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article number 408
article date 12-30-2014
copyright 2014 by Author else SaltOfAmerica
Your Meat Recipes of 1881
by Maria Parloa, Principle, School of Cooking, Boston

From the 1881 book, Miss Parloa’s New Cook Book and Marketing Guide.

EDITORS NOTE: This article is decorated with drawings from the “Kitchen Furnishing” chapter.


All pieces, unless very salt, should be plunged into boiling water, and boiled rapidly for fifteen minutes, to harden the albumen that is on the outside, and thus keep in the juices.

The kettle should then be put back where it will just simmer, for meat that is boiled rapidly becomes hard and stringy, while that which is kept just at the boiling point (where the water hardly bubbles) will cut tender and juicy, provided there is any juiciness in it at the beginning.

White meats, like mutton and poultry, are improved in appearance by having rice boiled with them; or, a still better way is to thickly flour a piece of coarse cotton cloth, pin meat in it, and place in the boiling water. Meat cooked in this way will be extremely juicy.

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Leg of Mutton.

Cook, as directed, in boiling water to cover. A leg that weighs eight or nine pounds will cook in one hour and a quarter if it is wanted done rare. Allow five minutes for every additional pound. Save the water for soups.

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Cook the same as mutton. Serve with drawn butter.

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Boiled Ham.

Wash the ham very clean, and put on with cold water to cover. Simmer gently five hours, and set the kettle aside for one or two hours.

When nearly cold, take out the ham and draw off the skin.

Cover with cracker crumbs and about three table-spoonfuls of sugar. Place in the oven, in a baking-pan, for thirty or forty minutes.

Many people stick cloves into the fat part of the ham, and use only a few crumbs. The time given is for a ham weighing about twelve pounds; every pound over that will require fifteen minutes more.

The fish kettle comes next to a regular ham kettle, and answers quite as well as both. If you have neither kettle, and no pot large enough to hold all the meat, cut off the knuckle, which will cook in about two hours. But this rather hurts the flavor and appearance of the dish.


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Salt Tongue.

Soak over night, and cook from five to six hours. Throw into cold water and peel off the skin.
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Fresh Tongue.

Put into boiling water to cover, with two table-spoonfuls of salt. Cook from five to six hours. Skin the same as salt tongue.

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Corned Beef.

Wash, and put into cold water, if very salt; but such a piece as one finds in town and city shops, and which the butchers corn themselves, put into boiling water. Cook very slowly for six hours. This time is for a piece weighing eight or ten pounds.

When it is to be served cold let it stand for one or two hours in the water in which it was boiled.

If the beef is to be pressed, get either a piece of the brisket flank or rattle-ran.

Take out the bones, place in a flat dish or platter, put a tin sheet on top, and lay on it two or three bricks. It you have a corned beef press, use that, of course.


There are two modes of roasting: one is to use a tin kitchen before an open fire, and the other and more common way is to use a very hot oven. The former gives the more delicious favor, but the second is not by any means a poor way, if the meat is put on a rack, and basted constantly when in the oven.

A large piece is best for roasting, this being especially true of beef. When meat is cooked in a tin kitchen it requires more time, because the heat is not equally distributed, as it is in the oven.

To prepare for roasting: Wipe the meat with a wet towel. Dredge on all sides with salt, pepper and flour; and if the kitchen is used, dredge the flour into that.

Run the spit through the centre of the meat, and place very near the fire at first, turning as it browns. When the flour in the kitchen is browned, add a pint of hot water, and baste frequently with it, dredging with salt and flour after each basting.

Roast a piece of beef weighing eight pounds fifty minutes, if to be rare, but if to be medium, roast one hour and a quarter, and ten minutes for each additional pound.



Prepare the meat as before. Have a rack that will fit loosely into the baking-pan. Cover the bottom of the pan rather lightly with flour, put in rack, and then meat.

Place in a very hot oven for a few minutes, to brown the flour in the pan, and then add hot water enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Close the oven; and in about ten minutes, open, and baste the meat with the gravy. Dredge with salt, pepper and flour.

Do this every fifteen minutes; and as soon as one side of the meat is brown, turn, and brown the other. Make gravy as before. Allow a quarter of an hour less in the oven than in the tin kitchen.

The heat for roasting must be very great at first, to harden the albumen, and thus keep in the juices.

After the meat is crusted over it is not necessary to keep up so great a heat, but for rare meats the heat must, of course, be greater than for those that are to be well done. The kitchen can be drawn back a little distance from the fire and the drafts closed.

Putting salt on fresh meat draws out the juices, but by using flour, a paste is formed, which keeps in all the juices and also enriches and browns the piece.

