Lamb meat and mint are a much-loved combination.
This flavor contrast works so well that mint sauce and lamb meat have become a common Easter pairing.
Mint sauce is a green colored condiment that could easily be made from mint leaves and a few other ingredients, however, mint is often available as a jelly.
The mint sauce and mint jelly can be used interchangeably, however there are a few things that set them apart.
In this post we explore the differences between mint sauce and mint jelly.
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Mint sauce vs. mint jelly
Mint sauce and mint jelly are similar when it comes to flavor, and they contain almost the same ingredients with the exception of pectin.
Pectin gives the mint jelly its semi-solid consistency while mint sauce is runny.
Apart from this, the flecks of mint are often visible in the mint sauce, but they are usually strained in when making mint jelly.
A jar of mint sauce or Jelly can be gotten from the store they can also be made at home.
What is mint sauce
Mint sauce is a green sauce prepared from the leaves of spearmint plant (Mentha spicata)
This condiment is a classic in the United Kingdom. The sauce is typically served with roast lamb but can also be paired with other meats as well.
Mint sauce can easily be made at home from three simple ingredients; mint leaves, sugar and vinegar. The sauce is also readily available in the grocery stores especially in the UK.
The mint sauce could be used in different ways. The freshness of mint goes well with lamb meat and it could be used as a marinade for lamb.
Apart from being used as seasoning for lamb meat, mint sauce could also be used for other meats including roasted poultry or beef.
Sometimes spicy ingredients could be added to the mint sauce to make dips.
The leaves and stems of the mint plant could also be used to make mint jelly.
Crushed mint leaves are heated together with water and vinegar in a pot until the water reaches a boil.
This helps release the mint flavor. Then the mixture is strained to remove bits of the stem and leaves to give a clear fluid.
Some sugar can also be added for a sweeter tasting jelly, and pectin is used to set the jelly.
Mint jelly is produced commercially, packaged in jars and sold in grocery stores. This condiment can easily be made at home as well.
You can also make mint jelly from mint sauce, all you need Is to strain the sauce and add some powdered pectin.
What is pectin?
Pectin is a starch that is used to make jams and jellies.
Although naturally occurring in fruits and vegetables, pectin is also produced commercially and can be bought from the grocery store.
There are different types of commercially available pectin, and it can be found in powdered or liquid form.
When used, pectin function as a thickener. It helps give jellies and jam their thick semi solid consistency.
Roast lamb is an Easter staple, and for this dish, the perfect accompaniment is often a minty condiment.
Mint grows very well during spring, and serving mint sauce with lamb is a spring time tradition.
This sauce is easier to make if you have mint in your garden, all you need is some vinegar and small amount of sugar.
Making this sauce by yourself helps you to control the proportions of the different ingredients you may want to add into the mint sauce, and also the overall flavor profile of the condiment.
Green food coloring could also be added to mint jelly for a bright green color.