Cookbook:Meat - 1881
This is a record of recipes from 1881. Please do not tag it as needing work, etc. You are welcome to create new recipes using this information.
How meat was prepared in the 19th century
From the 1881 Household Cyclopedia -- Outdated, but some info may actually be useful. Any chefs out there?
To Boil Meats
The most simple of culinary processes is not often performed in perfection, though it does not require so much nicety and attendance as roast; to skim the pot well, and to keep it moderately boiling, and to know how long the joint requires, comprehends the most useful point of this branch of cookery. The cook must take especial care that the water really boils all the while she is cooking, or she will be deceived in the time. An adept cook will manage with much less fire for boiling than she uses for roasting, and it will last all the time without much mending. When the water is coming to a boil there will always rise from the cleanest meat a scum to the top, this must be carefully taken off as soon as it appears, for on this depends the good appearance of a boiled dinner. When you have skimmed it well put in a little cold water, which will throw up the rest of it. If left alone it soon boils down and sticks to the meat which, instead of looking white and healthful, will have a coarse and uninviting appearance.
Many cooks put in milk to make what they boil look white but this does more harm than good; others wrap the meat in a cloth, but if it is well skimmed it will have a much more delicate appearance than when it is muffled up.
Put the meat into cold water in the proportion of about a quart to every pound of meat; it should remain covered during the whole process of boiling but only just so. Water beyond what is absolutely necessary renders the meat less savory and weakens the broth.
The water should be gradually heated according to the thickness, etc., of the article boiled; for instance a leg of mutton of ten pounds' weight should be placed over a moderate fire, which will gradually heat the water without causing it to boil, for about forty minutes. If the water boils much sooner, the meat will be hardened, and shrink up as if it were scorched. Reckon the time from its first coming to a boil, the slower it boils the tenderer, the plumper, and whiter it will be. For those who choose their food thoroughly cooked, twenty minutes to a pound will not be found too much for gentle simmering by the side of the fire. Fresh killed meat will take much longer time boiling than that which has been kept till what the butchers call ripe; if it be fresh killed it will be tough and hard if stewed ever so long, and ever so gently. The size of the boiling pots should be adapted to what they are to contain; in small families we recommend block-tin saucepans, etc., as lightest and safest, taking care that the covers fit close, otherwise the introduction of smoke may be the means of giving the meat a bad taste. Beef and mutton a little underdone is not a great fault, but lamb, pork, and veal are uneatable and truly unwholesome, if not thoroughly boiled. Take care of the liquor in which poultry or meat has been boiled, as an addition of peas, herbs, etc., will convert it into a nourishing soup.
To Bake Meats
This is one of the cheapest and most convenient ways of dressing a dinner in small families, and although the general superiority of roasting must be allowed, still certain joints and dishes, such as legs and loins of pork, legs and shoulders of mutton, and fillets of veal, will bake to great advantage if the meat be good. Besides those joints above-mentioned, we shall enumerate a few baked dishes which may be particularly recommended.
A pig when sent to the baker prepared for baking, should have its ears and tail covered with buttered paper, and a bit of butter tied up in a piece of linen to baste the back with, otherwise it will be apt to blister. If well baked it is considered equal to a roast one.
A goose prepared the same as for roasting, or a duck placed upon a stand and turned, as soon as one side is done upon the other, are equally good.
A buttock of beef, prepared as follows, is particularly fine: After it has been put in salt about a week, let it be well washed and put into a brown earthen pan with a pint of water cover the pan tight over with two or three thicknesses of cap paper, and give it four or five hours in a moderately heated oven.
A ham, if not too old, put in soak for an hour, taken out and baked in a moderately heated oven cuts fuller of graver, and of a fitter flavor, than a boiled one.
Codfish, haddock, and mackerel should have a dust of flour and some bits of butter spread over them. Eels, when large and stuffed, herrings and sprats are put in a brown pan, with vinegar and a little spice, and tied over with paper.
A hare, prepared the same as for roasting, with a few bits of butter and a little milk, put into the dish and basted several times, will be found nearly equal to roasting. In the same manner legs and shins of beef will be equally good with proper vegetable seasoning.
To Roast Meats, etc.
The first thing requisite for roasting is to have a strong, steady fire, or a clear brisk one, according to the size and weight of the joint that is put down to the spit. A cook, who does not attend to this, will prove herself totally incompetent to roast victuals properly. All roasting should be done open to the air, to ventilate the meat from its gross fumes; otherwise it becomes baked instead of roasted. The joint should be put down at such a distance from the fire as to imbibe the heat rather quickly; otherwise its plumpness and good quality will be gradually dried up, and it will turn shrivelly, and look meager. When the meat is first put down, it is necessary to see that it lies level in the pan, otherwise the process of cooking will be very troublesome. When it is warm, begin to baste it well, which prevents the nutritive juices escaping; and, if required, additional dripping must be used for that purpose.