Never roast meat without having a rack in the pan. If meat is put into the water in the pan it becomes soggy and looses its flavor. A meat-rack costs not more than thirty or forty cents, and the improvement in the looks and flavor of a piece of meat is enough to pay for it in one roasting.

The time given for roasting a piece of beef is for rib roasts and sirloin. The same weight in the face or the back of the rump will require twenty minutes longer, as the meat on these cuts is in a very compact form.

If a saddle or loin of mutton is to be roasted, cook the same time as beef if the weight is the same; but if a leg is to be roasted, one hour and a quarter is the time.

Lamb should be cooked an hour and a half;
- veal, two hours and three-quarters;
- pork, three hours and a quarter.

Ten minutes before dishing the dinner turn the gravy into a saucepan, skim off all the fat, and set on the stove. Let it come to a boil; then stir in one table-spoonful of flour, mixed with half a cupful of cold water.

Season with salt and pepper, and cook two minutes.

Serve the meat on a hot dish and the gravy in a hot tureen.

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Rolled Rib Roast.

Either have the butcher remove the bones, or do it yourself by slipping a sharp knife between the flesh and bones—a simple matter with almost any kind of meat. Roll up the piece and tie with strong twine.

Treat the same as plain roast beef, giving the same time as if it were a piece of rump (one hour and a half for eight pounds), as the form it is now in does not readily admit the heat to all parts.

This piece of beef can be larded before roasting, or it can be larded and braised. Serve with tomato or horse-radish sauce.


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Roast Beef, with Yorkshire Pudding.

A rib or sirloin roast should be prepared as directed for roasting. When within three-quarters of an hour of being done, have the pudding made.

Butter a pan like that in which the meat is being cooked, and pour in the batter. Put the rack across the pan, not in it. Place the meat on the rack, return to the oven, and cook forty-five minutes.

If you have only one pan, take up the meat, pour off the gravy and put in the pudding. Cut in squares, and garnish the beef with these.

Another method is to have a pan that has squares stamped in it. This gives even squares and crust on all the edges, which baking in the flat pan does not.

When the meat is roasted in the tin-kitchen, let the pudding bake in the oven for half an hour, and then place it under the meat to catch the drippings.

For the Yorkshire pudding, one pint of milk, two-thirds of a cupful of flour, three eggs and one scant teaspoonful of salt will be needed. Beat the eggs very light. Add salt and milk, and then pour about half a cupful of the mixture upon the flour; and when perfectly smooth, add the remainder. This makes a small pudding—about enough for six persons. Serve it hot.

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Fillet of Veal, Roasted.

About eight or ten pounds of the fillet,
- ham force-meat (see rule for force-meat),
- half a cupful of butter,
- half a teaspoonful of pepper,
- two table-spoonfuls of salt,
- two lemons,
- half a pound of salt pork.

Rub the salt and pepper into the veal; then fill the cavity, from which the bone was taken, with the force-meat.
- Skewer and tie the fillet into a round shape.
- Cut the pork in thin slices, and put half of these on a tin sheet that will fit into the dripping pan;
- Place this in the pan, and the fillet on it.
- Cover the veal with the remainder of the pork.
- Put hot water enough in the pan to just cover the bottom, and place in the oven.

Bake slowly for four hours, basting frequently with the gravy in the pan, and with salt, pepper and flour. As the water in the pan cooks away, it must be renewed, remembering to have only enough to keep the meat and pan from burning.

After it has been cooking three hours, take the pork from the top of the fillet, spread the top thickly with butter and dredge with flour. Repeat this after thirty minutes, and then brown handsomely.

Put the remainder of the butter, which should be about three tablespoonfuls, in a sauce-pan, and when hot, add two heaping table-spoonfuls of flour, and stir until dark brown. Add to it half a pint of stock or water; stir a minute, and set back where it will keep warm, but not cook.

Now take up the fillet, and skim all the fat off of the gravy; add water enough to make half a pint of gravy, also the sauce just made. Let this boil up, and add the juice of half a lemon, and more salt and pepper, if needed. Strain, and pour around the fillet.

Garnish the dish with potato puffs and slices of lemon.

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Roast Ham.

Prepare the ham as for boiling, and if it is of good size (say ten pounds), boil three hours. Remove the skin, and put the ham in a baking pan. Let it cook two hours in a moderate oven.

Serve with champagne sauce.


The fire for broiling must be clear, and for meats it must be hotter and brighter than for fish.

Coals from hard wood or charcoal are best, but in all large towns and cities hard coal is nearly always used, except in hotels and restaurants, where there is usually a special place for broiling with charcoal.

The double broiler is the very best thing in the market for broiling meats and fish. When the meat is placed in it, and the slide is slipped over the handles, all there is to do is to hold the broiler over the fire, or, if you have an open range, before the fire.

