Sweet, tangy, fresh-tasting and simple to prepare. This homemade mint sauce makes a great accompaniment for roast lamb!
Roast lamb just wouldn't be the same without mint sauce. Fresh and tangy it really adds an extra layer of flavour to that roast dinner.
Mint sauce as an accompaniment to lamb is a very British thing. We do have mint jelly too, but mint sauce is way more popular.
Lamb used to be a lot more fatty than it is nowadays, and the sharp taste of the mint and vinegar helped to cut through that fattiness.
Lamb is a lot more lean these days, but it is still one of the fattier roasting joints, and even though lamb is a very flavourful meat, the mint sauce does a fantastic job of complimenting those flavours.
It's really quick to prepare with just a few simple ingredients.
What do we need?
- Mint leaves - you can use ready-cut leaves from the supermarket, or grow pick them yourself. You'll need more than you think, as the leaves wilt down a lot.
- Vinegar - I always use malt vinegar for mint sauce as it's got a milder, sweet taste. However you can use white wine or cider vinegar if you prefer.
- Sugar - go for a fine sugar so it will dissolve easily in the vinegar.
Steps to prepare mint sauce
Full ingredients and recipe in the recipe card below
- Strip the mint leaves off the stalks and finely chop the leaves using a sharp knife.
Steep the leaves in a little boiling water for a few minutes, then drain.
- Add malt vinegar and sugar to a small bowl, stir together to dissolve the sugar, then add in the mint.
- Add a pinch of salt and stir together, then let it sit for 20 minutes or so – to allow the flavour to develop. Then serve.
Why do I need to steep the mint leaves in water?
This helps to release the flavour and scent of the mint leaves, whilst also softening them, so you're not having to chew your way through the mint sauce.
Why not chop the mint in a blender?
It's very easy to over-chop the leaves in a blender - and you'll end up with a pile of mint mush. You've got much more control with a knife. It only takes a couple of minutes to chop them finely enough for the sauce.
Watch how to make it:
Homemade Mint Sauce
- 1 large bunch of fresh mint - (about 30g/1oz or a packed cup or leaves)
- 1 cup (240ml) boiling water
- 2 tsp sugar - (caster/superfine is best)
- 2 tbsp malt vinegar
- 1 pinch of salt
- Finely chop the mint leaves, discarding the stalks.
- Place in a bowl and cover with the boiling water. Leave to steep for a few minutes, then drain over a sieve.
- Give the leaves a rinse with cold water whilst still in the sieve (to stop the cooking process) and place in a small serving bowl with the sugar, vinegar and salt.
- Stir together and leave for 20-30 minutes – to allow the flavour to develop. Then serve.
Can I make it ahead?Yes, you can ahead (store in a covered jar in the refrigerator)- BUT - the mint will lose its vibrancy. The vibrant colour of the mint only lasts an hour or two after mixing with the vinegar. At this point the mint becomes a duller green - more associated with shop-bought sauces.
I usually make mine a couple of hours ahead as the flavour develop more if left longer.
How long will it last in the fridge?I usually cover mine and keep in the fridge for 2-3 days, but it can keep for 2-3 months so long as the leaves are covered in the liquid and the sauce is stored in a sterilised, sealed jar in the fridge.
Nutritional information is per serving (this recipe serves 4).
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