Chap. VII. – Roasting, pp.324-335.

[Roasting Contents]

General Directions.

   STUDY to regulate the fire according to the size of the meat to be roasted. A small, or thin joint, requires a clear brisk fire, that it may be done quickly; a large piece a strong and equal one. Put no salt on meat before it is put to the fire, because it draws out the gravy and makes it dry. 

   Place the meat at a good distance from the fire and bring it gradually nearer as it becomes hot. In spitting meat be careful that the spits are very clean and free from spots; wash and scour them well with sand and water only, and wipe them dry before and after using. Observe to run the spit through the worst part of the meat; in some joints it may be made to run along a bone; if you have not exactly hit it, it is better to balance with leaden headed skewers than pierce it again. Large joints of beef, veal, and mutton, should have a piece of paper fixed over the fat; when nearly ready, observe that the smoke draws towards the fire, then take off the paper; baste it well, dredge with flour to make it froth; before taking it away sprinkle a little salt over it, which improves the flavour and makes the gravy flow when it is cut. Meat, in general, requires frequent basting before any of its own fat comes from it; use a little salt and water. Veal should be well basted with butter, or good beef dripping. In serving a leg or shoulder of mutton, lamb, or venison, twist a piece of writing paper round the shank bone. 

   Mutton, lamb, veal, and poultry, require a clear brisk fire, and basting when put to it. A leg of mutton of six pounds will take nearly an hour and a half, one of twelve pounds, two hours and fifteen minutes; a thick piece of beef, about twenty pounds, will take three hours, and so in proportion, but much depends upon the state of the fire. In dressing the loin, chine, and saddle of mutton, or lamb, the skin is raised and skewered on while roasting; but when nearly done it is taken off and the meat dredged and basted to make it froth. 

   Veal requires to be thoroughly done, allowing fifteen minutes for each pound; the fillet and shoulder may be stuffed with a pudding; the breast is roasted with the caul on, till near ready, it is then taken off and basted with butter, adding a little flour. 

   Pork also requires to be well done; cut the skin in strips with a sharp knife, the knuckle may, if agreeable, be stuffed with sage and onion; it is generally served with apple sauce, or mustard and vinegar, the leg with a drawn gravy

   To keep meat hot after it is ready, place the dish over a pot of boiling water, put on a cover, and over that a cloth. This method not only keeps it hot but preserves the gravy. 

Beef and Mutton.

   Directions having been already given as to the time and manner, it remains only to add, that it should be served with sauces and pickles to taste, with side dishes of vegetables, making choice according to the season of the year. 

Tongues and Udders.

   Parboil them before roasting, stick a few cloves into the meat, if you relish it, baste with butter, and serve with gravy and sweetmeat sauce


   Follow the directions already given; for stuffing, take four ounces suet, parsley and sweet herbs shred small, grated bread, lemon peel, pepper, salt, nutmeg, and an egg, make it into a paste and stuff the fillet; or, the bone may be taken out, the place filled with the stuffing, and then skewered. Serve with any kind of roots or vegetables that are in season, garnish with lemon in slices. 

A Shoulder of Mutton Stuffed.

   After cutting off the shoulder, take out the blade and shoulder bone, leaving the shank; the space with a stuffing and sew it up; fix it with skewers to keep its proper shape, and spit it. Make the stuffing of grated bread, parsley, thyme, onions, beef suet, hard boiled eggs, nutmeg, pepper, salt, oysters, and anchovies, all finely shred and mixed; any or all of these, according to taste, made into a paste with eggs, serve hot with the following sauce. Stew an onion in two gills of stock, add a few oysters with their liquor, take out the onion, add a glass of wine, a little ketchup, and a spoonful of gravy; boil it four minutes, garnish with horseraddish or pickles

   A leg of mutton forced, or stuffed, is done in like manner, and served with onion sauce

Haunch of Mutton in Imitation of Venison.

   This requires very plump fat mutton; cut like venison, lay it in a pan upon its back, pour over it a bottle of port wine and let it soak twenty-four hours; cover it with paper after you spit it to preserve the fat, give it a quick fire and baste it very often with butter and some of the wine; serve with a good rich gravy and sweet sauce in separate tureens. 


   Follow the directions already given as to roasting. Some parboil the pork and strip off the skin, basting it with butter; the more general way is, to cut it in narrow strips more than half through the skin. 

