The cured mutton of the Lao Tong’s Family is one of the famous snack- dish in Xi’an. As saying goes: when the Eight Allied Powers were at taking Beijing Dowager Cixi ran away from Beijing to Xi’an bringing Emperor Guangxu with her. She praised the cured mutton very much after she tasted it, and a plaque was granted and hung up in front of the gate with an inscription as “Where the Imperial Chariot Stopped, ” or known as “Nianzhipo” in Chinese being written by Xing Tingwei, teacher of Zhao Fuqiao, the minister of defense then. And thenceforth, the name of the cured mutton of Lao Tong’s Family began to spread far and wide, winning its fame during the past hundred years.
The specially of the cured mutton lies in the fine selection of mate- rials, better handling hi the art of curing with complete set of seasonings and being turned out to a turn. The mutton cured in this way looks fresh and red in color, soft and easy for taking it, sweet and fragrant to the taste It is a kind of fine dishes for wine-drinkers and also good for gift to relatives and friends.
Cured Mutton Produced in Lao Tongs Family
The basic skill in the making is: Selecting the freshly killed ram assorted with salt, mirabilite, star anise, cassia bark, strawberry, Chinese prickly ash, small fennel to he processed through shaping into semi-finished products, salting, stewing and adding colors. When salting the mutton, it has to be folded into a vat with skin to skin. Adding well waler, salt and mirabilite into the vat and keep there for 2-5 days to make the mutton thoroughly salted. The second process is to stew the mutton with the longs-cooked broth in a pot by adding in equal amount of fresh waler and the seasoning bag containing the above-said Chinese prickly ash, cassia, star anise, cardamom, and small fennel). Bring the broth to bolting point over strong fire and again adding in suitable amount of salt, lay the mutton on a board and press the mutton tight and then to be cooked over a slow fire for another 3-4 hours. When the mutton becomes soft and easy to be separated from its bones, get it out from the broth and lay it in the pan and then pour the original juice over the mutton again. After that use a piece of cloth to drip the juice out and keep the mutton there for use.
The cured mutton os not only full of protein and fat but also tastes good and warm in nature and so it is good for stimulating and increasing appetite. Being good fro strengthening the kidney function it is a kind of food that helps your health and makes you strong.