Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Below are some recipes from 1881 in preparing Beef.

Beefsteak.—There is no meat which can be eaten day after day and meal after meal with the satisfaction which a tender, juicy, well-cooked beefsteak gives. The ideal steak is a fat sirloin or porter-house, not because the fat itself is particularly good to eat, but the lean which comes with the fat is better in quality. The best meat is the cheapest in the end, as then every little bit can be disposed of in some way. I do not have much faith in the rules given for choosing meat; they depend upon too many contingencies, and so hesitate to give any. I think there is only one way to cook a steak, and that is upon a gridiron over a bed of coals; butter, pepper, and salt to be added the moment it is taken off on the warm platter. Some cooks are quite successful in cooking steak on a hot meat-griddle, having it smoking hot when the meat is put on.
Pieces of nice steak that are left from one or two meals can be made into an inviting dish for breakfast by chopping them fine, taking care that no grizzle or bits of bone are left in; season with pepper and salt, and heat with a very little water and a lump of butter.

Roast Beef.—Every woman who has kept house a few years has a theory of her own as to how beef should be roasted; one says that it should be put into the oven without a drop of water in the pan; another that it should be rolled in flour, a little lemon-juice squeezed on it, and so on indefinitely, each one thinking her way is the best; as for me, I am sure that my ways are best, for I have two of them. If the beef is fat, and seems juicy, I put it into the oven with just about a tablespoonful of water, and roast, allowing an hour and a half for five pounds of beef. If the meat is lean and dry, and gives an impression that it is tough, especially if my butcher has been betrayed into confessing that it is not very tender, then I put it in the dripping-pan on the top of the stove with half a pint of water, turn a pan over it, and let it steam for half an hour, then put in the oven. I have in this way served what appeared to the unsuspicious family as a delicious roast, but which I knew to be a very tough, unpromising piece of meat. So unorthodox is this way of roasting beef that I almost fear to make it known.

Beef Omelet.—This is good for breakfast or tea. Take one pound of chopped beef, two well-beaten eggs, three soda-crackers rolled fine, three or four tablespoonfuls of milk or cream; season to your taste with pepper, salt, and sage. Make this in a roll, cover it loosely with a well-buttered cloth, and bake half an hour in a basin, with a little water in it. When cold cut it in thin slices.

Baked Beef.— Take a piece of round steak, stuff it with force meat the same as for chicken or turkey, sew it together, and bake, basting it frequently with a little melted butter and warm water. A tough piece of meat may be disposed of in this way which otherwise would, perhaps, be thrown away.

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