To continue with the theme of mint…
Whilst I was picking the mint for the Shropshire Mint Cakes I picked enough to make a jar of concentrated mint sauce to make sure that we have some for our roast lamb this winter. Mary Berry, the source of this recipe, (although I have also found it in one of my Shropshire recipe books), suggests that you make this concentrate in June just before the mint flowers. I never make it then, as winter seems so very far away and I always think about it but never get round to it. But actually the mint in my garden flowers in June and then rejuvenates itself and flowers again in September and this year is still growing new shoots even now.
This mint sauce is made with the tender and strongly scented new tips. I managed to pick 50g, which is a fair amount of mint in a bowl. But as you only need a teaspoon or so each time you make mint sauce, this will last me through the winter roasts until the new mint comes through next spring. If you have plenty then double up and make a jar for a friend. It will definitely be appreciated.
To use the concentrate in the winter. Take a heaped teaspoon of the concentrate and mix in a bowl with a slosh of vinegar and it’s ready to douse your lamb.
50g mint sprigs
100ml vinegar (Mary Berry suggests distilled vinegar but I use white wine vinegar)
75g granulated sugar
Wash a jar and its lid well in soapy water, rinse in clean hot water and place in a low oven for 15 minutes to sterilise.
Place the vinegar and sugar in a pan and bring slowly to the boil (this will allow the sugar to dissolve before boiling point is reached). Now you can either chop the mint leaves using a knife and then add to the hot vinegar or you can put the leaves in a food processor and add half the vinegar and pulse until finely chopped, then add to the rest of the vinegar (be careful with the hot vinegar). Pour into the warm sterile jar and seal immediately.