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How to Cut and Serve Forequarter of Lamb or Veal


This is a difficult joint for a beginner, but after a little study and practice one may manipulate it with dexterity. Some time when a lamb stew or fricassee is to be prepared, study the joint carefully and practice cutting it up, and thus become familiar with the position of the shoulder-blade joint,—the only one difficult to reach. The backbone should always be disjointed. The ribs should be divided across the breast and at the junction of the breast-bone, and the butcher should also remove the shoulder-blade and the bone in the leg.

Unless the joint be very young and tender, it is better to use the breast portion for a stew or fricassee; but when nice and tender the breast may be roasted with the other portions, as the choice gelatinous morsels near the breast-bones are preferred by many. This joint consists of three portions,—the shoulder or knuckle, the breast or brisket, and the ribs. Put it on the platter with the backbone up. Put the fork in near the knuckle. Cut through the flesh clear round the leg and well up on the shoulder, but not too far on the breast. With the fork lift the leg away from the shoulder, cutting in till you come to the joint, after separating which, remove the leg to a separate dish, to be afterward cut into thin slices through the thickest part. Cut across from left to right where the ribs have been broken, separating the gristly breast from the upper portion. Then remove the blade if it has not been done before cooking. Divide each of these portions between the ribs, and serve a piece of the rib, the breast, or a slice from the leg, as preferred.

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Did You Know?
The composition of meat depends to a large extent on the breed of the animal, the degree to which it has been fattened, and the particular cut of meat in question. However, the muscle fibers are made up of protein and contain more protein, mineral salts, or ash, and certain substances called extractives, all of which are held in solution by water. The younger the animal, the greater is the proportion of water and the lower the nutritive value of meat.

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