This old-fashioned Mint Sauce Recipe can be made up in just 5 minutes with a few ingredients – and will transform your lamb roast or potato salad into something beyond wonderful.
Why mint sauce?
Mint Sauce has been a popular condiment in a variety of cuisines for hundreds of years.
In the UK and Australia, it's very well known as an accompaniment to roast lamb. Mint Sauce with lamb is always a winner.
That's because the fresh and tangy flavour of the sauce cuts through the rich and savoury flavour of the lamb.
Food historians suggest that the association between lamb even goes back to "the roast lamb and bitter herbs eaten by the eaten by the Israelites on the eve of their Exodus from Egypt."
There are plenty of other ways to enjoy this sauce, too:
- with any type of grilled meat, including lamb chops, chicken, beef and pork
- drizzled over a fresh summer salad
- sprinkled over roast vegetables for a burst of freshness
- combined with yoghurt to create a dip.
What type of mint?
The best type of mint for this sauce is your common garden mint, known as mint, common mint, spearmint or its scientific name, Mentha spicata.
Anyone who has grown mint before knows it grows well. Sometimes too well.
Gardeners often plant it in a pot to keep it contained. In garden beds, it can run wild.
I love mint, so I'm happy to let mine run a little wild.
And there are so many ways to use mint in both sweet and savoury cooking.
But here, of course, we're making mint sauce.
I've raided the mint patch to make up this classic condiment.
The Recipe for Mint Sauce
Here, I've studied recipes from years ago to find the type of sauce we've been making for decades to serve with lamb, whether it's a roast or lamb chops.
Here are two examples, one from the late 1800s and another from the early 1900s.
Ingredients for Mint Sauce
To make this sauce you'll need mint, white wine vinegar, sugar and boiling water.
But there is a technique to getting it right, so keep scrolling to find out how it all comes together into a sauce that tastes great and retains that vibrant green colour.
How to make Mint Sauce
This sauce quite literally takes 5 minutes to prepare.
Ideally, it does need to stand for at least an hour before serving. So plan ahead to make sure it's hit its flavour potential.
Start by chopping the mint. You want it to be chopped up quite finely.
Once that’s done, place sugar in a mixing bowl and pour boiling water over it. Stir until dissolved.
Add finely chopped mint and vinegar and stir to combine.
Mash the mint a little with the spoon to encourage the release of flavours.
Just wait out the hour if possible and serve.
And you’ll be so pleased you made the small amount of effort required to make Mint Sauce for lamb, potato salad or whatever else you’d like to enjoy with this classic condiment.
Q. Can I use any type of vinegar?
A. You’re best to stick to white wine vinegar.
Q. How far in advance should I make it up?
A. Ideally, make it up a few hours before serving.
Q. How long will it last?
A. Store it in the fridge for up to one week.
Q. What type of mint works best?
A. Common garden mint works well.
Q. Do you have any other recipes for good old fashioned condiments?
- ½ cup fresh mint, leaves finely chopped (about 1 small bunch)
- ¼ cup boiling water
- 1 tablespoon caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- Place sugar in a mixing bowl and pour boiling water over it. Stir until dissolved.
- Add finely chopped mint and vinegar and stir to combine. Mash the mint a little with the spoon to encourage the release of flavours.
- Ideally, allow to stand for one hour (to let the flavour develop) before serving.
- Store in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to one week.