Mutton should be fat, and the fat clear, hard and white. Beware of buying mutton with flabby, lean and yellow fat. An abundance of fat is a source of waste, but as the lean part of fat mutton is much more juicy and tender than any other, it should be chosen. The longer mutton is hung before being cooked, provided it does not become tainted, the better it is.
If a saddle or haunch of mutton is washed with vinegar every day, and dried thoroughly after each washing, it will keep a good while. In warm weather pepper and ground ginger rubbed over it will keep off flies. The leg has the least fat in proportion to weight, next is the shoulder. The least proportion of bone is in the leg. After the butcher has cut off all he can be persuaded to remove, you will still have to trim it freely before broiling. The lean of mutton is quite different from that of beef. While beef is a bright carnation, mutton is a deep, dark red. The hind-quarter of mutton is best for roasting. The ribs may be used for chops, and are the sweeter; but the leg chops are the most economical, as there is much less bone, and no hard meat, as on the ribs. For mutton roast, choose the shoulder, the saddle, or the loin or haunch. The leg should be boiled. Small rib chops are best for broiling; those cut out from the leg are generally tough. Mutton cutlets to bake are taken from the neck. Almost any part will do for broth. As much of the fat should be removed as practicable; then cut into small pieces and simmered slowly until the meat falls to pieces. Drain off and skim off any remaining fat, and thicken with rice or vermicelli. Mutton is in season at any time, but is not so good in autumn.