As to sprinkling with salt while roasting, most able cooks dispense with it, as the penetrating particles of the salt have a tendency to draw out the animal juices. However a little salt thrown on, when first laid down, is sometimes necessary with strong meats. When the smoke draws towards the fire, and the dropping of the clear gravy begins, it is a sure sign that the joint is nearly done. Then take off the paper, baste well, arid dredge it with flour, which brings on that beautiful brownness which makes roasted meats look so inviting.
With regard to the time necessary for roasting various meats, it will vary according to the different sorts, the time it has been kept, and the temperature of the weather. In summer twenty minutes may be reckoned equal to half an hour in winter. A good screen, to keep off the chilling currents of air, is essentially useful. The old housewife's rule is to allow rather more than a quarter of an hour to each pound, and in most instances it proves practically correct.
In roasting mutton or lamb, the loin, the chine, and the saddle, must have the skin raised, and skewered on, and, when nearly done, take off this skin, and baste and flour to froth it up.
Veal requires roasting brown, and, if a fillet or loin, be sure to paper the fat, that as little of it may be lost as possible. When nearly done baste it with butter and dredge with flour.
Pork should be well done. When roasting a loin, cut the skin across with a sharp knife, otherwise the crackling is very awkward to manage. Stuff the knuckle part with sage and onion, and skewer it up. Put a little drawn gravy in the dish, and serve it up with apple-sauce in a tureen. A sparerib should be basted with a little butter, little dust of flour, and some sage and onions shred small. Apple-sauce is the only one which suits this dish.
Wild fowls require a clear brisk fire, and should be roasted till they are of a light brown, but not too much; yet it is a common fault to roast them till the gravy runs out, thereby losing their fine savor.
Tame fowls require more roasting, as the heat is longer in penetrating. They should be often basted, in order to keep up a strong froth, and to improve their plumpness. The seasoning of the dressing or stuffing of a fowl is important to its flavor. The dressing should consist of bread crumbs, seasoned with black pepper, salt, and no herb but thyme.
Pigs and geese should be thoroughly roasted before a good fire, and turned quickly.
Hares and rabbits require time and care, especially to have the ends sufficiently done, and to remedy that raw discoloring at the neck, etc., which proves often so objectionable at table.
To regulate Time in Cookery.
Mutton.--A leg of 8 pounds will require two hours and a half. A chine or saddle of 10 or 11 pounds, two hours and a half. A shoulder of 7 pounds, one hour and a half. A loin of 7 pounds, one hour and three quarters. A neck and breast, about the same time as a loin
Beef.--The sirloin of 15 pounds, from three hours and three quarters to four hours. Ribs of beef, from 15 to 20 pounds, will take three hours to three hours and a half.
Veal.--A fillet, from 12 to 16 pounds, will take from four to five hours, at a good fire. A loin upon the average, will take three hours. A shoulder, from three hours to three hours and a half. A neck, two hours. A breast, from an hour and a half to two hours.
Lamb.--Hind quarter of 8 pounds will take from an hour and three-quarters to two hours. Fore quarter of 10 pounds, about two hours. Leg of 6 pounds, from an hour and a quarter to an hour and a half. Shoulder or breast, with a quick fire, an hour.
Pork.--A leg of 8 pounds will require about three hours. Griskin, an hour and a half. A spare-rib of 8 or 9 pounds will take from two hours and a half to three hours to roast it thoroughly. A bald spare-rib of 8 pounds, an hour and a quarter. A loin of 5 pounds, if very fat, from two hours to two hours and a half. A sucking pig, of three weeks old, about an hour and a half.
Poultry.--A very large turkey will require about three hours; one of 10 pounds two hours; a small one an hour and a half.
A full-grown fowl, an hour and a half; a moderate sized one an hour and a quarter.
A pullet, from half an hour to forty minutes.
A goose, full grown, two hours.
A green goose, forty minutes.
A duck, full size, from an hour and a quarter to one hour and three-quarters.
Venison.--A buck haunch which weighs from 20 to 25 pounds will take about four hours and a half roasting; one from 12 to 18 pounds will take three hours and a quarter.
This culinary branch is very confined, but excellent as respects chops or steaks, to cook which in perfection the fire should be clear and brisk, and the grid-iron set on it slanting, to prevent the fat dropping in it. In addition, quick and frequent turning will ensure good flavour in the taste of the article cooked.
To Fry Meats
Be careful in keeping the frying-pan clean. See that it is properly tinned. When frying any sort of fish, first dry them in a cloth, and then flour them. Put into the pan plenty of dripping, or hog's lard, and let it be boiling hot before putting in the fish. Butter is not so good for the purpose, as it is apt to burn and blacken, and make them soft. When they are fried, put them in a dish or hair-sieve, to drain, before they are sent to table. Olive oil is the best article for frying, but it is very expensive, and bad oil spoils every thing that is dressed with it. Steaks and chops should be put in when the liquor is hot, and done quickly, of a light brown, and turned often. Sausages should be done gradually, which will prevent their bursting.
