Use this savory fruit sauce on duck, pork, chicken, or even beef. It will work great for any game as well.
1 large shallot, peeled and minced
1 ounce cognac or brandy
1½ cups blueberries
1 tablespoon (or more if needed) sugar
1-2 tablespoons (more or less as needed depending on how tart the berries are) blueberry*(preferred), cider, or white balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Grapeseed oil or other neutral flavored as needed
Water as needed
In a large non-reactive bowl, lightly crush the berries with a fork or potato masher and sprinkle with the sugar. Allow to macerate 20 minutes or more.
Heat a 1 quart chef’s pan or sauce pan over medium-low heat. When heated, lightly film the pan bottom with oil. When the oil is hot, add the shallots. Cook gently until shallots are translucent.
Add the cognac, heat up, and then flame the cognac, allowing the alcohol to burn away and reducing the cognac entirely.
Transfer the berry-sugar mash to the pan and toss to combine with the shallots.
Taste the berries. If they are quite tart, add a 1/2 tablespoon more sugar and gently mix in. You want the sauce to taste like blueberries, not like blueberry jam. Add the vinegar, and start to gently simmer the sauce. If the berries are not exuding any juices and the pan seems in danger of drying out, add 1/4 cup of water. After 10 minutes, add the thyme and season with salt and pepper. Simmer until the berries break down slightly and begin to thicken, about 20 minutes.
Taste the sauce. It should taste like blueberries with a pleasantly balanced tart-sweet quality.
Puree the sauce using a stick-mixer or blender on high for 2-3 minutes. If the sauce is very thick, add a little more water.
Rinse the pan out, then strain the puree through a fine mesh sieve back into the pan. Taste the sauce for balance, and adjust as needed. The flavor should be berry foremost and then a balance between sweet and tart, and the sauce be the right consistency, just able to pour. If the sauce is too thin, place pan on medium high heat and cook to reduce sauce to the right consistency. If it is too thick, stir in a little hot water.