4 cardamom pods
4 whole cloves
2 star anise
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 quart fresh cranberries (about 1 pound)
1 ½ cups sugar
Zest of 3 oranges, grated on a Microplane grater
1 vanilla bean
1 cup Champagne
Juice of 1 orange
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Tie the cardamom, cloves, and star anise together in a piece of cheese cloth or enclose in a tea ball; set aside. Using a paring knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise. Using the back of the knife, scrape seeds out.
Add a medium sauce pot over high heat and add grapeseed oil. Add the cranberries and sugar.
Add the orange juice, champagne and orange zest and stir to combine. Add the vanilla bean seeds and the vanilla pods (these will impart flavor and be removed prior to serving) to the pot with cranberries. Add the tea ball with spices. Cook until the liquid is reduced, the cranberries are soft and the mixture is very thick, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the tea ball and the vanilla bean pod. Add butter and season lightly with salt. Add butter and season lightly with salt if needed for flavor.
Let the mixture cool slightly. At this point you can leave the berries whole or purée the sauce in a blender to make it smooth. (For varied texture, purée half and leave the other half chunky).