This section is from the book "The American Woman's Cook Book", by Ruth Berolzheimer. Also available from Amazon: The Domestic Arts Edition of the American Woman's Cook Book.
Veal should be at least six weeks old before slaughter. The sale of "bob" veal is prohibited in many states; it is soft and of poor flavor. Prime veal should be a faint pink color with little or no edge of fat. Flecks of fat in the meat should show a pinkish tinge. Milk-fed veal is particularly good.
Pork should have firm white flesh with a faint pink tinge. The fat should be clear white. Pork of dull appearance, with yellowish lumps through the meat or fat should be avoided.
Lamb may be distinguished from mutton by the bones. In young lamb, the bones are slightly streaked with red and the joint is serrated. The joint of mutton is smooth and round. Lamb or mutton should have a deep pink flesh, hard white kidney fat, thin edge fat of a pinkish tinge, and firm, fine-grained fibers. The outer skin and fat of mutton should be torn off before the meat is cooked.
Meat shrinks from one-third to one-half in cooking. Therefore allow one-fourth pound of meat without bone for each serving, and one-half pound of meat consisting of lean, fat and bone as a minimum for each serving.
Animals dressed for market are divided lengthwise through the backbone into two parts, each of which is called a side. Each side is divided again into two parts, the forequarter and the hindquarter. Each quarter is then divided into smaller cuts which are sold in the retail market.
As a general rule the price of the different cuts of meat is determined by considerations such as tenderness, grain, general appearance and convenience of cooking rather than by food values in terms of fat or protein, or the ease with which they are digested. The cheapest cuts for lean meat are the neck and the two shanks. The cheapest for general use are the shanks, plates and chuck. The cheapest cuts for fat and lean are the neck, shank and plate.
Beefsteaks, in the order of their economy as food, range as follows: chuck, round, flank, sirloin, and club or Porterhouse. Of the roasts of beef, the cheapest in terms of lean meat is the rump and most expensive is the first cut of the prime ribs. For stews and boiling, the neck and shank are less expensive than the rib ends and the brisket.
As soon as meat comes from the market, the wrapping-paper should be removed, and the meat should be put on a granite or porcelain plate and placed in the refrigerator or other cool place.
Before cooking meat, wash quickly under running water, remove outer membrane and inspection stamp. In hot weather, if meat is to be kept any length of time and there is any danger of its spoiling, it may be seared on the outside on a hot griddle or may be plunged into boiling water and kept there for five minutes; lamb, mutton, or veal may be partly cooked. It should then be cooled as quickly as possible, uncovered, and put into the refrigerator or other cool place. If meat has become slightly "strong," it may be rubbed with salt and the salt wiped off