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Mrs Beeton Boiled Leg of Mutton


This is an original Mrs. Beeton recipe taken from her famous book, Beeton’s Book of Household Management.  Both the quantities and text have been reproduced as originally published, with the exception of a little reformatting of the ingredient list to make it easier to follow. 

Conversion chart

1oz = 25g

1lb = 450g

1 gill =  140ml/4½ fl.oz.

1 teacup = 240ml/8fl.oz.

1 pint = 600ml/20fl.oz.

1 quart = 960ml/32fl.oz.

Go to: -   Other Mrs Beeton Recipes  |  History of Mrs. Beeton






Mode.—A. leg of mutton for boiling should not hang too long, as it will not look a good colour when dressed. Cut off the shank-bone, trim the knuckle, and wash and wipe it very clean; plunge it into sufficient boiling water to cover it; let it boil up, then draw the saucepan to the side of the fire, where it should remain till the finger can be borne in the water. Then place it sufficiently near the fire, that the water may gently simmer, and be very careful that it does not boil fast, or the meat will be hard. Skim well, add a little salt, and in about 2–1/4 hours after the water begins to simmer, a moderate-sized leg of mutton will be done. Serve with carrots and mashed turnips, which may be boiled with the meat, and send caper sauce (No. 382) to table with it in a tureen.

Time.—A moderate-sized leg of mutton of 9 lbs., 2–1/4 hours after the water boils; one of 12 lbs., 3 hours.
Average cost, 8–1/2d. per lb.
Sufficient.—A moderate-sized leg of mutton for 6 or 8 persons.
Seasonable nearly all the year, but not so good in June, July, and August.
Note.—When meat is liked very thoroughly cooked, allow more time than stated above. The liquor this joint was boiled in should be converted into soup.


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Main equipment required to make this recipe


Measuring Jug


Wooden or Plastic Spoon


Make Ahead/Freeze

Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days

Not suitable for freezing


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