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rowan jelly - substitution ideas?

geekmom Dec 18, 2012 02:19 PM

I bought a Scottish cookbook online and my daughter has decided we are cooking from it (almost exclusively) for Christmas. The meat will be a roast venison which is served with a sauce made of port and rowan jelly. I've managed to order the venison, but calling around various specialty shops I cannot find anyone locally who even knows what rowan jelly *is* let alone stocks it. Since there's no time to import a jar from overseas, it's time to figure out a substitution.

Has anyone here eaten this stuff and if so can you describe the flavour? I have never eaten rowan jelly, but it's described as being quite bitter, and from what I understand, the jelly is almost always made with apples as well as the berries. I would love some ideas here. The guy I spoke to at a gourmet / specialty shop was very helpful but the best he could offer me was lingonberry jelly - would that even come close?

Thanks in advance.

  1. chefj Dec 18, 2012 02:52 PM

    Rowan Berries grow all over the place here in N. Cal.
    I imagine that they do in B.C. too. If you want to make your own sometime.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sorbus_a...

    2 Replies
    1. re: chefj
      geekmom Dec 18, 2012 02:58 PM

      Thanks chefj. My daughter has a native food plants book and we realized that we just missed the boat on being able to make our own rowan jelly (and indeed, when I google rowan jelly, the results are mostly recipes for making your own!) We thought about making salal jelly next year, maybe we'll try rowan too (do you have salal down in California, too? It's quite yummy and grows all over the place, and most people don't realize it's edible...)

      1. re: geekmom
        chefj Dec 18, 2012 03:17 PM

        Yes they do. And I did not know about them. Thank you!

    2. c
      cmc2 Dec 18, 2012 02:30 PM

      Use Lingonberry. You might make your own cranberry sauce (less sweet than usual) and use that. You could also use bar-le-duc - also eaten with game.

      I would keep life simple and use lingonberry - a bit bitter/tart or do something with cranberries.
      Red currants or red currant jelly is another option but that is probably sweeter. If you can buy red currants fresh (pricey) you could always make something.

      You could also consider some kind of rhubarb chutney - and make it not sweet. That could be great also.

      You might also consider beach plum jelly - especially if you can get some that is not very sweet. (depends on the maker) Green Briar jam Kitchen in sandwhiich ma makes this - it is a little sweet - but so delicious.

      Please post what you decid. I am curious.

      1 Reply
      1. re: cmc2
        geekmom Dec 18, 2012 02:58 PM

        Thank you for all these ideas cmc2 - I'm very grateful. Had to look up bar-le-duc and it does sound ideal for what I'm planning. I will see if the specialty food shop carries it, if not, I'll probably go with lingonberry.

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