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Cooking with Hannibal: Amuse-Bouche


“Pork” Loin with Cumberland Sauce of Red Fruit

Skipping right over the serial killer who grows little mushroom people gardens in the woods in this episode, Hannibal Lecter’s low-key dinner with Jack Crawford’s character features a little nod to my homeland – “pork” loin with Cumberland Sauce – a very traditional English berry sauce served with savory dishes. Here’s a recipe for those of you who want to recreate this with, ya know, anything other than human beings.

Cumberland Sauce

1 orange
1 lemon
1 cup white sugar, granulated
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup homemade or storebought red currant jelly
2 T ruby port
1 cinnamon stick


  1. Fill a small saucepan with the cold water.
  2. Using a sturdy peeler, remove the peel of the orange and lemon in strips about an inch long. You’ll want to trim off any white pith on the underside of the peel.
  3. Do that by placing one strip of peel at a time inside-up on a cutting board. Shave off all white parts using a sharp paring knife. Discard the white and place the cleaned peel in the cold water.
  4. Once all the peel has been cleaned of pith, cut it into strips as thin as a sheet of paper. Place them back into the cold water. Now to remove the bitterness.
  5. Add the sugar and place over a high heat. When it comes to a boil, strain the mixture, and reserve the peel.
  6. Place the red currant jelly, ruby port and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Whisk regularly until the mixture starts to simmer. Add the lemon and orange zest and turn off the heat.
  7. Cool the finished sauce. Serve chilled with cold cuts, cheeses or “pork” loin.


Some of the more beautiful shots in Hannibal Lecter come from closeups of food or drink that are not yet shown to be food or drink. What better way to distance us from our ideas about what is and what isn’t acceptable? We look at something like the coffee above, as it cream swirls into it and it’s not immediately obvious what we’re looking at, but it’s mesmerizing. Then the zoom out shows the cup:



Although it’s not actually Hannibal’s coffee – it belongs to the journalist Freddy Lounds – it’s a great example of the attention to detail given to the food. It’s no longer just something to be consumed, but something to be savored.


About francoiseeats

I'm currently working as a freelance travel and food writer, and photographer. I spent two years at, the culinary on-line magazine for the industry insider. My articles have been published in New York, NY and Richmond, VA. After graduating from Columbia University and recovering from the tragedy of not being able to read Camus books for a living, I attended The Culinary Institute of America, where my scone consumption rose drastically. Fluent in French and Italian, I've worked in some of New York's top restaurants and covered food-related stories in a number of publications, from The Richmond Times-Dispatch to Time Out New York.

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