Fifty pounds of beef, three pounds of coarse salt, one ounce of saltpetre, three-quarters of a pound of sugar, two gallons of water. Mix the above ingredients together and pour over the meat. Cover the tub closely.
To Pot Beef
Cut it small, add to it some melted butter, two anchovies boned and washed, and a little of the best pepper, beat fine. Put them into a marble mortar, and beat them well together till the meat is yellow; put it into pots and cover with clarified butter.
To Pot Leg of Beef
Boil a leg of beef till the meat will come off the bone easily, then mix it with a cow heel, previously cut into thin pieces, and season the whole with salt and spice; add a little of the liquor in which the leg of beef was boiled, put it into a cheese-vat, or colander, or some other vessel that will let the liquor run off, place a very heavy weight over it, and it will be ready for use in a day or two. It may be kept in souse made of bran boiled in water, with the addition of a little vinegar.
Have the rounds divided, leaving a piece of the sinew to hang up by; lay the pieces in a tub of cold water for an hour, then rub each piece of beef that will weigh fifteen or twenty pounds, with a handful of brown sugar and a tablespoonful of saltpetre, pulverized, and a pint of fine salt; sprinkle fine salt in the bottom of a clean tight barrel, and lay the pieces in, strewing a little coarse salt between each piece; let it lie two days then make the brine in a clean tub, with cold water and ground alum salt--stir it well; it must be strong enough to bear an egg half up; put in half a pound of best brown sugar and a table spoonful of saltpetre to each gallon of the salt and water, pour it over the beef, put a clean large stone on the top of the meat to keep it under the pickle (which is very important!), put a cover on the barrel, examine it occasionally to see that the pickle does not leak, and if it should need more, add of the same strength. Let it stand six weeks then hang it up in the smoke-house, and after it has drained, smoke it moderately for ten days; it should then hang in a dry place. Before cooking let it soak for twenty-four hours; a piece that weighs fifteen or twenty pounds should boil two hours--one half the size, one hour, and a small piece should soak six or twelve hours, according to size.
Potted Lobster or Crab
This must be made with fine hen lobsters when full of spawn; boil them thoroughly. When cold pick out all the solid meat, and pound it in a mortar; it is usual to add, by degrees, (a very little) finely powdered mace, black or Cayenne pepper, salt, and, while pounding, a little butter. When the whole is well mixed, and beat to the consistence of paste, press it down hard in a preserving pot, pour clarified butter over it, and cover it with wetted bladder.
To Pot Shad
Clean the shad, take off the tail, head, and all the fins, then cut it in pieces, wash and wipe it dry. Season each piece well with salt and Cayenne pepper. Lay them in layers in a stone-jar, place between each two layers some allspice, cloves, and stick-cinnamon. Cover them with good cider vinegar, tie thick paper over the jar, place them in a moderate oven, and let them remain three or four hours.
To make Bologna Sausages
Take a pound of beef suet, a pound of pork, a pound of bacon fat and lean, and a pound of beef and veal. Cut them very small. Take a handful of sage leaves chopped fine, with a few sweet herbs. Season pretty high with pepper and salt, take a large well-cleaned gut and fill it. Set on a saucepan of water, and when it boils, put it in, first pricking it to prevent its bursting. Boil it one hour.
To make Bologna Sandwiches
Take sliced bread (two pieces) and apply margarine to one side of each slice. Take three slices of bologna and put on the margarine side of one piece of bread. Add mustard to taste. Place other piece of bread margarine side down on top. Note. Cheese may also be added.
To make Oxford Sausages
Take 1 pound of young pork, fat and lean, without skin or gristle; 1 pound of beef suet, chopped fine together; put in 1/2 pound of grated bread, half the peel of a lemon, shred, a nutmeg grated, 6 sage leaves, chopped fine; a teaspoonful of pepper; and 2 of salt; some thyme, savoury, and marjoram, shred fine. Mix well together and put it close down in a pan till used. Roll them out the size of common sausages, and fry them, in fresh butter, of a fine brown, or broil them over a clear fire, and send them to table hot.
To make Epping Sausages
Take 6 pounds of young pork, quite free from skin, gristle, or fat; cut it small, and beat it fine in a mortar. Chop 6 pounds of beef suet very fine, shred a handful of sage leaves fine, spread the meat on a clean dresser, and shake the sage over it. Shred the rind of a lemon very fine, and throw it with sweet herbs on the meat. Grate 2 nutmegs, to which put a teaspoonful of pepper, and a table spoonful of salt. Throw the suet over it, and mix all well together. Put it down close in the pot and when used, roll it up with as much egg as will make it smooth.