A fork or knife need not go near the meat until it is on the dish. A great amount of the juice is saved.

With the old-fashioned gridirons it is absolutely necessary to stick a fork into the meat to turn it, and although there are little grooves for the gravy to run into, what is saved in this way does not compare with what is actually kept within the meat where the double broiler is used.

Professional cooks can turn a steak without running a fork into the meat, but not one in a hundred common cooks can do it.


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Mutton Chops.

Sprinkle the chops with salt, pepper and flour. Put them in the double broiler. Broil over or before the fire for eight minutes.

Serve on a hot dish with butter, salt and pepper for tomato sauce.

The fire for chops should not be as hot as for steak. Chops can be seasoned with salt and pepper, wrapped in buttered paper and broiled ten minutes over a hot fire.

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Beef Steak.

Have it cut thick. It will never be good, rich and juicy if only from one-fourth to one-half an inch thick. It ought to be at least three-quarters of an inch thick.

Trim off any suet that may be left on it, and dredge with salt, pepper and flour.

Cook in the double broiler, over or before clear coals, for ten minutes, if to be rare, twelve, if to be rather well done. Turn the meat constantly.

Serve on a hot dish with butter and salt, or with mushroom sauce, ‘maitre d’ hotel’ butter or tomato sauce.

Do not stick a knife or fork into the meat to try it. This is the way many people spoil it.

Pounding is another bad habit: much of the juice of the meat is lost.

When, as it sometimes happens, there is no convenience for broiling, heat the frying pan very hot, then sprinkle with salt, and lay in the steak. Turn frequently.


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Braised Beef.

Take six or eight pounds of the round or the face of the rump, and lard with quarter of a pound of salt pork.

Put six slices of pork in the bottom of the braising pan, and as soon as it begins to fry, add two onions, half a small carrot and half a small turnip, all cut fine.

Cook these until they begin to brown; then draw them to one side of the pan and put in the beef, which has been well dredged with salt, pepper and flour.

Brown on all sides, and then add one quart of boiling water and a bouquet of sweet herbs cover, and cook slowly in the oven for four hours, basting every twenty minutes.

Take up, and finish the gravy as for braised tongue. Or, add to the gravy half a can of tomatoes, and cook for ten minutes. Strain, pour around the beef, and serve.

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Fricandeau of Veal.

Have a piece of veal, weighing about eight pounds, cut from that part of the leg called the cushion.

Wet the vegetable masher,
- beat the veal smooth;
- then lard one side thickly.

Put eight slices of pork in the bottom of the braising-pan; place the veal on this, larded side up.
- Add two small onions,
- half a small turnip,
- wo slices of carrot,
- one clove
- and a bouquet of sweet herbs
—these to be at the sides of the meat, not on top; and one quart of white stock or water.

Dredge with salt, pepper and flour.

Cover, and place in a rather moderate oven. Cook three hours, basting every fifteen minutes.

If cooked rapidly the meat will be dry and stringy, but if slowly, it will be tender and juicy.

When done, lift carefully from the pan. Melt four table-spoonfuls of glaze, and spread on the meat with a brush. Place in the open oven for five minutes.

Add one cupful of hot water to the contents of the braising-pan. Skim off all the fat, and then add one heaping teaspoonful of corn-starch, which has been mixed with a little cold water. Let it boil one minute; then strain, and return to the fire.

Add two table-spoonfuls of glaze, and when this is melted, pour the sauce around the fricandeau, and serve.

Potato balls, boiled for twelve minutes in stock, and then slightly browned in the oven, make a pretty garnish for the dish. It is also served on a bed of finely-chopped spinach or mashed potatoes.


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Leg of Lamb a la Francaise.

Put a leg of lamb, weighing about eight pounds, in as small a kettle as will hold it.

- Put in a muslin bag one onion,
- one small white turnip,
- a few green celery leaves,
- three sprigs each of sweet marjoram and summer savory,
- four cloves
- and twelve allspice.

Tie the bag and place it in the kettle with the lamb; then pour on two quarts of boiling water. Let this come to a boil, and then skim carefully.

Now add four heaping table-spoonfuls of flour, which has been mixed with one cupful of cold water, two table-spoonfuls of salt and a speck of cayenne. Cover tight, and set back where it will just simmer for four hours.

In the meantime make a pint and a half of veal or mutton force-meat, which make into little balls and fry brown.

Boil six eggs hard.

At the end of four hours take up the lamb. Skim all the fat off of the gravy and take out the bag of seasoning.

Now put the kettle where the contents will boil rapidly for ten minutes. Put three table-spoonfuls of butter in the frying-pan, and when hot, stir in two of flour; cook until a dark brown, but not burned, and stir into the gravy. Taste to see if seasoned enough.

