Leg of mutton or lamb, or knuckle of veal.
Before cooking, remove the rump-bones at the larger end. For a small family it is more economical to remove all the bones and fill the cavity with stuffing. Tie or skewer it into compact shape; there is then less waste, as the meat that is not used at the first dinner does not become dry and hard by keeping.
In serving, the thickest part of the leg should be toward the back of the platter. Put the fork in at the top, turn the leg toward you to bring the thickest part up, and cut through to the bone. Cut several slices of medium thickness, toward the thickest part, then slip the knife under and cut them away from the bone. A choice bit of crisp fat may be found on the larger end, and there is a sweet morsel near the knuckle or lower joint. If more be required, slice from the under side of the bone in the same manner.
Saddle of mutton.
Remove the ends of the ribs and roll the flank under before cooking.
Place it on the platter with the tail end at the left. Put the fork in firmly near the centre, and carve down to the ribs in long slices, parallel with the backbone, and the whole length. Slip the knife under and separate the slices from the ribs; do the same on the other side of the back. Divide the slices if very long. Cut the crisp fat from the sides in slanting slices. Turn partly over and remove the choice bit of tenderloin and kidney fat under the ribs.
Carving a saddle of mutton in this way is really cutting with the grain of the meat, but it is the method adopted by the best authorities. It is only the choicest quality of mutton, and that which has been kept long enough to be very tender, that is prepared for cooking in this way. The fibres are not so tough as those of beef; there is no perceptible difference in the tenderness of the meat when cut in this manner, and there is an advantage in obtaining slices which are longer, and yet as thin as those from cutting across the grain.
Haunch of venison or mutton
This is the leg and loin undivided, or, as more commonly called, the hind quarter.
The butcher should split the whirl-bone, disjoint the backbone, and split the ribs in the flank. The rump-bone and aitch-bone may be removed before cooking. Place it on the platter with the loin or backbone nearest the carver. Separate the leg from the loin; this is a difficult joint to divide when the bones have not been removed, but it can be done with practice. When the leg has been taken off, carve that as directed on page 19. Carve the loin by first cutting off the flank and dividing it, then divide between each rib in the loin, or cut long slices parallel with the backbone, in the same way as directed for a saddle of mutton. Some English authorities recommend cutting perpendicularly through the thickest part of the leg near the knuckle, and then cutting across at right angles with this first cut, in long thin slices, the entire length of the joint; the slices are then separated from the bone and divided as desired. When carved in this way the loin and leg are not divided. This is not so economical as the first method.
Loin of mutton, lamb, veal, pork
These should always be divided at the joints in the backbone by the butcher; then it is an easy matter to separate the ribs, serving one to each person, with a portion of the kidney and fat if desired. But if the butcher neglect to do this, and you have no cleaver with which to do it, it is better to cut slices down to the ribs parallel with the backbone, as directed in the saddle of mutton, than to suffer the annoyance of hacking at the joints.
Before cooking a loin of pork, gash through the fat between the ribs; this will give more of the crisp fat, and will aid in separating the ribs.
Shoulder of mutton or veal
Place it on the platter with the thickest part up. From the thickest part cut thin slices, slanting down to the knuckle; then make several cuts across to the larger end, and remove these slices from the shoulder-blade. Separate the blade at the shoulder-joint, and remove it. Cut the meat under the blade in perpendicular slices.
Any part of the forequarter of mutton is more tender and palatable, and more easily carved, if before cooking it be boned and stuffed. Or it may be boned, rolled, and corned.
Neck of veal
The vertebrae should be disjointed, and the ribs cut on the inside through the bone only, on the thin end. Place it on the platter with the back up and cut across from left to right, where the ribs were divided, separating the small ends of the ribs from the thicker upper portion; then cut between each short rib. Carve from the back down in slanting slices, then slip the knife under close to the ribs and remove the slices. This gives a larger portion than the cutting of the slices straight would give, and yet not so large as if each were helped to a whole rib. Serve a short rib with each slice.
B reast of veal
Place it on the dish with the breast-bone or brisket nearest you. Cut off the gristly brisket, then separate it into sections. Cut the upper part parallel with the ribs, or between each rib if very small. Slice the sweetbread, and serve a portion of brisket, rib, and sweetbread to each person.