I was thinking about ways to incorporate the mint sauce effect into lamb dishes but avoiding actual mint sauce, which tends to kill off the taste of any wine you happen to drink with the lamb.
I thought about how mint sauce is made, basically chopped mint, vinegar and sugar. I wondered about how best to tone down the vinegar and decided to try balsamic vinegar, which works well in marinades. I’d done a balsamic steak dish a while ago and thought that this would be a good idea to try.
So, I chopped up some mint and mixed it into some balsamic vinegar, half a teaspoonful of sugar, salt and pepper and a glug of olive oil.
This smelt good and tasted pretty nice too, almost so good that I think I might use this as mint sauce in the future. However, I wanted to cook with it and try and glaze the lamb I was planning for dinner.
I had some lamb loin chops, about an inch thick, which I marinated in the minty balsamic mixture for a couple of hours before grilling them for about three minutes or so on each side. This left the insides pink, but with a lovely caramelised outside.
I decided to serve the chops with new potatoes, spinach and glazed carrots, giving the minted balsamic lamb a chance to shine.
We drank red Rioja with this meal, a 2008 Reserva, Baron De Lay.from The Co op. Rioja works well with lamb.