The Round is divided into top and bottom, so called because of the way in which the leg is laid upon the block to be cut up. The outside, being laid down, is called the bottom round, while the inside, being on the top as it is laid down is called the top round. The difference in quality to be found between the two divisions is what would be expected from the rule stated earlier concerning the greater toughness of the more exposed and exercised parts of the animal. The bottom of the round being nearest the skin is the tougher and cheaper meat. The top round is used for a very fair quality of steak. The bottom round is better for braising, stews, etc. A vein divides the two sections so that it is easy to separate them. The top may bring 22 to 25 cents a pound, while the poorest parts may be secured for 12 1-2 cents.

The Round

The Shank or Shin is used as that of the fore quarter, for soup. The Flank is usually corned, selling for 7 to 10 cents a pound. It is a thin piece and has a good mixture of fat.

Summary of Cuts of Beef

Passing over the various cuts of beef in review, then, we may consider the cuts most desirable for the different methods of cooking which we employ in the order of their desirability, regardless of cost.

Shin and Flank

Small Boasts

The selection of a roast of meat for a small family is the most difficult, since the larger the roast the better. Nothing smaller than a two-rib roast is very satisfactory to attempt to roast. Unless one is willing to roast less thoroughly the first day and reroast the second, or is willing to serve cold roast, the selection is very much limited. For such a family a rump fillet or Aitch bone is, perhaps, most satisfactory. The finest larger roasts are to be obtained from the first three cuts of the sirloin, and next to these the first cut of the ribs. Following these are the second and third cuts of the ribs, the back of the rump and a chuck roast. A rib-roll is a roast prepared by removing the bones, rolling and tying. It is thus made easier to carve. If one has a roast prepared in this way, she should have the bones sent home to be used in the soup kettle.

There is little to be said in addition concerning the • selection of cuts for steak, since in general meat that is especially desirable for roasts is equally good for slicing for steaks. The best is especially desirable here, since there is less opportunity to practice skill in cooking, which in other modes of preparing may avail greatly to improve an otherwise undesirable piece. It is not as pleasing to the majority of people to have meat served as steak unless it be fairly tender and juicy. In the main it is more satisfactory to those who should economize closely to rely upon other cuts, buying an occasional good steak for variety and especial luxury.

While it is true that the better the piece of meat the better the result as a general thing, it is possible and desirable to save expense to some extent where it may be done without serious loss. The meat to be cut for Hamburg steak need not be of the best, since it is rendered more digestable by the mincing. The top of the round is quite good enough, while the bottom round or even the shoulder and flank are used, although less satisfactorily.

Selection of Steaks

Cheaper Cuts

The top of the round, eighth to the thirteenth ribs, first cut of chuck, the cheaper of the rump cuts, the flank and leg may all be used for braising or pot roasts. By this method of cooking much is done to soften tough pieces, rendering them more digestible and acceptable, so that the cheaper cuts are made very palatable in the hands of a skillful cook.

The order of preference for corned beef might be, brisket, rump, piece from the chuck, plate, shoulder. Others would select the shoulder or chuck first for the reasons already mentioned. The flank is sometimes corned, but it is not considered a wise choice since it is not well protected by fat or bone as meat for corning should be to prevent the loss of the juices in the process of corning.

For stews it is desirable to extract some or all the juices from the meat. The meat is finely divided before cooking and the methods applied are those of slow, long cooking. The flank, leg and sticking piece are found to be very good for these purposes. Thus we find that all the animal may be used to good purpose in one or another of the ways indicated. The family that lives in the country and raises and provides its own supply finds it necessary to utilize all the parts. Those that depend on city markets are more ignorant of the different cuts and are as a result inclined to be much more extravagant, not having as wide experience in learning to prepare the cheaper cuts in an acceptable way.

Beef Heart is an economical and palatable meat. It is solid, and a good sized heart will serve fourteen people. There is nothing to be feared in having some left, as it is even better to serve cold for a breakfast or supper dish than when hot. The most satisfactory way of cooking is to boil it three or four hours, cool, clean of coagulated blood, stuff and bake slowly for three hours. It may be braised or stewed. It is one of the most inexpensive meats, costing not over 5 cents a pound usually.

Braising Cuts

Corned Beef

Cuts for Stews

Beef Heart

One should be very careful in using liver to determine that it is in a healthy condition, as it is an organ which is not infrequently diseased. It should be clear, smooth and without spots. Spots and streaks indicate a dangerous condition. Calf's liver is usually preferred as more tender and delicate, but the liver from good beef is cheaper and satisfactory. There is a great difference in it, some being hard and tough. Pig's is preferred by some. Calf's bring from 16 to 20 cents a pound, while beef's may be procured at from 8 to 10 cents.

Kidneys are cooked by some, although not as extensively as the organs already mentioned. They may be stewed or braised. Care should be used in selecting, as in liver. Calf's are preferred, next lamb's, mutton and beef. Those weighing" from one to two pounds may be bought for 8 cents each.

Braising Cuts

Corned Beef

Cuts for Stews

Beef Heart

In selecting a tongue for cooking one should be chosen which is firm and thick, with plenty of fat, as the lean and flabby ones do not cook satisfactorily. Those of all animals are used, the beef more often, because of its size. They may be bought fresh, smoked or corned. Tongues weighing from four to six pounds may be bought at from 16 to 18 cents a pound.

Tripe is taken from the lining of the stomach of the animal. It is sold either simply cleaned or pickled. The honey-comb is the better. It is white and tender when taken from a healthy animal. The honey-comb costs about 10 cent a pound; the plain is a little cheaper. The cost of many of these things depends almost wholly upon the demand for them.

Sweetbreads consist of the pancreas and thymus glands of the young calf or lamb which later in its life are absorbed or changed so as not to be edible. Those from a milk-fed animal are far superior, being white, firm and plump, while those from an improperly fed animal are dark, flabby and tough. They are generally sold in pairs. The pancreas is larger and better. They range from 25 or 35 cents to 50 or 75 cents a pair. What are known as Chicago sweetbreads may be bought in Eastern markets at times for $1.50 a dozen. These are packed on ice. Where the demand for sweetbreads is great, pork sweetbreads are often substituted. These are coarse and dark colored. The buyer should learn to distinguish these from calves' sweetbreads and refuse them.



Table of Cuts and Uses of Fore and Hind Quarters of Beef

Fore Quarters

4 Ribs............................................................Good roast.

6 Chuck Ribs...............................Small steaks, pot roast, stews.

Neck..................................Cheap Hamburg steak, mince meat.

Sticking-Piece.................................Mince meat, beef tea, stews.

Fore Quarters 160

Hind Quarters

Hind Quarters 161