Good mutton comes from a sheep about three years old, and should hang from two to three weeks. The English South Down Mutton is cut from creatures even older than three years. Many object to the strong flavor of mutton; this is greatly overcome by removing the pink skin and trimming off superfluous fat.
Good quality mutton should be fine grained and of bright pink color; the fat white, hard, and flaky. If the outside skin comes off easily, mutton is sure to be good.
BONED SHOULDER OF MUTTON.
Have the bone carefully removed from a rather lean shoulder of mutton, and fill the orifice thus left with a good forcemeat. To make this, chop fine half a pound of lean veal and quarter of a pound of ham and add to these a small cup of fine bread crumbs. Season with a quarter-teaspoonful each of ground mace, cloves, and allspice, and a saltspoonful of black pepper. Stir in a raw egg to bind the mixture together. When the forcemeat has been put into the hole in the shoulder, cover the mutton with a cloth that will close the mouth of the opening, and lay the meat in a pot with the bone from the shoulder, a peeled and sliced onion, carrot and turnip, a little parsley and celery, and a bay leaf; Pour in enough cold water to cover the mutton entirely, stir in a heaping tablespoonful of salt, and let the water come gradually to a boil and simmer until the mutton has cooked twenty minutes to the pound. Let it cool in the broth; take it out; lay it under a weight until cold, and serve. This is also very good hot. The liquor makes excellent soup.