The pieces mostly used for roasting are the hind-quarter of the sheep, called the loin and leg, the fore-quarter, the shoulder, also the chine or saddle, which is the two loins together. Every part should be trimmed off that cannot be eaten; then wash well and dry with a clean cloth; lay it in your dripping-pan and put in a little water to baste it with at first; then afterward with its own gravy. Allow, in roasting, about twelve minutes to the pound; that is, if your fire is strong, which it should be. It should not be salted at first, as that tends to harden it, and draws out too much of the blood or juices; but salt soon after it begins to roast well. If there is danger of its browning too fast, cover it with a sheet of white paper. Baste it often, and about a quarter of an hour before you think it will be done dredge the meat very lightly with flour and baste it with butter. Skim the gravy well and thicken very slightly with brown flour. Serve with currant jelly or other tart sauce.
BONED LEG OF MUTTON ROASTED.
Take the bone out of a small leg of mutton, without spoiling the skin if possible, then cut off most of the fat. Fill the hole whence the bone was taken with a stuffing made the same as for fowls, adding to it part of an onion finely minced. Sew the leg up underneath to prevent the dressing or stuffing from falling out. Bind and tie it up compactly; put it in a roasting pan, turn in a cup of hot water and place it in a moderately hot oven, basting it occasionally. When partly cooked season with salt and pepper. When thoroughly cooked, remove and place the leg on a warm platter; skim the grease from the top of the drippings, add a cup of water and thicken with a spoonful of dissolved flour. Send the gravy to the table in a gravy dish, also a dish of currant jelly.
BOILED LEG OF MUTTON.
To prepare a leg of mutton for boiling, wash it clean, cut a small piece off the shank bone, and trim the knuckle. Put it into a pot with water enough to cover it, and boil gently from two to three hours, skimming well. Then take it from the fire, and keeping the pot well covered, let it finish by remaining in the steam for ten or fifteen minutes. Serve it up with a sauce boat of melted butter, into which a teacupful of capers or nasturtiums have been stirred. If the broth is to be used for soup, put in a little salt while boiling; if not, salt it well when partly done, and boil the meat in a cloth.
BRAISED LEG OF MUTTON.
This recipe can be varied either by preparing the leg with a stuffing, placed in the cavity after having the bone removed, or cooking it without. Having lined the bottom of a thick iron kettle or stewpan with a few thin slices of bacon, put over the bacon four carrots, three onions, a bunch of savory herbs; then over these place the leg of mutton. Cover the whole with a few more slices of bacon, then pour over half a pint of water. Cover with a tight cover and stew very gently for four hours, basting the leg occasionally with its own liquor, and seasoning it with salt and pepper as soon as it begins to be tender. When cooked strain the gravy, thicken with a spoonful of flour (it should be quite brown), pour some of it over the meat and send the remainder to the table in a tureen, to be served with the mutton when carved. Garnish the dish around the leg with potatoes cut in the shape of olives and fried a light brown in butter.
LEG OF MUTTON Á LA VENISON.
Remove all the rough fat from the mutton and lay it in a deep earthen dish; rub into it thoroughly the following: One tablespoonful of salt, one each of celery-salt, brown sugar, black pepper, English mustard, allspice, and some sweet herbs, all powdered and mixed; after which pour over it slowly a teacup of good vinegar, cover tightly, and set in a cool place four or five days, turning it and basting often with the liquid each day. To cook, put in a kettle a quart of boiling water, place over it an inverted shallow pan, and on it lay the meat just as removed from the pickle; cover the kettle tightly and stew for four hours. Do not lat the water touch the meat. Add a cup of hot water to the pickle remaining and baste with it. When done, thicken the liquid with flour and strain through a fine sieve, to serve with the meat; also a relish of currant jelly, the dame as for venison.
This is a fine dish when the directions are faithfully followed.
STEAMED LEG OF MUTTON.
Wash and put the leg in a steamer and cook it until tender, then place in a roasting pan, salt and dredge well with flour and set it in a hot oven until nicely browned; the water that remains in the bottom of the steamer may be used for soup. Serve with currant jelly.
Cut into small pieces the lean of some cold mutton that has been underdone, and season it with pepper and salt. Take the bones and other trimmings, put them in a sauce-pan with as much water as will cover them, and some sliced onions, and let them stew till you have drawn from them a good gravy. Having skimmed it well, strain the gravy into a stew-pan, and put the mutton into it. Have ready-boiled some carrots, turnips, potatoes and onions. Slice them and add to the meat and gravy. Set the pan on the fire and let it simmer till the meat is warmed through, but do not allow it to boil, as it has been once cooked already. Cover the bottom of the dish with slices of buttered toast. Lay the meat and vegetables upon it, and pour over them the gravy.
Tomatoes will be found an improvement.
If green peas or Lima beans are in season, you may boil them and put them to the hashed mutton, leaving out the other vegetables, or serving them up separately.
BROILED MUTTON CHOPS.
Loin of mutton, pepper and salt, a small piece of butter. Cut the chops from a tenderloin of mutton, remove a portion of the fat, and trim them into a nice shape; slightly beat and level them; place the gridiron over a bright clear fire, rub the bars with a little fat, and lay on the chops. While broiling frequently turn them, and in about eight minutes they will be done. Season with pepper and salt, dish them on a very hot dish, rub a small piece of butter on each chop, and serve very hot and expeditiously. Nice with tomato sauce poured over them.
