Sunday, June 09, 2013

Caper Sauce

We were eating slow-cooked roast mutton with a quantity of caper sauce (boiled is probably a more usual method of cooking mutton with caper sauce), when our guests remarked on the deliciousness of this traditional combination. It was not the timing of the slow cooking that they wanted to know about, but the recipe for the sauce. 
Make lots of sauce when you are about it, as it may be heated up again in a double boiler for cold mutton, and also used for making an excellent soup and other dishes
Capers generally seem to be sold in rather expensive small glass jars. But from an Asian-run grocery shop they are obtainable in larger jars and at a reasonable price.
And being generous with capers is part of the sauce’s success.


You will need:
Stock cube
Plain flour
Pepper and salt
Dijon mustard

I seldom measure anything when cooking. But to give an indication for making the white sauce, melt a heaped dessertspoon of butter in a saucepan, adding a stock cube, 2 heaped dessertspoons of flour, pepper and salt. Mix these ingredients together with a whisk.
Add a pint of cold milk, whisking all the time, adding a little Dijon mustard as you do so.
When the sauce thickens and begins to bubble, note its consistency. It might need the addition of a little cold water or milk to thin it.
Now add 3 dessertspoons of capers and a little of their liquid. Heat it all through.
The sauce may be kept hot in a double boiler – or in a basin above just boiling water.
Use the hot sauce again for when you serve cold, sliced mutton.
Mashed potato goes well with this “Olde English” dish.

For caper soup, simply add more milk and water and another stock cube or two.
The sauce also goes well with slow-cooked cockerel, or boiled or roast chicken.
Add chopped hard-boiled eggs as a sauce for steamed fish.
I have also used the sauce successfully by coating barely-cooked thin slices of beef with it and then baking the result in the oven.