A Boiled Leg of Mutton with Tongue and Turnips

An excellent Receipt

2 to 2½ hours.


Trim into handsome form a well-kept, but perfectly sweet leg of mutton, of middling weight; wash, but do not soak it; lay it into a vessel as nearly of its size as convenient, and pour in rather more than sufficient cold water* to cover it; set it over a good fire, and when it begins to boil take off the scum, and continue to do so until no more appears; throw in a tablespoonful of salt (after the first skimming), which will assist to bring it to the surface, and as soon as the liquor is clear, add two moderate-sized onions stuck with a dozen cloves, a large faggot of parsley, thyme, and winter savoury, and four or five large carrots, and hall an hour afterwards as many turnips. Draw the pan to the side of the fire, and let the mutton be simmered gently from two hours to two and a half, from the time of its first beginning to boil. Serve it with caper, brown cucumber, or oyster sauce. If stewed softly, as we have directed, the mutton will be found excellent dressed thus; otherwise, it will but resemble the unpalatable and ragged-looking joints of fast-boiled meat, so constantly sent to table by common English cooks. Any undressed bones of veal, mutton, or beef, boiled with the joint will improve it much, and the liquor will then make excellent soup or bouillon.

A small smoked ox-tongue boiled very tender will generally be much approved as an accompaniment to the mutton, though it is out of the usual course to serve them together: innovation on established usages is, however, sometimes to be recommended. The tongue should be garnished with well-prepared mashed turnips, moulded with a tablespoon into the form of a half-egg, and sent to table as hot as possible; or the turnips may be dished apart.

* We have left this receipt unaltered, instead of applying to it Baron Liebeg’s directions for his improved method of boiling meat, because his objections to the immersion of the joint in cold water are partially obviated, by its being placed immediately over a sound fire, and heated quickly; and the mutton is very good this dressed.