Any one who can use a sharp knife, and scrape meat or fish from a bone, without cutting her own flesh, can bone anything, from the smallest bird, chop, or fish, to a leg or forequarter of lamb, or a turkey. A small knife with a sharp, short, pointed blade, is all that is required. It is well to begin on a small scale by removing the bone from a chop or steak. The aim is to remove the flesh from the bone without cutting into the flesh, or destroying its shape more than is necessary.

How To Bone A Chop Or Steak

Begin at the bone end, scrape the meat away, leaving the bone clean and the flesh unbroken. If there be a piece of tenderloin under the bone, remove it, and put it up close to the meat, which was above the bone in the original form.

Directions for boning fish are given on page 161.

How To Bone A Leg Of Mutton

Cut it off at the first joint, insert the knife near the joint, and loosen the flesh from the bone, leaving all the gristle and tendons on the bone. Then begin at the tail end, and scrape the fat away from the backbone, then follow the bone (you can easily tell by the feeling, if you cannot see it) until you come to the joint; leave all the gristle and cords on the bone, and continue scraping off the flesh till the whole bone is out. One could easily cut through from the outside to the bone and remove it in that way; but the flesh would - have to be sewed together, and much of the juice would escape, After removing the bone, stuff the cavity left by the bone, and sew the skin together at the smaller end. Then bring the edges together at the upper end, crowding all the flesh inside, and sew the skin together tightly. This gives a rectangular form of solid meat and stuffing. When salted and floured and exposed to a hot oven, the juices are kept inside; the meat is more conveniently served, and, when cold, does not become dry and hard.

Any other pieces of meat are boned in a similar manner.

How To Bone A Bird, Fowl, Or Turkey

In this case the flesh is to be kept in the skin in order to preserve the shape. The skin should be firm and unbroken, and the bird should not be drawn. Remove the head and pin-feathers, singe and wipe carefully. Remove the tendons from the legs, and loosen the skin round the end of the drumstick. Make an incision through the skin from the neck to the middle of the back, or near the junction of the side bone. Scrape the flesh with the skin away from the backbone until you feel the end of the shoulder-blade; loosen the flesh from this, and then follow the bone to the wing joint, and down to the middle joint in the wing. The skin lies very near the bone underneath the joint, and care must be taken to avoid cutting through the skin at these places. Leave the first bone in the wing to aid in keeping the shape; it may be removed before serving. In small birds there is so little meat on the wings, that it is just as well to cut them off at the middle joint. Remove the bone from the other wing in the same way, then follow the collar bone from the wing down to the breastbone, loosening the crop from the flesh. In removing the flesh from the breastbone, be careful not to cut through the skin on the ridge. The flesh may be pushed away with the fingers, and the fillets or pieces that are detached from the other flesh can be laid aside, and put in place afterwards. When the breastbone is bare, separate the flesh from the ribs, and be careful not to break through the membrane into the inside. Remove the flesh round the second joint, then the drumsticks, turning the flesh wrong side out as in pulling a glove from the finger.

Repeat this process on the other side. Then scrape down to the end of the backbone, and cut through the bone, leaving a part of it in the tail. Separate the membrane under the body without breaking. Thus you have the flesh in the skin, and the skeleton left entire With the contents undisturbed in the inside. Lay the stuffing in, filling out the legs and wings, then sew the skin along the back, and skewer or tie into the original shape.

An easier way of boning a fowl where it is to be rolled like a galantine, is to cut off the wings at the second joint, break the drumstick half-way from the joint, cut the skin down the entire length of the back, remove the flesh from the wing and second joint, turning the skin and flesh off like a glove; then do the same on the other wing and leg, leaving the breast till the last. The wings and legs are turned inside, the stuffing is laid in the flesh, and the whole rolled over and over, and sewed on the edge of the skin and at the ends of the roll.