Salt pork and bacon should be kept always at hand; the former for larding, spreading in thin slices over baked meats, poultry, and birds, and various other uses as directed in many receipts. Bacon is an appetizing accompaniment to many breakfast dishes. Fresh pork is used only in cold weather, and must be thoroughly cooked.
The roasting pieces are the leg, loin, spare-rib, and shoulder. If the skin is left on cut it through in lines both ways, forming small squares. Put a cupful of water in the pan with the meat; bake in a moderate oven, allowing twenty to twenty-five minutes to the pound. Pork must be thoroughly cooked. Serve with apple sauce or fried apples.
Cut slices one half inch thick across the apple, giving circles. Do not remove the skin or core.
Or cut the apples in quarters, leaving on the skin and removing the core. Saute the apples in butter or drippings until tender, but not soft enough to lose form.
Serve the fried apples on the same dish with pork as garnishing.
Cut pork chops not more than one half inch thick. Trim off most of the fat, dredge them with flour, and saute" them until thoroughly cooked, and well browned. It will take about twenty-five minutes. Serve with fried apples.
Soak the ham over night, or for several hours. Thoroughly wash and scrape it. Put it into cold water; let it come to the boiling point; then simmer, allowing twenty minutes to the pound. Pierce the ham with a fine skewer. If done the skewer can be withdrawn easily without sticking. Let the ham partly cool in the water; then remove and draw off the skin. Sprinkle the top plentifully with cracker crumbs and brown sugar, or brush it with egg. Press into it a number of whole cloves, and set it in the oven a few minutes to brown. Or the ham may be left white, and dotted with pepper, a clove stuck in the center of each spot of pepper. Soup vegetables and a bouquet of herbs boiled with a ham improve its flavor. A ham boiled in cider is especially good. Trim the meat around the bone, and conceal the bone with a paper frill or vegetable cut into shape of rose. Ornament the ham with dressed skewers, or with parsley and lemon.
Soak and prepare the ham as directed above. Let it simmer for two hours; then remove it and take off the skin, and bake it in a moderate oven for two hours; baste it frequently, using a cupful of sherry, two spoonfuls at a time, until all is used; then baste with drippings from the pan. When done, cover it with a paste made of browned flour and brown sugar moistened with sherry, and replace in the oven for a few minutes to brown. 12
Cut the ham very thin. If very salt, place it in boiling water for a few minutes. Then dry and broil it over hot coals for three or four minutes.
Put a few pieces of salt pork into a frying pan. When tried out, add the eggs, one at a time, from a saucer. Baste the top of the eggs with fat from the pan. Let them brown a little on the edges, but not blacken, and serve them around the slices of ham.
Chop fine some cold boiled ham. Boil six or eight eggs very hard (see page 262). With a sharp knife cut them in quarters lengthwise. Remove the yolks, and press them through a coarse sieve or strainer; lay the white segments in warm water. Make a white sauce, using two tablespoonfuls of butter; when melted, add two tablespoonfuls of flour, and let cook for a few minutes; then add slowly two cupfuls of milk. Stir constantly, and when a smooth, consistent sauce, season with salt and white pepper.
Moisten the chopped ham with a little of the sauce, and place it on the fire just long enough to become well heated. Stir constantly so the sauce will not brown. Make a smooth, rounded mold of the ham in the center of a hot dish. Pour over it the white sauce. Sprinkle thickly over the top the yolk crumbs; then range evenly around it the white segments of the eggs.
Cut bacon very thin, as shown on page 78. Lay the slices on a hot frying-pan. When clear turn them over. Tip the pan a little, so the fat will run to one side. If not wanted crisp and dry, turn the slices before they look clear, and remove before all the fat is tried out.