English Mint Sauce
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
1 cup malt vinegar
2 tablespoons white sugar
small bottles for storage
Rinse young, healthy mint leaves, strip from the stems, and chop into fine pieces. I usually process most of the leaves in the blender, with a little of the vinegar, leaving some aside to chop by hand. The leaves chopped in the blender will be very fine, and infuse a fine flavor, while those done by hand are a little coarser and will be more visible in the decorative vinegar jar.
Bring vinegar to a simmer in a small saucepan, add sugar and chopped leaves. Simmer for about 20 minutes to infuse.
Choose an appropriate glass jar to store the sauce. Wash containers thoroughly, then sterilize by immersing the jars in a pan of hot water and simmering for 10 minutes. Once jars are sterilized, remove from the simmering water and invert on paper towel to dry. Fill while the jars are still warm and seal tightly. If using corks and you intend to store the vinegar for an extended time, seal the corks by dipping in paraffin; if using a screw top, place a small square of waxed paper on top of the jar before screwing the lid on tight.
Vinegar has natural preservative qualities, and mint sauce should keep for 2 to 3 months in cold storage or for 6 to 8 months in the refrigerator.
You'll find that the mint settles to the bottom of the jar, so the mint sauce should be gently shaken or stirred before serving. Mint sauce can be served over lamb or pork or can be used to add a bit of flavor to peas or new potatoes.