Some flavor combinations cannot be surpassed as they are simply sublime. One such combination is roast lamb served with mint sauce, usually as part of a traditional Sunday lunch.
Mint is a pungent, refreshing herb. When used in a mint sauce, the brightness of the herb and sharpness of the vinegar are also particularly good at cutting through any of the lamb's fattiness. The succulent lamb, the striking freshness of mint, sweetness from sugar, and the bite of vinegar all come together on the plate to create what is considered a classic British flavor combination.
The other beauty of this sauce is it is so cheap and simple to make at home. There's no need to pick up a jar at the store when you can make a superior version in just minutes. Fresh mint is abundant across the British Isles growing wild and in gardens—you are sure to know someone who has mint even if you don't grow it yourself.
- 1 large bunch fresh mint (leaves)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 5 tablespoons boiling water
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Gather the ingredients.
Pull the leaves from the stalk of the mint. Roughly chop the leaves.
Place the chopped mint leaves into a heatproof jug, sprinkle over the sugar, then pour over the boiling water. Stir gently, cover with cling film, and place to one side, and leave to cool.
Once cool, stir in the vinegar and taste the sauce. If it is too strong, just add a little more water. Too weak, add more mint. Cover again and leave to one side for at least an hour, longer if you have the time. The mint flavors will seep into the sugar-vinegar as it sets.
Use the mint sauce or store in the fridge for up to two weeks.
- When using garden mint, check the mint leaves to ensure there are no insects or ladybirds hiding anywhere. Unless chemical sprays are used or it is close to traffic fumes, it is not necessary to wash the mint.
- The fresh mint sauce will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks if you decant into a screw-top jar.
- Mint sauce is delicious with roast lamb, but try it with lamb chops, cutlets, shanks, or add a dollop to an Irish stew.
What Is the Best Mint for Mint Sauce?
There are hundreds of types of fresh mint growing in Britain, but the best one for a mint sauce is a common garden mint. Avoid spearmint and varieties like chocolate mint.
What Type of Vinegar Is Best for Mint Sauce?
The best vinegar for delicate mint sauce is simply white wine vinegar. Flavored kinds of vinegar should be avoided, and do not use malt or other dark vinegars as they are too strong and kill the flavor.