Ah, mint sauce. I love mint sauce, but have never actually made it myself. Mint sauce is, of course, the sauce to go with roast lamb, especially during the summer months. Though, I remember as a child when I used to go swimming with my Dad on a Sunday to Morley Swimming Baths, I always had a chip butty smothered in mint sauce straight afterwards.
The piquant sauce goes so well with fatty or rich foods. St Hildegarde, a German spiritualist nun of the early Middle Ages, said this of mint: “Like salt, when used sparingly, it tempers foods…[M]int, added to meat, fish or any other food, gives it a better taste and is a good condiment; it warms the stomach and ensures good digestion.”
I reckon that this is true, and by adding somesweetness and mild vinegar, you can get away with using it more than sparingly.
St Hildegard (1098-1179) depicted having a nice sit down
Griggers emphasizes that this sauce must be made with freshly boiled water and wine vinegar, not malt as it is far too harsh. We always used malt vinegar in our house when ‘diluting’ the thick sauce that came out of a jar. Let’s see how the proper stuff tastes like…
Chop up enough mint leaves to fill a measuring jug to the quarter-litre mark. Add three tablespoons of boiling water, stir and let the mint infuse into the water. When it is just warm, stir in three level teaspoons of sugar and four tablespoons of wine vinegar (any kind, though I went with red, as that’s all there was!). Stir to dissolve the sugar and add more sugar of vinegar if you like. I found the amounts given to be right on the button, myself.
#306 Mint Sauce. Excellent, excellent excellent! Sweet, sour and wonderfully aromatic. I am never, ever going to buy mint sauce again. Go and make some. 10/10