1 leg of pork
1/2 c. boiling water
Juice of 1 lemon
One [leg] weighing about seven pounds is enough, even for a large family. If the pig is young, the leg will be even smaller. Score the skin in squares, or parallel lines running from side to side, for the convenience of the carver. Put it down to roast with a very little water in the pan below. Heat gradually until the fat begins to ooze from the meat, when quicken the fire to a red, steady glow. Baste only with its own gravy, and do this often, that the skin may not be hard or tough. When done take it up, skim the gravy thoroughly, put in half a cup of boiling water, thicken with brown flour, add pepper, salt, and the juice of a lemon, and serve in a boat.
Common Sense in the Household by Marion Harland, New York, 1871
Comment: Whole legs of pork are rarely found in most supermarkets today, but if you have access to a custom butcher or some other method of obtaining one, this recipe calls for no modification at all. Of course it was intended to be cooked over a wood fire, which can easily be constructed in such a way as to provide higher heat to the larger upper portion of the leg so as to avoid overcooking the skinnier lower parts, but this can be achieved in a modern oven or barbeque grill with the judicious deployment of tinfoil.