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To Roast Lamb


The best way of cooking lamb is to roast it; when drest otherwise it is insipid, and not so good as mutton. A hind-quarter of eight pounds will be done in about two hours; a fore-quarter of ten pounds, in two hours and a half; a leg of five pounds will take from an hour and a quarter to an hour and a half; a loin about an hour and a half. Lamb, like veal and pork, is not eatable unless thoroughly done; no one preferring it rare, as is frequently the case with beef and mutton.

Wash the meat, wipe it dry, spit it, and cover the fat with paper. Place it before a clear brisk fire. Baste it at first with a little salt and water, and then with its own drippings. Remove the paper when the meat is nearly done, and dredge the lamb with a little flour. Afterwards baste it with butter. Do not take it off the spit till you see it drop white gravy.

Prepare some mint sauce by stripping from the stalks the leaves of young green mint, mincing them very fine, and mixing them with vinegar and sugar. There must be just sufficient vinegar to moisten the mint, but not enough to make the sauce liquid. Send it to table in a boat, and the gravy in another boat. Garnish with sliced lemon.

In carving a quarter of lamb, separate the shoulder from the breast, or the leg from the ribs, sprinkle a little salt and pepper, and squeeze on some lemon juice.

It should be accompanied by asparagus, green peas, and lettuce.


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Directions for Cookery, in its Various Branches (1840).

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