Roast leg of mutton

(Recipe #88, page 96)

Wait 2–3 days before roasting the leg. Pound it vigorously without removing the fat, wash it and dry it with a towel, then place it in hot fat (butter and pork fat), brown it, pour boiling water over it (or 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water, if a sour flavor is wanted), flavor it with shallots or onions, some bay leaves, nutmegs, pepper, and tarragon, and sprinkle fine salt over it. If fresh cucumbers are available, dice half a plateful and add them immediately to the roasting pan; they enhance the flavor and appearance of the gravy substantially.

Roast the leg for 3 hours, preferably tightly covered, basting frequently. An hour before it is done, gradually add two cups of cream (milk if cream is not available) to the gravy; if no vinegar has been used, a tablespoon of mustard may be added at the end.

When serving, brown a tablespoon of dry flour in the pan for a few minutes, add enough water to produce a smooth gravy, and rub it through a sieve. The roast can be garnished with small potato dumplings, stuffed sliced potatoes, or a circle of stewed onions.

Note that an earthenware pan is preferable to iron, since the acid easily impart a ferric taste.

Translated by David Green.

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