Lamb is not my favorite food of choice. However, it was very common in my husband's household and he loves it. His father said that lamb was served several times a month in his household. This tidbit had me wondering what kinds of ways was lamb served back in the 19th Century. Below you'll find several recipes from Sarah Frost 1883 cookbook.
HOW TO COOK LAMB.
To Roast Lamb.—The hind quarter of lamb usually weighs from seven to ten pounds; this size will take about two hours to roast it. Have a brisk fire. It must be very frequently basted while roasting, and sprinkled with a little salt, and dredged all over with flour, about half an hour before it is done.
Fore Quarter Of Lamb.—A fore quarter of a lamb is cooked the same way, but takes rather less time, if the same weight, than the hiud quarter; because it is a thinner joint; one of nine pounds ought to be allowed two hours.
Leg Of Lamb.—A leg of lamb of four pounds' weight will take about an hour and a quarter; if five pounds, nearly one hour and a half; a shoulder of four pounds will be roasted in an hour, or a very few minutes over.
Ribs Of Lamb.—Ribs of lamb are thin, and require great care to do gently at first, and brisker as it is finishing; sprinkle it with a little salt, and dredge it slightly with flour, about twenty minutes before it is done. It will take an hour or longer, according to thickness.
Garnish And Vegetables For Roast Lamb. —All joints of roast lamb may be garnished with double parsley, and served up with cither asparagus and new potatoes, spring spinach and new potatoes, green peas and new potatoes, or with cauliflowers or French beans and potatoes; and never forget to send up mint sauce. The following will be found an excellent receipt for mint sauce: With three heaped tablespoonfuls of finely-chopped young mint, mix two of pounded and sifted sugar, and six of the best vinegar; stir it until the sugar is dissolved.
To Stew A Breast Of Lamb.—Cut it into pieces, season them with pepper and salt, and stew them in weak gravy; when tender, thicken the sauce, and add a glass of white wine. Cucumbers, sliced and stewed in gravy, may be served with the lamb, the same being poured over it. Or, the lamb may be served in a dish of stewed mushrooms.
To Boil A Neck Or Breast Of Lamb.—These are small, delicate joints, and therefore suited only for a very small family. The neck must be washed in warm water, and all the blood carefully cleaned away. Either of these joints should be put into cold water, well skimmed, and very gently boiled till done. Half an hour will be about sufficient for either of them, reckoning from the time they come to a boil.
Lamb Chops.—Take a loin of lamb, cut chops from it half an inch thick, retaining the kidney in its place; dip them into egg and bread crumbs, fry and serve with fried parsley. When chops are made from a breast of lamb, the red bone at the edge of the breast should be cut off, and the breast parboiled in water or broth, with a sliced carrot and two or three onions, before it is divided into cutlets, which is done by cutting between every second or third bone, and preparing them, in every respect, as the last. If house-lamb steaks arc to be done white—stew them in milk and water till very tender, with a bit of lemon-peel, a little salt, some pcpi>er and mace. Have ready some veal gravy, and put the steaks into it; mix some mashroompowdcr, a cup of cream, and the least bit of flour; shake the steaks in this liquor, stir it, and let it get quite hot, but not boil. Just before you take it up, put in a few white mushrooms.
Lamb Cutlets And Spinach.—Eight cutlets, egg and bread crumbs, salt and pepper to taste, a little clarified butter. Take the cutlets from a neck of lamb, and shape them by cutting off the thick part of the chine-bone. Trim off most of the fat and all the skin, and scrape the top part of the bones quite clean. Brush the cutlets over with egg, sprinkle them with bread crumbs, and season with pepper and salt. Now dip them into clarified butter, sprinkle over a few more bread crumbs, and fry them over a sharp fire, turning them when required. Lay them before the fire to drain, and arrange them on a dish with spinach in the centre, which should be previously well boiled, drained, chopped, and seasoned. Peas, asparagus, or beans may be substituted for the spinach.
Loin, Neck, And Breast Of Lamb.—A loin of lamb will be roasted in about an hour and a quarter; a neck in an hour; and a breast in threequarters of an hour. Do not forget to salt and flour these joints about twenty minutes before they are done.
Broiled Lamb Steak.—Broil slowly until quite done, then make a gravy with fresh butter melted by the steak, add a dust of pepper, and a little salt dissolved in a tablespoonful of water; serve with peas, potatoes, and salads.
