Roast Lamb (Or Mutton) from 1658

Total Time
3hrs 30mins
Prep 2 hrs
Cook 1 hr 30 mins

You might not think you need another recipe for roast lamb, but this one is a real curiosity. I found it in Margaret Rudkin's "Pepperidge Farm Cookbook" (1963). She has a chapter called "Cooking from Antique Cookbooks," in which she takes a number of 16th and 17th century recipes and translates them to modern terms. I find this endlessly fascinating ... and so I'm sharing a few of them, because I'm not sure this book is even still in print.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Trim excess fat from lamb. Place in a small roasting pan and rub the top with 4 tablespoons butter.
  2. Roast at 450 for about 20 minutes; reduce heat to 350 and cook for another hour. (It should still be pink inside when done.).
  3. Remove from pan and prepare for the messy job of slicing the meat in thin slivers, discarding all fat and undesirable bits.
  4. Place the lamb slices in a hot casserole and keep warm while you make the gravy.
  5. Pour off the fat that's left in the roasting pan and measure out four tablespoons; if you don't have enough, fill out the amount with butter. Add the fat (or fat and butter) to a large skillet.
  6. Stir in 4 tablespoons flour; stir with wooden spoon until lightly browned, then add the beef broth, stirring constantly to break up any lumps. Stir in red wine.
  7. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then add ginger and nutmeg.
  8. Simmer while you slice the lemon very thin. Remove the seeds from the lemon and add the slices to the sauce.
  9. Add the candied ginger (use ginger chips, or make sure you've minced the ginger into small bits).
  10. Pour the sauce over the meat, sprinkle with chopped parsley, and serve immediately.