The pieces mostly used for roasting are the hind-quarter of the sheep, called the loin and leg, the fore-quarter, the shoulder, also the chine or saddle, which is the two loins together. Every part should be trimmed off that cannot be eaten; then wash well and dry with a clean cloth; lay it in your dripping-pan and put in a little water to baste it with at first; then afterward with its own gravy. Allow, in roasting, about twelve minutes to the pound; that is, if your fire is strong, which it should be. It should not be salted at first, as that tends to harden it, and draws out too much of the blood or juices; but salt soon after it begins to roast well. If there is danger of its browning too fast, cover it with a sheet of white paper. Baste it often, and about a quarter of an hour before you think it will be done dredge the meat very lightly with flour and baste it with butter. Skim the gravy well and thicken very slightly with brown flour. Serve with currant jelly or other tart sauce.
Take the bone out of a small leg of mutton, without spoiling the skin if possible, then cut off most of the fat. Fill the hole whence the bone was taken with a stuffing made the same as for fowls, adding to it part of an onion finely minced. Sew the leg up" underneath to prevent the dressing or stuffing from falling out. Bind and tie it up compactly; put it in a roasting pan, turn in a cup of hot water and place it in a moderately hot oven, basting it occasionally. When partly cooked season with salt and pepper. When thoroughly cooked, remove and place the leg on a warm platter; skim the grease from the top of the drippings, add a cup of water and thicken with a spoonful of dissolved flour. Send the gravy to the table in a gravy dish, also a dish of currant jelly.
To prepare a leg of mutton for boiling, wash it clean, cut a small piece off the shank bone, and trim the knuckle. Put it into a pot with water enough to cover it, and boil gently from two to three hours, skimming well. Then take it from the fire, and keeping the pot well covered, let it finish by remaining in the steam for ten or fifteen minutes. Serve it up with a sauce boat of melted butter, into which a tea-cupful of capers or nasturtiums have been stirred. If the broth is to be used for soup, put in a little salt while boiling; if not, salt it well when partly done, and boil the meat in a cloth.
This recipe can be varied either by preparing the leg with a stuffing, placed in the cavity after having the bone removed, or cooking it without. Having lined the bottom of a thick iron kettle or stewpan with a few thin slices of bacon, put over the bacon four carrots, three onions, a bunch of savory herbs; then over these place the leg of mutton. Cover the whole with a few more slices of bacon, then pour over half a pint of water. Cover with a tight cover and stew very gently for four hours, basting the leg occasionally with its own liquor, and seasoning it with salt and pepper as soon as it begins to be tender. When cooked strain the gravy, thicken with a spoonful of flour (it should be quite brown), pour some of it over the meat and send the remainder to the table in a tureen, to be served with the mutton when carved. Garnish the dish around the leg with potatoes cut in the shape of olives and fried a light brown in butter.