I do like a bit of tradition at Easter so on Sunday I shall be having a slow cooked shoulder of lamb with roasted potatoes and spring vegetables. There is also no question that I will be pairing my roast lamb with a very English mint sauce, however I had always been a little disappointed with my homemade efforts and have been buying it in for the past few years.
The recipes I had found placed too much emphasis on just the mint and the vinegar which always seemed to be too watery and pungent. Although I have found success with mint jellies I sometimes find them a bit too sweet for this exact meal. Mint jelly is infinitely better run through steamed new potatoes with a bit of butter on another day. For lunch on Sunday you do need the acidity of the vinegar to cut through the rich unctuous lamb.
So I have turned my back a little on the sauce and jellies and instead gone down the relish route for this recipe. The result is a honeyed but vinegary finish bolstered by bramley apples and shallots for good texture and given more strength of flavour by the inclusion of mustard and coriander seeds.
The relish has lost none of its required piquancy however. It is fresh with the buoyancy of mint and quick to make alongside your roast lamb. Actually I could also quite happily see this also accompanying pork belly for lunch next Sunday as well.
Mint and Apple Relish
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
½ teaspoon coriander seeds
3 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
150ml white wine or cider vinegar
75g caster sugar
1 tablespoon honey
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 bramley apple, peeled, cored and diced
100g fresh mint, finely chopped
- Crush the mustard and coriander seeds in a pestle and mortar until fine.
- Place the seeds and shallots in a medium sized saucepan with the vinegar, bring to a gentle simmer for 5 minutes.
- Pour in the sugar, honey and salt and stir for a couple of minutes until dissolved.
- Mix in the apple then place the lid on and cook gently for 8-10 minutes until the apple has just softened but not broken down.
- Turn off the heat then add the mint, stirring until well combined.
- Serve warm or cooled.
- The relish will keep in the fridge for a week or two.