Cut the upper parts, or the neck, from a fore-quarter of mut-ton (or take inferior cuts from any part) into pieces for a ragoût; heat a heaping table-spoonful of drippings, or lard, in a saucepan, and when hot sauté in it the pieces of mutton (say two pounds) until they are almost done; take them out, put in a table-spoonful of flour, brown it, add at first a little cold or likewarm water, mix it well, then add a quart of boiling water; now add also salt, Cayenne pepper, two cloves, the pieces of sautéd meat, three or four onions (not large), and six or seven peeled potatoes. Some prefer to boil the potatoes a few minutes in other water first, as the water in which potatoes are boiled is considered unwholesome; cover the stew - pan well. When the vegetables are cooked, take them and the meat out, skim off every particle of fat from the gravy, taste to see if it is properly seasoned, pour it over the ragout, and serve.
These ragouts can be made with the neck, or any pieces of veal, in the same manner, or with pieces of beef, in which case carrots might be substituted for the potatoes. A ragout of rab-bits is most excellent made in the same way, adding a glassful of red wine when it is almost done.
In buying a fore quarter of mutton, there are enough trim-mings for a good ragout, with a shapely roast besides.
Make rich pie-paste about the size of an egg (for four pcr-sons); roll it a quarter of an inch thick; cut it into diamonds, say an inch long and half an inch broad. Bake them, and put them aside until five minutes before serving the ragout. Take mutton, veal, beef, or almost any kind of meat. Any cheap cut of meat will make a good ragout, and choice cuts had bet-ter be cooked in other ways. In this instance, I will say, cut two pounds from the side of mutton. Put a table-spoonful of lard or drippings into a saucepan, and when hot sauté in it the pieces of mutton; when half done, place them in a kettle. Add a heaping table-spoonful of flour to the drippings in the saucepan; stir it constantly several minutes to brown, then add gradually a pint of hot water; now pour this over the meat in the kettle, adding three small onions, two sprigs of parsley, three cloves, and a clove or bulb of garlic, if you have it; pepper and salt. Cover it closely, and let it simmer slowly for an hour, occasionally turning the kettle to one side to skim off all the fat Five minutes before serving, add the diamonds of crust.
At the moment of serving, take out the meat, crust, and three onions, and arrange them on a hot platter. Pass the gravy through a sieve, and skim off every remaining particle of fat; taste to see if it is properly seasoned with pepper and salt, and pour it over the meat.