Have the whites and yolks of the hard-boiled eggs chopped separately.

Pour the gravy over the lamb; then garnish with the chopped eggs, making a hill of the whites, and capping it with part of the yolks. Sprinkle the remainder of the yolks over the lamb. Place the meat balls in groups around the dish. Garnish with parsley, and serve.

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Braised Breast of Lamb.

With a sharp knife, remove the bones from a breast of lamb; then season it well with salt and pepper, and roll up and tie firmly with twine. Put two table-spoonfuls of butter in the braising-pan, and when melted, add one onion, one slice of carrot and one of turnip, all cut fine.

Stir for five minutes, and then put in the lamb, with a thick dredging of flour. Cover, and set back, where it will not cook rapidly, for half an hour; then add one quart of stock or boiling water, and place in the oven, where it will cook slowly, for one hour.

Baste often.

Take up the meat, skim all the fat off of the gravy, and then put it where it will boil rapidly for five minutes. Take the string from the meat. Strain the gravy, and pour over the dish.

Serve very hot. Or serve with tomato or Bechamel sauce. The bones should be put in the pan with the meat, to improve the gravy.


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Beef Stew.

Two pounds of beef (the round, flank, or any cheap part; if there is bone in it, two and a half pounds will be required),
- one onion,
- two slices of carrot,
- two of turnip,
- two potatoes,
- three table-spoonfuls of flour,
- salt,
- pepper,
- and a generous quart of water.

Cut all the fat from the meat, and put it in a stew-pan; fry gently for ten or fifteen minutes.

In the meantime cut the meat in small pieces, and season well with salt and pepper, and then sprinkle over it two tablespoonfuls of flour. Cut the vegetables in very small pieces, and put in the pot with the fat.

Fry them five minutes, stirring well, to prevent burning.

Now put in the meat, and move it about in the pot until it begins to brown; then add the quart of boiling water. Cover; let it boil up once, skim, and set hack, where it will just bubble, for two and a halt hours.

Add the potatoes, cut in thin slices, and one tablespoonful of flour, which mix smooth with half a cupful of cold water, pouring about one-third of the water on the flour at first, and adding the rest when perfectly smooth. Taste to see if the stew is seasoned enough, and if it is not, add more salt and pepper.

Let the stew come to a boil again, and cook ten minutes; then add dumplings. Cover tightly, and boil rapidly ten minutes longer.

Mutton, lamb or veal can be cooked in this manner.

When veal is used, fry out two slices of pork, as there will not be much fat on the meat. Lamb and mutton must have some of the fat put aside, as there is so much on these meats that they are otherwise very gross.


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Irish Stew.

About two pounds of the neck of mutton,
- four onions,
- six large potatoes,
- salt,
- pepper,
- three pints of water
- and two table-spoonfuls of flour.

Cut the mutton in handsome pieces. Put about half the fat in the stew-pan, with the onions, and stir for eight or ten minutes over a hot fire; then put in the meat, which sprinkle with the flour, salt and pepper. Stir ten minutes, and add the water, boiling.

Set for one hour where it will simmer; then add the potatoes, peeled, and cut in quarters. Simmer an hour longer, and serve.

You can cook dumplings with this dish, if you choose. They are a great addition to all kinds of stews and ragouts.

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Toad in the Hole.

This is an English dish, and a good one, despite the unpleasant name.

One pound of round steak,
one pint of milk,
one cupful of flour,
one egg,
and salt and pepper.

Cut the steak into dice. Beat the egg very light; add milk to it, and then half a teaspoonful of salt. Pour upon the flour, gradually, beating very light and smooth.

Butter a two-quart dish, and in it put the meat. Season well, and pour over it the batter. Bake an hour in a moderate oven. Serve hot.

This dish can be made with mutton and lamb in place of steak.

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Scotch Roll.

Remove the tough skin from about five pounds of the flank of beef. A portion of the meat will be found thicker than the rest.

With a sharp knife, cut a thin layer from the thick part, and lay upon the thin.

Mix together:
- three tablespoonfuls of salt,
- one of sugar,
- half a teaspoonful of pepper,
- one-eighth of a teaspoonful of clove
- and one teaspoonful of summer savory.
—Sprinkle this over the meat, and then sprinkle with three table-spoonfuls of vinegar.

Roll up, and tie with twine.

Put away in a cold place for twelve hours. When it has stood this time, place in a stew-pan, with boiling water to cover, and simmer gently for three hours and a half.

Mix four heaping table-spoonfuls of flour with half a cupful of cold water, and stir into the gravy. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Simmer half an hour longer. This dish is good hot or cold.

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