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Sheep's Head

Meats - Offal

A whole cooked sheep's head. Known by the name 'Jemmy' from 19th Century literature, including Dickens' 'Sketches by Boz' and Mayhew's 'London Labour and the London Poor'.

Original Receipt in 'A New System Of Domestic Cookery' by 'A Lady' (Mrs. Maria Eliza Ketelby Rundell) (Rundell 1807);

A great variety of excellent dishes may be made from a sheep's head, which in India where veal is not so easily procurable answers all the purposes for mock turtle, rolled head, or rich hash or ragout, the bones make excellent jelly, either savory or sweet. Parboil the head, cut the meat from the bone, stew the former, in a little of the liquor until quite tender, send it to table with a glass of wine in the sauce, forcemeat balls and brain cakes for gamish, or roll up the pieces, seasoned in the inside with a thick covering of chopped herbs, well seasoned, brush the outside with yolk of egg, dredge it with bread crumbs, fry it and send to table with a rich gravy made of the bones, and pickles warmed up in it

Original Receipt from 'A Plain Cookery Book for the Working Classes' by Charles Elmé Francatelli (Francatelli 1846)


Buy a couple of sheep's heads, get the butcher to split them for you, place them in an earthen baking-dish, with two ounces of dripping, some chopped shalots, thyme, bay-leaf, winter savory, pepper and salt, and a good pinch of allspice; moisten with a quart of cider, or water, strew a coating of bread-raspings all over the surface of the heads, and bake them for two hours.

Original Receipt from 'Pot-luck; or, The British home cookery book' by May Byron (Byron 1914)

51. SHEEP'S HEAD (Cheshire)

Steep two or three hours. Split the head; take out the brains and tongue to boil separately. Boil the head gently for three hours with a carrot, onions, celery, sweet herbs, a few cloves, and pepper and salt; egg and crumb and brown before the fire. Mince the lights, and serve the liver in sHces, well fried. Boil the brains in muslin, and arrange all together on one dish.

See also: Sheep's Head Broth

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