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.
Skill in carving depends upon two things: first, a knowledge of the anatomy of that which is to be carved, and second, good tools with which to work.
For the Average Family, two carving knives are desirable; one with a long, keen blade for large roasts, and a smaller, lighter one for steaks, cutlets and poultry. One two-pronged fork can be used with both knives.
For a Small Family, where large joints are not served, the smaller knife will be adequate.
The Carving Knife Should be Sharp when it is brought to the table. It should never be sharpened at the table.
The Carver Should Remain Seated while carving and should carve enough for all who are at the table before he begins to serve anyone.
The Platter Should be Large Enough to give room not only for the meat that is to be carved but also for the carved portions.
A Serving Spoon should be provided for the gravy.
First separate the meat from the bone by cutting along the edge of the bone with the thin point of the knife.
Beginning with the wide or bone end of a porterhouse or sirloin steak, and following the grain of the meat, divide each section into portions an inch or slightly more in width, depending on the number to be served.
In porterhouse and similar steaks, the tenderloin and the wider section are more tender and have a finer flavor and texture than the narrow section. Give a serving of the finer quality meat and one of the less choice meat to each person.
The small or flank end of a porterhouse steak is of poor quality, suited only for stewing or braizing, and should not be served with the rest of the steak.
Add to each portion a bit of garnish, a spoon of dish gravy, and if the steak is planked, a serving of vegetables.
Let the small bone extend toward your left and have the curved side of the meat uppermost. Thrust the fork into the center muscle and cut thin slices downward, across the grain of the meat, till the knife strikes the bone. To release the slices, insert the point of the knife beneath them and cut along the surface of the bone.
If the leg of lamb is boned, cut slices straight through, across the grain of the meat.
The backbone should be cut through at each rib before the meat is roasted. Let the roast lie on the platter with the bones down and the smaller end of the roast at your left. Carve down between the ribs and serve one rib to each person.
Carve down between the ribs and serve one rib to each person.
Let the roast rest on the platter with the bone down and the end diagonally toward you. Make a cut through the center the entire length of the backbone, separating the meat into two similar parts. Remove the meat from the bone on each side by running the knife point between the meat and the bone. Carve the meat into slices slightly less than half an inch thick, cutting across the grain.