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What is the correct sauce to accompany meat?

Most meats seem to have a sauce that traditionally goes with them. For instance; Chicken and bread sauce. Beef and horseraddish sauce. Pork and apple sauce.
What about lamb or mutton? I was always told that mint sauce went with mutton and and onion sauce went with lamb.
My understanding is that fatty meats would generally have and acidic sauce to go with them. Hence apple and pork and, perhaps, orange and duck,
Mutton can be fatty and mint sauce is acidic.
Mutton is quite a rarity these days and mint sauce is popular so perhaps that is why the corruption has crept in and all today will say Mint sauce goes with Lamb.
What do you think?

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  1. First, welcome to Chowhound.

    Do you live in England perhaps? Certainly in the US, there's not a sauce expectation at all with meat and poultry. And when a dish has a sauce it's not as arbitrary as what you describe. As for lamb, I never fix mint sauce. Just one example.

    Keep posting, ok?

      1. re: monavano

        It's a sauce made from milk, cream, breadcrumbs and seasoning, big in the UK:


        In my mind a good piece of meat needs no sauce or even seasonings outside of some salt.

      2. I like a herbed butter sauce with lamb or steak.

        1. A glass of good wine is the perfect sauce.

          1 Reply
          1. re: taiwanesesmalleats

            For the brain, perhaps (mmm, brains sauteed in wine sauce!)

            As for me, I think the perfect sauce for beef is Bearnaise. No wait, make that horseradish. No, green peppercorn cream sauce! Or do I prefer mushroom sauce?

            The answer: yes. All of the above, depending on my mood.

          2. I know that lamb "calls for" mint sauce, but that didn't sound appealing to me. So my first time making lamb I decided to make some apricot sauce (by reconstituting dried apricots with water in a saucepan and then pureeing them). It went really well with the lamb.

            1. There's no specifics as to what meat goes with what sauce, just pick what tastes good to you. Generally you're looking for balance and contrast between the meat and the sauce, so which one you choose will vary depending on the preparation of the meat and the outcome you want. A slightly reduced stock enriched with butter, shallots, and perhaps some herbs is always a great safe bet for any meat.

              1. Thanks for your welcome!
                Am I correct in saying that most of you respondants are from the US?
                I am Brtitish and in the UK there are traditions regarding what sauce goes with what meat, particularly when it comes to the "Sunday Roast". However, all the other possibilities are fine and very tasty and are used; but are not traditional! Generally in England, meat is not eaten in great lumps, as with grilled beef steak, but is roasted and carved into thin slices and served with one of the sauces mentioned.
                Bread sauce tastes particularly good with roast chicken. The sauce is made by steeping milk with onion and cloves and then thickening with white breadcrumbs.

                3 Replies
                1. re: frenzid

                  Yes, most of us out here are in the US, though there are a fair number of British chowhounds and a smattering of people in other parts of the world, both locals and US expats. And those of us who are in the States tend to be more widely traveled than your typical American - adventurous in food, adventurous in life!

                  1. re: BobB

                    Don't forget our Canadian friends. Lots of those.

                    1. re: Plano Rose

                      My son lives in Toronto, don't know how I could have done that. Sorry, eh?

                2. When saucing I like gravy with chicken, Bordelaise with beef, Dijon/vermouth/sage pan sauce with pork and lamb simply accompanied by its own jus.

                  Personally I think chicken and pork benefit greatly from a sauce while I prefer steak and lamb without.