Leg Of Lamb To Boil.—It must be put into boiling water, then the saucepan (or deep fish-kettle with a drainer is best) drawn back, and the water allowed to simmer gently, reckoning eighteen minutes to each pound; if it boils fast, the meat will be hard and the skin broken. It should be lifted out of the water with the drainer, and no fork be stuck into it; if the scum has settled upon it, wash it off with some of the liquor before sending to table. Parsley and butter are served with this, or delicate caper sauce and young carrots.
Leg Of Lamb To Roast.—All lamb should be very well cooked, and not put too near the fire at first; from eighteen to twenty minutes to the pound before a clear but not fierce heat. It may be served with spinach, peas, or asparagus.
Jsoned Quarter Of Lamb.—Bone a quarter of lamb, taking care not to injure the skin. Make a seasoning in the following manner: Cut three onions and fry them in lard; when these are nearly done, add some parsley, chopped very fine, spice, two spoonfuls of cream, and four eggs. Simmer this mixture over the fire until quite thick, then stuff it into the meat in the spaces left by the bones, roll the meat up and roast it, basting with bread crumbs and butter. Serve with a rich sauce.
Fricassee Of Lamb.—Cut the best part of a breast of lamb into square pieces of two inches each; wash, dry, and flour them. Boil together four ounces of butter, one of fat bacon, some parsley or sweet marjoram for ten minutes, and then add the meat; squeeze in the juice of half a lemon; chop an onion with pepper and salt and throw in. Simmer all for two hours; add the yelks of two eggs well beaten, shake over the fire two minutes, and serve.
Savory Lamb Pie.—Cut the meat into pieces, and season it with finely-beaten pepper, salt, mace, cloves, and nutmeg. Make a good puff-paste, and put the meat into it, adding some lambs' sweetbreads, seasoned in the same manner. Put in some oysters and forcemeat balls, some yelk of egg, and tops of asparagus, boiled green. Put butter all over the pie, and put on the covering paste, and let it bake for an hour and a half in a quick oven. Mix a pint of gravy, the oyster liquor, a gill gf wine, and a little nutmeg, with the yelks of two or three eggs well beaten, and stir it in the same direction all the time. When it boils, take the cover off the pie, pour the mixture into it. Cover again and serve.
Stewed Breast Of Lamb, With Peas Or CuCumbers.—First roast the lamb to a nice brown color. Mix a tablespoonful of flour smoothly in cold water, burn a teaspoonful of sugar in an iron spoon, pour boiling water over it into the flour, mix all smoothly; strain it; add as much boiling water as will barely cover the meat, putting it into a stewpan with the bones upwards, add a blade of mace, and a little salt; let it stew for two.hours, till the meat is very tender and the bones will slip; while the meat is cooking boil some peas, or, in their place, peel some small cucumbers, put them into boiling water, with a little salt and a small piece of butter, and boil for twenty minutes; drain them. When the meat is ready, thicken the gravy if necessary; add a little butter and a tablespoonful of catsup, place the meat on a dish, bones downward, strain the gravy over it. Drain the peas, or cut the cucumbers across in three pieces and place round the meat.
Stewed Leg Of Lamb.—Dredge the joint with flour, and put it in a stewpan with half a pound of butter, some parsley, pepper, and salt. Stew gently for half an hour. Choose some small, sound heads of lettuce and cut in small pieces; put them in a stewpan with a little sorrel, and stew with the mutton for another hour. Dish the joint, and add to the liquor in the stewpan half a pint of water. Boil up, pour over the meat, and serve.
Lamb Sweet-breads.—Blanch them, and put them into cold water. Soak five minutes; put them into a stewpan with a ladleful of broth, some pepper and salt, a small bunch of button onions, and a blade of mace; stir in a piece of butter braided in flour, and stew for half an hour. Have ready the yelks of three eggs well beaten in cream, with a little minced parsley and grated nutmeg. Add some boiled asparagus tops. After the cream is in, simmer, but do not boil, as it would curdle. French beans or peas, if very tender, are an improvement.
Larded Lamb.—Lard the upper side of a fore quarter of lamb with lean bacon, and cover the lower side thickly with grated bread. Cover the whole with paper to prevent burning, and roast it. Take it from the fire when nearly done, and cover the lower side once more with grated bread; season it with salt, pepper, and finely-chopped parsley; put it before a brisk, clear fire to brown. Pour over all a little cider vinegar, and serve.
Chops, With Cucumbers.—Fry the chops of a light brown, and stew them for half an hour in good gravy; thicken and flavor the gravy, and add to it some cucumbers, thickly sliced and previously stewed. Boil them up together, and put the cucumbers on the dish, and the chops on them.