The Cavalier’s Broil

This recipe belongs to Royalist tables of the seventeenth century. A simplified version is quoted by Eliza Acton, but the original recipe dates from a hundred years or so before her day. The shoulder of lamb would probably have been expected to serve only two gentlemen. In our day it is enough for more than double that number. It is extremely good if served with green peas cooked with mint, creamed potatoes and red-currant jelly.


  • 3½ to 4 lb (1¾ to 2 kg) shoulder of lamb
  • ¾ stick (90 g) butter or cup cooking fat
  • ¾ lb (360 g) mushrooms
  • Juice of ½ lemon mixed with ½ teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 7 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt


Put the lamb with about two-thirds of the butter or fat into a baking tin and roast in a hot oven, 400°F (200°C, Gas Mark 6), for 40 minutes.

Meanwhile slice the mushrooms finely and sauté them in the remaining butter or fat. When almost done add the lemon juice. Set aside and keep hot.

Heat the grill. Remove the joint from the oven and put it on a fireproof serving dish. With a sharp, heavy knife score the meat down to the bone, 3 times on each side.

Mix the spices and seasonings together and spoon them well into each scored cut. Put the joint on the grill pan. Keep the serving dish, and the juices that came from the meat when it was scored, hot.

Grill the meat, turning it 2 to 3 times until it is done. This should take about 20 minutes, when the meat should be pink near the bone while the skin is very brown and crisp.

When the meat is ready, put the joint back on the hot serving dish and pour over any gravy collected in the grill pan. Pour the mushrooms over the joint and serve.