Beef essence is the pure juice of the meat. This is given where a patient needs much nourishment in a small compass. Beef tea is the juice of the meat diluted with water. It is a mistake to think that any beef because it is lean or cheap is good enough for beef tea. It will do for the soup-kettle, but not for those who are ill. Meat for beef tea should be lean, juicy, and of good flavor. Every particle of fat, skin, and membrane must be removed. The top of the round and the back and middle of the rump contain the most and the best-flavored juice. It costs more per pound than some other pieces; but as it yields nearly double the amount of juice, it is really cheaper. The tenderloin is often recommended for sick persons. It should never be used for beef tea, as it contains very little juice and lacks flavor. When the tender fibre of the meat is desired, it may be broiled, and served with the juice from some tougher steak.

Broiling is the quickest, and sometimes the most palatable, way of preparing both essence and tea in an emergency.

Drawing and heating the meat and juice is best where a little nourishment is to be given often, and where all the elements of the meat are needed. Soaking in cold water, then straining, and heating the juice only, is the most economical way, as more than twice the usual amount of juice may be obtained by adding more water when the meat has not been heated.

The albuminous juices of meat coagulate at 160°; if the tea be allowed to boil, they become hard, and settle almost immediately when served. Many make the mistake of straining the tea, or leaving the sediment untouched. If the tea be heated just enough to make it palatable, it will hold the juices in solution, not separated, and will be thick, and of the color of chocolate, and much more palatable and nutritious than when boiled.

Broiled Beef Essence

Broil half a pound of round steak one or two minutes, or until the juice will flow. Cut it into small pieces. Squeeze the juice into a bowl placed over warm water. Salt, and serve without reheating. Or pour it over a slice of hot dry toast.

Broiled Beef Tea

Add half a cup of boiling water to the meat after broiling as above.

Bottled Beef Essence

Put two pounds of round steak, cut in small pieces, into a jar without water. Place the jar, covered closely, on a trivet in a kettle of cold water. Heat gradually, and keep it not quite at the boiling-point for two hours, or till the meat is white. Strain, pressing the meat to obtain all the juice; season with salt. Or place the jar in a moderate oven for three hours. The liquid thus obtained contains all the nutritive parts of the meat. It may be kept in the refrigerator, and a small portion heated (not boiled), as wanted. Or it may be made into beef tea by diluting with boiling water. Beef essence given ice cold is sometimes more agreeable to a fever patient.

Bottled Beef Tea

Add one cup of cold water to the meat in the jar, and make as above. When the patient can take a little solid food, add two tablespoonfuls of stale bread crumbs to the beef tea, or mix with it oatmeal gruel, or add one teaspoonful of finely chopped raw meat.