Smoking Bishop: A Great Way To Use Up Leftover Port

Christmas and New Year are now but a distant memory… but you’ve still got some Port left. If at this point you are thinking:

“No I haven’t, I drank it all”

then you can skim read the rest of this post!

If by some miracle you do have some port left, here is a great idea on how to use it up.

Smoking Bishop

If you’ve never seen a Smoking Bishop then the good news is you can make one with relatively few ingredients. It’s basically a mulled wine recipe using Port, red wine and some spices.

Whilst researching this recipe I was surprised to learn that it was mentioned in arguably the first cookbook written for ordinary people. Eliza Acton, an English poet and cook, wrote Modern Cookery for Private Families which was published in 1845. Apparently, the cookbook set the standard for listing ingredients and suggesting cooking times for each recipe. Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management was apparently inspired by it.

Eliza’s recipe is a bit elaborate, for example saying:

Boil one bottle of port wine, burn a portion of the spirit out of it by applying a lighted paper to the saucepan…

At that point the thought of using a whole bottle and possibly losing our eyebrows turned us off this recipe, so here is the one we made instead.

Ingredients

  • 150ml of Port – we used Ruby but any will do
  • 150ml of red wine – we used Rioja, buy again any will do
  • 100ml of orange juice – we used fresh, smooth without bits, use your judgment!
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 medium sized orange
  • some whole cloves

Optional (if you have it)

  • 1 pinch of allspice
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 pinch of ginger

Putting it together

Cut the orange into quarters then cut the quarters in half or into three to make eight or twelves wedges. Stud each of the wedges with three or four cloves.

Put all the ingredients together in a saucepan on a low heat for ten minutes, stirring occasionally. This should allow the honey to dissolve and the spices to infuse. Ladle into heat proof glasses and you’re done!

(Note, push those cloves in, ours all fell out in the pan!)

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