Wash, and set it on to stew in sufficient cold water to keep it just covered until it is done. When it boils, take off the scum, and put an ounce and a quarter of salt to the gallon of water. It is usual to add a few cloves and some black pepper, slightly bruised and tied up loosely in a fold of muslin, two or more onions, a root of celery, a bunch of savoury herbs, four or five carrots, and as many turnips, either whole or sliced: if to be served with the meat, the last two will require a little more than the ordinary time of boiling, but otherwise they may be simmered with the meat from the beginning. Give the beef from four to five hours' gentle stewing; and serve it with part of its own liquor thickened and flavoured, or quite plain. An excellent dish for a family may be made by stewing the thick fleshy part of the shin or leg in stock made of the knuckle, with a few bits of lean ham, or a slice of hung beef from which the smoked edges have been carefully pared away, and some spice, salt, and vegetables: by frying these last before they are thrown into the soup-pot the savour of the stew will be greatly heightened; and a tureen of good soup may be made of its remains, after it has been served at table.
Ox-cheek, after having been soaked for four or five hours, and washed with great nicety, may be dressed like the shin; but as it has little flavour, the gravy should be strained, and quite cleared from fat, then put into a clean saucepan, and thickened as soon as it boils, with the following mixture:- three dessertspoonsful of rice-flour, nearly a wine-glassful of catsup, a teaspoonful of curry-powder, or a little powdered ginger and cayenne. When these have stewed for ten minutes, dish the head, pour the sauce over, and serve it.
Shin of beef, 4 to 5 hours. Ox-cheek, 2 to 3 hours.
French beef A la mode; (a common receipt.) Take seven or eight pounds of a rump of beef (or of any other tender joint), free from bone, and skewer it firmly into a good shape. Put two ounces of butter into a thick saucepan or stewpan, and when it boils stir to it a tablespoonful of flour; keep these well shaken over a gentle fire until they are of a fine amber colour; then lay in the beef, and brown it on both sides, taking care that it shall not stick to the pan. Pour to it by slow degrees, letting each portion boil before the next is added, or the butter will float upon the surface and be difficult to clear off afterwards, three quarters of a pint of hot water, or gravy; add a bunch of savoury herbs, one large or two small carrots cut in thick sli,ces, two or three moderate-sized onions, two bay-leaves, and sufficient pepper and salt to season the gravy. Let the meat simmer gently from four to five hours, and turn it when it is half done. When ready to serve, lift the beef into a hot dish, lay the vegetables round, and pour the gravy over it, after having taken out the herbs and skimmed away the fat.
In France, half or the whole of a calf's foot is stewed with the beef, which is there generally larded through with thick strips of fat bacon. (For larding, see page 139.) Veal dressed in this way is even better than beef. The stewpan used for either would be as nearly of the size of the meat as possible. Beef, 7 to 8 lbs.: 4 to 5 hours.