Tuesday, February 25, 2014


I'm not a huge fan of lamb but my characters seem to like it. At least the ones I'm currently working on do. This caused me to seek out some historical recipes for lamb. My story is set in 1871 and finding earlier recipes are a bit more difficult. However, taking into account where my character lives and what is readily available for her to make various rubs and sauces…well you get the idea. Below are some recipes for Lamb that perhaps your characters might want to make some day.

To Roast Lamb.—Lamb requires to be well roasted, as, if not sufficiently done, it will fail to acquire that delicate taste so peculiar to it. It is commonly dressed in quarters. Lamb should be well jointed or chopped by the butcher, as it is such a delicate sort of meat, that it becomes altogether disfigured, if the carver, is compelled to hack and pull it in pieces. In roasting, baste with its own dripping, and after pouring off all the fat, serve it up in a hot dish with the gravy that remains after the fat is poured off. In serving up a fore-quarter, the cook should divide the shoulder neatly from the ribs, and after squeezing the juice of half a.lemon on the ribs, cover the shoulder closely over again. It is usual to send up with lamb/mint-sauce in a tureen.

To Roast a Shoulder of Lamb (savoury).—Score the joint with cuts an inch deep, rub it over with butter first, then season it with pepper and salt, and sweet-herbs; rub over these the yolk of an egg, and roll it in bread-crumbs; roast it a light brown. When sufficiently cooked pour off the fat in the dripping-pan, and make a gravy of that which remains, seasoning with pepper and salt, tomato or mushroom-ketchup, the grated rind and juice of a lemon, thickened with a little flour. Put the lamb on a clean hot dish and pour the gravy over it.

To Boil a Leg of Lamb.—A leg of lamb Sb a delicate dish when nicely boiled. If whiteness is desirable, wrap it in a clean cloth; only the liquor will then be spoiled for broth. Boil one of five pounds gently for about an hour and a half. When you dish it, cut the loin into chops, fry them, and lay round it. Sauce, plain melted butter, or parsley and butter.

To Fry Lamb Chops —Lamb chops may be either simply fried in the same manner as mutton chops, or dressed with egg and crumbs of bread (but with no parsley), as in thecase of cutlets. Gravy made in the pan, as for fried steaks.

A very nice dish.—Take the best end of a neck of lamb, cut into steaks, and chop each bone so short as to make the steaks almost round. Egg, and strew with crumbs, herbs, and seasoning: fry them of the finest brown ; mash some potatoes with a little butter and cream, and put them into the middle of the dish raised high. Then place the edge of one steak on an other with the small bone upward around the potatoes.
Source: The American Home Cook Book ©1864

Boiled Leg Of Lamb.—Choose a ewe leg, as there is more fat on it; saw off the knuckle, trim off the flap, and the thick skin on the back of it; soak in warm water for three hours, then boil gently (time according to size). Serve with oyster sauce. (See Sauces.)
Roast Lamb.—Wash well, season with pepper and salt, put in the dripping-pan with a little water. Baste often with the dripping; skim the gravy well and thicken with flour.

Lamb Steaved In Butter.—Select a nice loin, wash well, and wipe very dry; skewer down the flap, and lay it in a close-shutting and thick stewpan, or saucepan, in which three ounces of good butter have been just dissolved, but not allowed to boil; let it simmer slowly over a very gentle fire for two hours and a quarter, and turn it when it is rather more than half done. Lift it out, skim, and pour the gravy over it; send to table with brown gravy, mint sauce, and a salad.

Saddle Of Lamb.—This is a dainty joint for a small party. Sprinkle a little salt over it, and set it in the dripping-pan, with a few small pieces of butter on the meat; baste it occasionally with tried-out lamb-fat; dredge a little flour over it a few minutes before taking from the oven. Serve with currant jelly and a few choice early vegetables. Mint sauce may be served with the joint, but in a very mild form. (See Sauces.)

Broiled Lamb Chops.—Trim oil most of the fat; broil over a brisk fire, turning frequently until the chops are nicely browned. Season with pepper and salt, and baste with hot butter. Serve on a buttered dish.

Breaded Lamb Chops.—Grate plenty of stale bread, season with salt and pepper, have ready some well-beaten egg, have a spider with hot lard ready, take the chops one by one, dip into the egg, then into the bread-crumbs; repeat it, as this will be found an improvement; then lay the chops separately into the boiling lard, fry brown, and then turn. To be eaten with currant jelly.

Lamb Steaks, Fried.—Dip each steak into well-beaten egg, cover with bread-crumbs or corn-meal, and fry in butter or new lard. Mashed potatoes and boiled rice are a necessary accompaniment. The gravy may be thickened with flour and butter, adding a little lemon juice; pour this hot upon the steaks, and place the rice in spoonfuls around the dish to garnish it.
Source: Mrs. Clarke's Cook Book ©1899

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