FRIED MUTTON CHOPS. NO. 1.
Put in a frying-pan a tablespoonful of cold lard and butter mixed; have some fine mutton chops without much fat; trim off the skin. Dip into wheat flour, or rolled cracker, and beaten egg, then lay them into the hot grease, sprinkle with salt and pepper, fry on both sides a fine brown. When dine, take them up and place on a hot dish. If you wish a made gravy, turn off the superfluous grease, if any. stir into the hot gravy remaining a heaping spoonful of cold water or milk; season with pepper and salt, let it boil up thick. You can serve it in a separate dish or pour it over the chops. Tomato sauce is considered fine, turned over a dish of hot fried or broiled chops.
FRIED MUTTON CHOPS. NO. 2.
Prepare the chops by trimming off all extra fat and skin, season them with salt and pepper; dip each chop in beaten egg, then in rolled cracker or bread-crumbs; dip again in the egg and crumbs, and so on until they are well coated with the crumb. Have ready a deep spider containing a pound or more of lard, hot enough to fry crullers. Drop into this hot lard the chops, frying only a few at a time, as too many cool the fat. Fry them brown, and serve them up hot and dry, on a warm platter.
MUTTON CUTLETS. (Baked.)
Prepare them the same as for frying, lay them in a dripping-pan with a very little water at the bottom. Bake quickly, and baste often with butter and water. Make a little brown gravy and turn over them when they are served.
BAKED MUTTON CHOPS AND POTATOES.
Wash and peel some good potatoes and cut them into slices the thickness of a penny-piece. The quantity of potatoes must, of course, be decided according to the number of persons to whom they have to be served; but it is a safe plan to allow two, or even three, potatoes for each person. After the potatoes are sliced, wash them in two or three waters to thoroughly cleanse them, then arrange them neatly (in layers) in a brown stone dish proper for baking purposes. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper between each layer, and add a sufficient quantity of cold water to prevent their burning. Place the dish in a very hot oven—oil the top shelf—so as to brown the potatoes in a few minutes. Have ready some nice loin chops (say one—for each person); trim off most of the fat; make them into a neat round shape by putting a small skewer through each. When the potatoes are nicely browned, remove the dish from the oven, and place the chops on the top. Add a little more salt and pepper, and water if required, and return the dish to a cooler part of the oven, where it may be allowed to remain until sufficiently cooked, which will be in about three-quarters of an hour. When the upper sides of the chops are a nice crisp brown, turn them over so as to brown the other side also. If, in the cooking, the potatoes appear to be getting too dry, a little more water may be gently poured in at one corner of the dish, only care must be taken to see that the water is hot this time—not cold as at first. The dish in which the chops and potatoes are baked must be as neat looking as possible, as it has to be sent to the table; turning the potatoes out would, of course, spoil their appearance. Those who have never tasted this dish have no idea how delightful it is. While the chops are baking the gravy drips from them among the potatoes, rendering the whole most delicious.
Cut from a leg of mutton slices about half an inch thick. On each slice lay a spoonful of stuffing made with bread crumbs, beaten egg, butter, salt, pepper, sage and summer savory. Roll up the slices, pinning with little skewers or small wooden toothpicks to keep the dressing in. Put a little butter and water in a baking-pan with the muttonettes, and cook in hot oven three-quarters of an hour. Baste often, and when done thicken the gravy, pour over the meat, garnish with parsley, and serve on hot platter.
Time about two hours. Two and a half pounds of chops, eight potatoes, four turnips, four small onions, nearly a quart of water. Take some chops from loin of mutton, place them in stewpan in alternate layers of sliced potatoes and chops; add turnips and onions cut into pieces, pour in nearly a quart of cold water; cover stewpan closely, let it stew gently till vegetables are ready to mash and the greater part of the gravy is absorbed; then place in a dish; serve it up hot.
Line a two-quart pudding basin with some beef suet paste; fill the lining with thick mutton cutlets, slightly trimmed, or, if preferred, with steaks cut from the leg; season with pepper and salt some parsley, a little thyme and two slices of onion chopped fine, and between each layer of meat, put some slices of potatoes. When the pudding is filled, wet the edges of the paste around the top of the basin, and cover with a piece of paste rolled out the size of the basin. Fasten down the edge by bearing all around with the thumb; and then with the thumb and forefinger twist the edges of the paste over so as to give it a corded appearance. This pudding can be set in a steamer and steamed, or boiled. The time required for cooking is about three hours. When done, turn it out carefully on a platter and serve with a rich gravy under it.
This is a very good recipe for cooking small birds.
Two cups of chopped cold mutton, two tablespoonfuls of hot water, and a piece of butter as large as an English walnut. When the meat is hot, break in three eggs, and constantly stir until the eggs begin to stiffen. Season with pepper and salt.
SCALLOPED MUTTON AND TOMATOES.
Over the bottom of an earthen baking-dish place a layer of bread crumbs, and over it alternate layers of cold roast mutton cut in thin slices, and tomatoes peeled and sliced; season each with salt, pepper and bits of butter, as laid in. The top layer should be of tomatoes, spread over with bread crumbs. Bake three-quarters of an hour, and serve immediately.