   A Spring, when young, eats very well roasted; cut off the shank and knuckle, strew sage and onion over, roll it round and tie it with a string. 

   A Sparerib is basted with butter and strewed over with crumbs of bread and sage. 

   Pork Griskins, are done the same way. 

   Young Pigs, are generally stuffed with a pudding made thus. Crumbs of a loaf eight ounces, currants four ounces, fresh butter four ounces, beat with two eggs and seasoned with nutmeg, pepper, salt, and sage if you chuse. Stuff the pig and sew up the belly, rub it all over with a piece of butter upon a cloth, to make the crackling crisp, then rub it dry. A pig of twelve pounds will take about two hours and a half. 

To Prepare the Pig.

   Have plenty of boiling water ready, kill the pig, let it bleed well, scald it in a tub with boiling water; when the hair comes easily off lay it on a board, strew over it some pounded rosin to enable you to pull off the hair, which do as quick as you can, and any part which does not readily yield throw more boiling water upon it; when the hair is all removed, wash the pig well in pure water and dry it thoroughly with a cloth. Hang it up by the hind legs, open the lower part of the belly sufficient to admit your hand to take out the entrails; after taking them out dry the inside with a cloth, cut off the legs by the knee joints, put in the stuffing and sew the place up. 

To Roast a Pig.

   The fire should be so ordered that both ends of the pig may be well done, it requires little heat in the centre, as the strength of the fire at both ends will reach the middle. Spit the pig and put it to the fire, rub it over with a little butter and dredge with flour till the skin is crisp and hard; preserve all the gravy carefully; when ready, scrape off the flour, put a piece of butter upon a cloth and rub the pig; serve it thus. Cut off the head, cut the pig in two down the back and belly and draw away the spit; place the pig on the dish with the back uppermost, cut off the ears and place one at each end; split the head in two down through the snout, and place one on each side; make a sauce of the gravy, melted butter, a glass of wine, a slice of lemon, the brain chopped fine, and a little salt and flour; give it a boil and put it into a tureen by itself. 

   The hind quarters of a large pig very much resemble lamb, and may be used in place of it. When skinned and roasted, serve with mint sauce and sallads. The head of young pork eats very well when stuffed with bread and sage, hung before the fire by the snout, and roasted; serve as ordered for a pig. 

Ham, or Gammon of Bacon,

Is sometimes roasted; soak it in lukewarm water a few hours, take off the skin, lay it in a dish and pour a bottle of white wine over it; let it soak fifteen minutes, then put it on the spit and fix paper all over; baste with the wine while roasting. When ready take off the paper, dredge the ham with bread crumb and parsley finely shred, then place it nearer the fire a short time to brown, and serve it hot. It is often used cold for a second course dish, garnished with green pickles

Rolled Beef.

   Soak the inside of a sirloin two days in equal parts of wine and vinegar, lay over it a rich stuffing, roll it tight up and bind it firmly; roast it on a hanging jack, or by a string, baste it with wine, sugar, and Jamaica pepper mixed; serve it with any rich gravy poured round it, and currant jelly and melted butter, in a tureen. This very much resembles hare, but is superior. 

Rolled Veal.

   A breast of veal is done the same way, after taking out the bones. For a stuffing, take sweet herbs, spiceries, and slices of ham and tongue previously boiled; roll it up tight and bind it; then roast it. It makes an excellent dish when stewed in a small quantity of stock, then pressed and ate cold. 

Rolled Mutton

May be done in like manner. It should be stuffed as ordered for a hare, and made of the loin. Serve with wine, ketchup, lemon pickle and gravy, made into a sauce. 

Roasting Poultry, Game, &c.

   All these require a brisk fire. The breast of a turkey, or goose, ought to be covered with paper till near ready. To judge when meat or poultry is ready, observe that the smoke draws towards the fire. 


   After trussing it (p. 261.) make a stuffing of the meat used in filling sausages, with the addition of bread crumbs. Or, take beef suet, crumbs of bread and parsley shred small, some nutmeg, pepper, salt, and the yolks of three hard boiled eggs, mix it with raw eggs and fill the craw; a middle sized turkey will take nearly an hour and a half, a small one forty-five minutes. When nearly ready, take off the paper, dredge with flour and froth it. Serve with the following sauce; grate down some bread, put it into a saucepan with some good gravy, an onion, salt and pepper; boil it smooth, add half a gill of cream and serve it in a sauce tureen. 

