Last night I did a trip to the supermarket and, among other things, bought some lamb neck fillets. This evening, I was looking for inspiration on what to do with them and found it in the form of a vinegar sauce from Nigel Slater’s book Appetite (a trusty favourite on my culinary shelf).
I played fairly fast and loose with his notes, seasoning my lamb with rosemary, garlic and lemon (hat tip to Nigella Lawson for bringing that to mind, although it is not a particularly unusual combination). The meat got cooked in a frying pan until well-seared outside but with some give to show it still had a bit of life in it. Once the meat had been removed to pre-warmed plates, I poured in a good glug or two of wine vinegar (Nigel used sherry vinegar but I don’t have that in my cupboard) and mixed in the juices. The smell was pungent but I pressed on, letting it reduce then dropping in a pat of butter (goats butter in this case) and seasoning with salt and pepper.
Before adding it to the plate, I did take the precaution of tasting it but it had transformed from overly vinegary into a velvety sauce, piquant enough to have character without being overpowering. Along with the accompanying veg (steamed kale and also diced potatoes roasted with leaf beet, all from our own garden) it was a delicious meal.
I have had my bottles of wine and cider vinegar for quite a long time but I think they might go down more quickly now I have discovered this way of making a sauce.