Now that it’s spring, you’re probably thinking of roasting a leg or shoulder of lamb. It’s a good idea. In the the US, it’s traditional to serve lamb with mint jelly, which involves buying or making mint jelly, eating a few tablespoons of it, returning it to the fridge and throwing out almost a whole thing of mint jelly in two months when you realize it’s still in there. That’s one of the reasons we’re big fans of lamb with a simple English mint sauce. You can make only as much as you need.
The other reason we’re fans of it is that it tastes fantastic. Cool and sweet, it’s taste offsets the rich and gamy flavor of the lamb nicely. The freshness of the mint is also a nice reminder that spring is finally here.
This recipe makes a simply, watery sauce. Don’t be deterred by the thin consistency–the flavor is wonderful, and tastes even better after a few hours in the refrigerator.
Simple English Mint Sauce (adapted from The All New Joy of Cooking)
2 tablespoons boiling water
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (or light brown sugar)
3 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, minced
4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
In a small, heat-proof bowl combine the boiling water and sugar. When the sugar has dissolved, add the mint and vinegar. Cover the mixture, and allow it to cure in for several hours, or overnight in the refrigerator.