The cookery processes applied in preparing mutton and lamb for the table do not differ materially from those applied in the preparation of other meats. However, directions for cooking mutton and lamb in the most practical ways are here given, so that the housewife may become thoroughly familiar with the procedure in preparing roasts, chops, and stews.
Roast Leg of Mutton or Lamb.–Of all the principal cuts of mutton or lamb, the leg contains the smallest percentage of waste. It is, therefore, especially suitable for roasting and is generally used for this purpose. In order to make the leg smaller, a slice resembling a round steak of beef is sometimes cut for broiling, as here shown. If desired, the leg may be boned and then stuffed before roasting. Since these meats are characterized by a very marked flavor, something tart or acid is generally served with them.
To roast a leg of lamb or mutton, remove the caul, the pink skin, and the superfluous fat. Dredge the leg with flour, salt, and pepper, set in a roasting pan, and place in a hot oven. After the meat has cooked for 15 minutes, lower the temperature, and bake for 2 hours. Baste frequently with water to which has been added a small amount of bacon or ham fat and which should be put in the pan with the meat. Serve hot with something acid, such as mint sauce, currant or mint jelly, or spiced fruit.
A mint sauce that will be found satisfactory for this purpose is made as follows:
2 Tb. powdered sugar 1/2 c. vinegar 1/4 c. finely chopped mint leaves, or 2 Tb. dried mint
Add the sugar to the vinegar and heat. Pour this over the mint and steep on the back of the stove for 30 minutes.
Roast Saddle of Mutton.–While saddle is the name applied to the hind quarters of lamb and mutton, this term, as used in the cooking of such meat, refers to the piece that consists of the two sides of the loin cut off in one piece. It may be cut with or without the flank. In either form, it is rolled and then skewered or tied into shape.
To roast such a piece, remove all superfluous fat, dredge with flour, salt, and pepper, place in a pan, and sear in a hot oven. Then reduce the heat, place a small quantity of water in the pan, and bake for 2-1/2 to 3 hours, basting from time to time during this cooking process. Serve with or without mint sauce, as desired.
Crown Roast of Lamb.–A very attractive roast is made by cutting the same number of corresponding ribs from each side of the lamb and trimming back the meat from the end of each rib and paper frills placed on the ends of the bones. Such frills are usually added by the butcher, but they may be purchased in supply stores and put on in the home.
To prepare a roast of this kind, cook in the same way as a roast leg or saddle. When it is sufficiently baked, fill the center with a cooked and seasoned vegetable. Brussels sprouts, peas, string beans, asparagus, and cauliflower are especially suitable for this purpose. Just before serving, cover the ends of the bones with paper frills.