with the sauce and then serve. if you dont use the dates then you miss the point of this sweet/sour sauce. i suggest to cook the dates with the sauce earlier then stated in the recipy, to garantee it being sweet. maybe even mush the dates a bit.


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