To Boil a Leg of Mutton like Venison

Mrs Glasse suggests that the combination of cauliflower and spinach makes the plain boiled mutton taste like venison. She says: ‘This is a genteel dish for a first course at bottom [of the table].’ The combined flavours are very good.

Ingredients

  • 4–5 lb. (2–2 ½ k.) fillet end of leg of mutton
  • 2 cauliflowers
  • 2 large packets frozen chopped spinach
  • 2 or 3 carrots
  • 2 onions
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 level tablespoon cornflour
  • a stick of celery
  • a little thyme, marjoram and parsley
  • 8 oz. (240 g.) butter
  • ½ pint (3 dl.) red wine
  • 2 oz. (60 g.) flour

Method

Put the mutton in 3–4 pints (1½-2 dl.) of boiling water, with the carrots, onions, celery, and herbs. Allow to boil quite rapidly for 5 minutes, and then simmer very slowly for 2½ hours.

Meanwhile, break 2 cauliflowers into flowerets, boil till just tender and sauté very lightly, without browning, in half the butter. Melt the spinach without water but with a little salt and add 2 oz. of butter as the spinach softens. Mix a level tablespoon of cornflour in a little water and pour this into the spinach when it begins to boil; stir hard and cook for 3 or 4 minutes. You should have a fairly thick purée.

Arrange the spinach in a border on a flat dish. Place the well-drained mutton in the middle and the sprigs of cauliflower on top of the spinach. Carve with a very sharp knife and serve with plain boiled potatoes, and a sauce made as follows.

Ten minutes before the mutton should be ready, pour off a pint (6 dl.) of stock. Skim off as much grease as possible. Make a roux with 2 oz. butter and 2 oz. flour. Stir in the stock and add the wine. Simmer for 5 minutes. Strain and check seasoning.