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article number 713
article date 04-19-2018
copyright 2018 by Author else SaltOfAmerica
1918 Meats Part 1: Meats Overview, Stuffing and Sauces ― From the 1918 Metropolitan Life Cookbook for "Healthful Eating"
by Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, 1918


EDITOR’S NOTE: The article is decorated with ads from 1918 Ladies’ Home Journal Magazines.

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Good beef is dark, purple in color when first cut, but turns to a bright red. It should be well streaked with a firm fat of yellowish color that crumbles easily. The flesh should be firm and, when pressed with the finger, no mark should remain.

Veal should be pink; it is usually less firm than beef. If used too young, it is watery and flabby.

Mutton should be dullish red, rather firm and streaked with firm white or slightly yellow fat.

Lamb, which is in season between May and November, should be pink, with more red color in the bones than mutton.

Pork should be pale in color. It is less firm than beef and has soft fat.

* * *

All meat should be removed from the paper wrappings as soon as it comes from the market. Paper absorbs meat juices, and if meat remains in the paper too long, it will taste of it.

Before cooking, meat should be wiped with a clean, damp cloth, but it should never be put in water because water draws out the meat juices.

Meat should always be kept in a cool place.

* * *

One of the fundamental, underlying principles in the cooking of meat is that heat hardens protein.

High temperature hardens and toughens meat; therefore, it should only be used to form a coating or to sear the meat on the outside. This also is the best means of retaining the juices, and if lower temperature is used to complete the cooking, the finished product will not be tough and indigestible.

Pounding and chopping helps to break the connective tissue. It is, however, likely to open the thread-like meat fibers and release the juices.

If flour is pounded into the meat, it will hold and help retain the juices.

The natural flavor of tougher meats is developed by long, slow cooking.


○ Beef, round 10 to 12 minutes

○ Beef ribs (well done) 12 to 15 minutes

○ Beef ribs (rare) 8 to 10 minutes

○ Mutton, leg (well done) 15 minutes

○ Mutton, leg (rare) 8 minutes

○ Mutton, loin (rare) 8 minutes

○ Mutton, shoulder (stuffed) 15 minutes

○ Lamb (well done) 20 minutes

○ Veal (well done) 25 minutes

○ Pork (well done) 30 minutes

○ Chicken 15 minutes

○ Duck 20 to 25 minutes

○ Goose 18 to 20 minutes

○ Turkey, 8-pound 15 to 20 minutes

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• 3 cups bread crumbs
• 1/4 cup melted fat
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup apples, pared, cut in eighths, and stewed in a little sugar
• Few grains pepper
• 1/2 cup soaked, stewed and stoned prunes
• 1/2 cup nut meats, broken into pieces, if liked

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• 2 cups mashed potatoes, highly seasoned with salt and pepper
• 1/2 cup chopped, par-boiled onions
• 2 egg yolks
• 2 tablespoons melted fat
• 1/4 teaspoon sage

Mix ingredients in order given.


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To each cup of liquid from meat add, gradually, 2 tablespoons flour mixed till smooth, with an equal quantity of cold water. Cook as white sauce. Strain.

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• 1/2 cup butter
• 2 egg yolks
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• Sprinkle of cayenne
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Divide butter in 3 pieces. Put 1 piece in a pan with the egg yolks and lemon juice and cook over hot water, stirring constantly with wire whisk.

Don’t let water touch pan or egg will cook too quickly.

As the sauce thickens, add the second piece of butter, then the third.

Remove from fire, add seasoning.

One tablespoon of cream added helps to keep the sauce from separating.

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• 3 tablespoons butter
• 3 tablespoons flour
• 1 1/2 cups milk
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/8 teaspoon pepper
• 2 egg yolks
• 1 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar

Make sauce of first 3 ingredients, salt and pepper.

Beat egg yolks slightly and just before serving, add sauce and heat.

Add lemon juice and serve at once.

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• 8 stalks mint, or 2 tablespoons dry mint
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 1/2 cup vinegar

Wash mint and pick leaves from stews. Chop fine.

Add sugar to vinegar. Pour over mint leaves.

Let stand 1 hour.

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- I -
• 1 cup milk
• 1 tablespoon flour
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 1/4 teaspoon salt

- II -
• 1 cup milk
• 2 tablespoons flour
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1/4 teaspoon salt

- III -
• 3 tablespoons butter
• 3 tablespoons flour
• 1 cup milk
• 1 teaspoon salt

Melt butter in saucepan, then add flour, stirring till mixture becomes foamy, but not brown. Add milk, continue stirring to insure smoothness, cook till thickened. Season.

White Sauce I is used in preparation of creamed vegetables. II is used in cream soups and scalloped dishes. III is that usually used for croquettes.

The general rule for use of white sauce for creamed scalloped vegetables is to use half as much white sauce as vegetables. For example, for 1 pint of potatoes, use 1 cup of white sauce.

For croquettes, use equal amounts of white sauce and meat. Chill mixture before using.

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• 1 peck ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
• 12 onions (size of egg), finely chopped
• 6 green peppers (small), finely chopped
• 1 pint brown sugar
• 1 pint vinegar
• 3 tablespoons salt
• 1/2 tablespoon allspice
• 1 tablespoon cinnamon
• 1/2 tablespoon cloves
• 1/2 teaspoon paprika

Mix the first 6 ingredients together and cook until nearly done, before adding the spices.

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• 1 quart small cucumbers
• 1 quart large cucumbers, sliced or diced
• 2 quarts small pearl onions
• 1 quart green tomatoes, sliced
• 2 quarts small green tomatoes
• 2 quarts butter beans or celery cut in 2-inch pieces
• 3 small heads cauliflower, torn apart
• 6 green peppers, cut in strips

Prepare vegetables overnight and soak in a strong brine made by adding 2 cups of salt to each gallon of water.

In the morning bring to the boiling point and let simmer until vegetables are tender.

Drain thoroughly in a colander and cover with the following mustard dressing: Mix together:
• 1 cups sugar,
• 4 tablespoons flour,
• 4 tablespoons powdered mustard,
• 4 tablespoon turmeric,
• 1 teaspoon celery salt.

Add slowly 3 pints of hot vinegar; stir till smooth.

Cook in double boiler till it thickens.

Pour over hot vegetables; simmer for 5 minutes.

Pack in hot, clean jars.

Ice From the Outside. Any McCray Refrigerator can be arranged with outside door for icing from the side or rear porch. This permits the milkman to put the milk on the ice immediately ― it also keeps the iceman with his muddy tracks outside your kitchen and relieves you entirely of this annoyance.

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