Goose or Duck.

   After cleaning and trussing (p. 262.) shred a few onions and sage, bread crumbs, salt and pepper; put this into its body, tie up the vent and neck and spit it. When ready dredge and baste it well to make it froth, place it in the dish, pour a little boiling salt and water with a spoonful of browning, round but not over it; or put the gravy in a sauce tureen, and have another with apple sauce. If agreeable, pour a glass of port wine into a goose or duck when placed in the dish. A large goose will require an hour, and a duck three quarters, but much depends on the strength of the fire. A green goose is served with gooseberry sauce, melted butter, a few coddled gooseberries, and a spoonful of the juice of sorrel. 


   After trussing and spitting baste with butter, and dredge with a little flour; when nearly ready baste and dredge again with flour; brisk up the fire to froth it, and give it a nice browning. The sauce may be gravy, egg, mushroom, or celery, as you chuse. Or, make a sauce with the liver and necks, stewed with some good stock and the yolk of a hard boiled egg chopped fine; take out the neck, bruise the liver, and serve in a tureen. A large fowl will take an hour, one of a middling size three quarters, a small one, or chicken, from fifteen to thirty minutes, as they are in size. 


Will take from fifteen to twenty minutes in roasting, and are stuffed with bread crumbs, butter, shred parsley, salt and pepper. Serve with parsley and butter sauce; garnish with asparagus. 

Larks and other Small Birds,

Are put on skewers and then tied upon the spit; baste with butter and strew crumbs of bread upon them; serve with fried crumbs laid round the dish. 

Pheasants and Partridges

Are dressed as turkies. Pheasants take twenty, and partridges about fifteen minutes; serve with gravy and bread sauce. 

Fowl in Imitation of a Pheasant.

   Pheasants being scarce, a fowl may be dressed to imitate one; truss it as a pheasant, (p. 263.) lard with bacon, and serve with gravy and bread sauce in a tureen. 

Woodcocks and Snipes

Are never drawn; spit them on a bird spit, then tie it upon a large one; while roasting baste them with butter, let it drop upon slices of toasted bread and when ready serve them upon it; pour gravy over them. 


   After being cased skewer their heads upon their backs, the fore legs into the ribs, and the hind legs double. Stuff them with bread crumbs, parsley, thyme, sweet marjoram, pepper, salt, and nutmeg grated; shred the whole very fine, make it into a paste with two eggs, four ounces butter and a little cream; sew them up, spit, baste with butter and dredge with flour; serve with parsley and butter. 


   After casing a hare wash all the blood from it, lay it an hour or two in water, truss and stuff the body with a pudding, as directed for rabbits, adding a glass of port wine, then sew up the belly. Baste with milk and butter melted together, and when nearly ready dredge with flour and baste with butter to give it a froth. For sauce use melted butter and cream, or currant jelly sauce, with gravy in the dish. The ears, when nicely cleaned, are much relished. A large hare will take two hours, and a small one an hour and a half. 


   Some chuse it previously steeped in wine, with spiceries, vinegar, and lemon juice. If a haunch, the more general way is, after putting it on the spit to rub it over with butter, then fix sheets of paper to cover it well; prepare a paste of flour and water with a little butter; roll it out very thin and cover the meat; over that tie sheets of paper rubbed with butter, that the paste may not drop off; place it at some distance from the fire till thoroughly heated and baste it often. When ready, or ten minutes before serving, take off all the paper and paste, dredge it with flour and baste with butter to make it froth nicely, and when of a light brown serve it. Put good drawn gravy, from veal or mutton, in a sauce tureen, also currant jelly and wine; or a syrup sauce made of port wine and sugar, or vinegar and sugar. A large haunch of buck will require about three hours, and so in proportion; the doe does not take quite so long to roast. The neck and shoulders are done in like manner. 

A Calf’s Pluck.

   Lay it two hours in water, then hang it up half an hour, stuff the heart with a fruit pudding, spit and tie it with a cord, roast and baste well with butter; cut the liver in steaks, broil and lay round it; serve with sauce of melted butter, pepper, salt and water, boiled and poured over. It will take an hour and a half, or quarter, to roast. 


   Roast it on a spit and baste with butter; serve with a sauce made with gravy, a little lemon and orange juice, some wine, and an anchovy.