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Mutton should be hung for some days before being used. The leg may be either boiled or roasted; the saddle always roasted; the shoulder boned, stuffed and roasted; the chops broiled, and the neck stewed. Except where it is stewed, mutton should be cooked rare. Mrs. Brugiere recommends pounding the leg of mutton before cooking it. The roasted leg or the saddle are the only forms of mutton permissible to serve at a ceremonious dinner. The strong taste of mutton is in the fat. Therefore trim off a part of the fat from the outside, and when baking it in the oven set the joint on a rack in the pan, so it will not cook in the fat.

Certain vegetables have by experience been found to go well with certain meats. Of these turnips have been established as the accompaniment of mutton. This has been amusingly emphasized by an anecdote told of Charles Lamb. On an occasion when riding in a stage coach, he was much annoyed by a Scotch farmer, who was a fellow passenger, asking him questions about the crops. "And pray, sir," asked the farmer, "how are turnips t' year?" "Why," stammered Lamb, "that will depend upon the boiled legs of mutton."

Turnips and carrots cut into dice, boiled separately, then mixed and covered with white sauce, also make a good vegetable dish for boiled mutton. Caper sauce is always served with it.

Another anecdote is given as a suggestion for an expedient in case the mutton is too underdone (boiled mutton should be red, but not black). An English nobleman, on being shown a Dutch picture representing a man in a passion with his wife because the mutton was underdone, exclaimed, "What a fool the fellow is not to see that he may have a capital broil."

With roasted mutton may be served baked turnips stuffed with seasoned bread-crumbs soaked in cream. It is a Russian dish. Bananas cut in two, rolled in egg and crumbs, and fried like croquettes, are also recommended for roast mutton. Mint sauce and green peas are usually served with spring lamb.


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The Century Cook Book (1901).

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