Date & red wine sauce

Date & red wine sauce

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(22 ratings)

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, questions and tips

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24th Dec, 2019
I have just made this in preparation for the Christmas Goose recipe tomorrow. I was worried about it as it was reducing down as I didn't like the sour flavour but after I strained out the dates and tasted it I can now say that I LOVE this sauce! I need to go and make another batch now because i'm not sure it has made enough. What a great find! Thanks again BBC GoodFood.
5th Jan, 2018
I made this to accompany the Christmas Goose, we weren't big fans as it tasted like Califig Syrup of Figs.
26th Dec, 2016
Made this yesterday to go with our goose. Great feedback from family and tasted lovely .
4th Jan, 2016
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.
24th Dec, 2015
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.
18th Jan, 2015
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!
26th Nov, 2014
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.
25th Dec, 2012
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 :)
6th Sep, 2012
This is so good
3rd Apr, 2012
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.


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