So you’ve bought this amazing, incredibly expensive free range, organic piece of lamb. You’ve slow roasted it for hours until it’s just so ridiculously soft and moist that it’s practically falling from the bone. The accompanying roast potatoes are crispy, the vegetables perfect. Your guests are sitting at the table waiting. The expectation is high, but you’re feeling pretty smug. You bring out the lamb joint on a platter, to ‘ooohs’ ‘ahhhhs’ and gasps of appreciation. The beautiful meat enveloped in an invisible wafting cloud of sweet, mouth watering, lambness, silently cloaking your guests in it’s warmth. You carve and serve, savouring this moment. You are amazing. You are ‘The Daddy’…
That’s the sound of your guests, in unison, involuntarily projectile vomiting your beautiful Sunday lamb roast out onto your face, the walls, the table and each other in utter disgust. You look around the table, confused. They’re angry, there’s swearing and pointing, people are getting up and leaving. Your best friend gestures at you angrily as if shaking a handful of coffee beans. You don’t think he wants coffee.
And then slowly, it dawns on you. The awful cheap arse ready-made supermarket mint sauce accompanying your lamb. What a complete and utter fool you’ve been. It all could have been so different if you’d made it yourself.
Cheer up. I'm going to tell you how to ensure that this sorry, entirely realistic scene never happens to you.
But first, a bit of back-story.
In March this year, I ate at The Sportsman in Seasalter, Kent. Accompanying my lamb cutlet was the best mint sauce I’ve ever tasted. So amazing was it that both ‘E’ and myself sat there, awestruck for a full 5 minutes. Tasting, analyzing and debating just why the hell it tasted so good.
We’ve subsequently served lamb at our ‘Basement’ supper club a few times, and tried to recreate The Sportsman’s mint sauce each time. We think we’ve almost cracked it.
This simple recipe comes in two parts. A base mint sauce, and then a basic stock syrup made using Demerara sugar to sweeten it.
Makes 150ml (Easily enough for 6-8 people)
You’ll Need: -
(Base mint sauce)
150ml malt vinegar
Bunch of fresh mint
2 heaped tablespoons Demerara sugar
Equal quantities of Demerara sugar and water, 200ml of each should do it.
More fresh mint, finely chopped.
For the base mint sauce, there’s no need to pick or chop the mint, put it in a saucepan and pour over the vinegar. Add the sugar and bring to the boil, cook for a few minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Leave to cool. The mint sprig can be left in. This can be kept in a sealed jar, in the fridge pretty much indefinitely.
Make the stock syrup by bringing the sugar and water to the boil for around 2 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved and it becomes syrupy. You can use this straight away or keep in the fridge for up to 2-3 weeks.
To serve, strain a small pot or jug full of the base mint sauce into a small serving jug. Add a good handful of finely chopped mint and stir well. Add a generous amount of stock syrup, stir and taste. Too sharp? Add more and keep on adding small amounts until it’s exactly how you want it. The Demerara stock syrup adds a caramel note that really makes this mint sauce taste superb.
Finally, serve with your lamb and receive the adulation you so richly deserve.