Florence Nightingale

Monckton Milnes’ Mutton Pie

To serve 10

2 lb. boneless mutton loin, including the eye of loin and tenderloin, trimmed of excess fat and cut crosswise into slices 1/4 inch thick
salt and pepper
3 tbsp. flour
4 tbsp.butter, 2 tbsp. cut into small pieces
48 live oysters, shucked, liquor reserved, beards trimmed off, trimmings reserved
meat stock or water

Suet crust dough
lb. beef suet, finely chopped
4 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
about 1 cup cold water

For the dough, combine the suet, flour and salt. Stir in enough cold water to give a stiff, elastic consistency.

Roll out the dough and use about two thirds of it to line a large pudding basin. Place the loin slices in layers in the basin, leaving a hollow in the center and sprinkling each layer with pepper and salt. Sprinkle on 2 tablespoons of the flour and dot the top layer with the small pieces of butter. Fill the hollow with the oysters. Sprinkle the oysters with pepper and salt, and cover them with the tenderloin slices. Moisten the ingredients with a little stock or water.

Now cover the basin with the remaining dough. Tie a cloth tightly over the basin and put it in a covered pot with water halfway up the sides of the basin. Boil slowly for four hours, replenishing the boiling water when necessary.

Meanwhile, simmer the trimmings of the oysters in the oyster liquor for about 15 minutes, then strain the liquor; add to it some stock or water and stir in the remaining butter -- rolled in the remaining flour, mixed with a little pepper and salt. Bring the oyster-liquor mixture to a boil. Just before serving, make an opening in the crust and pour in this oyster-liquor mixture so that it can all incorporate a little and blend with the pudding. Serve the pudding very hot in the basin, with a napkin arranged around it.

From Sheila Hutchins, English Recipes And Others From Scotland, Wales And Ireland