When ready to serve, the cutlets will be a dainty brown, with darker stripes showing the mark of the grid bars, and when cut they will be a nice pinky-red inside and full of juice. To saute them, have a well buttered saute pan, lay the cutlets in carefully, not overlapping or even touching, sprinkle them with a few drops of wine, glaze, and a sprinkle of pepper, and cover them with buttered paper; then let them cook over a clear fire, turning them once or twice in the process. These are often put into the oven and allowed to cook quietly in there, but care must be taken not to let them dry up. Cutlets can also be stewed if a well-buttered pan is lined with sliced vegetables, a slice of ham, a bunch of herbs, and seasoning to taste; the cutlets are laid in on the top of this, the pan being covered down, and the whole is allowed to fry for a minute or two till the vegetables, etc., begin to colour a little; a little stock is then poured in, a buttered paper laid over all, and the pan covered; directly the stock is brought to the boil the pan is drawn to the side of the fire and the whole allowed to simmer (not to boil!), quietly and steadily, for an hour or so, after which they are lifted out and either put between two plates, on the top of which a weight is placed, to press them evenly (stewed cutlets are mostly used for chaufroix) or else dished with either their own gravy strained and freed from fat, with any vegetable garnish you please, or with any sauce and puree most suitable in the cook's eyes.
A very dainty way of broiling cutlets is en papilottes - i.e., the trimmed cutlet is covered on both sides with any nice farce, such as sieved pate de foie gras, a thick Villeroi sauce, or a puree of onions, mushrooms, etc., as you choose. Heart-shaped pieces of white paper are then oiled, the cutlets laid in, the paper folded over and tightly twisted-up at the edges, and the whole are broiled over a clear, bright fire for eight or ten minutes, and served as they are in their cases.
If at any time a cutlet has to be cooked for an invalid, the following method, though distinctly costly, may be recommended: Cut three cutlets, two rather thinner than the third, which latter must be nicely trimmed; tie the three together, and broil them over a clear, sharp fire till the outsides of the two outer cutlets are quite burnt, then lift them off, separate them, and the centre cutlet will be found just cooked to perfection, and if served at once, with a carefully boiled and very floury potato previously rubbed to snow through a clean sieve, it is difficult to suggest a nicer little dish for a convalescent. One point more regarding cutlets. Abroad mutton is almost invariably marinaded before been served as cutlets, noisettes, etc., and the reason is not far to seek. Such treatment would, however, be, with one exception, profanity for our dainty Welsh or juicy South Down mutton; but for coarser (and, low be it whispered! frozen) mutton it is an excellent plan. The usual marinade consists of oil and vinegar (four parts of oil to one of vinegar), a shallot or a small onion sliced, a bay leaf, ten or twelve peppercorns, a few cloves, a very tiny pinch of salt, a spoonful of minced parsley (or the broken up stalks may be more economically used, and are equally efficacious), a strip or two of lemon peel carefully freed from any white pith, and, if liked, a very few drops of garlic vinegar.
The cutlets may be left in this for two to four hours, according to taste, after which they should be lifted out and well drained, but not wiped, and then cooked as you please. If you have a good deal of Welsh or other small mutton, the following marinade produces a delicious, venisonlike dish of cutlets. Put into a pie-dish a wine-glassful (claret) each of port, vinegar, and mushroom ketchup, with a small sliced onion, a table-spoonful of currant jelly (which should have been dissolved in the above mentioned liquids), a few peppercorns, and a little mignonette pepper, with a dessertspoonful of minced thyme and marjoram. Let the meat soak in this, then drain, broil, and serve with a rich brown sauce to which you have added a share of the strained marinade. (N.B. - Cold roast mutton treated thus makes a dish for a king.)
As economy is always associated with really good cooking, it may be observed that the cost of cutlets is materially lessened if the whole neck (scrag, best end and all) be taken, for then the trimmings from the cutlets added to the scrag will provide a toothsome Irish stew, or a decidedly enticing haricot, or Navarin for lunch; while the cutlets can be trimmed to taste at home.
In France, where beef steak is appreciated, or, rather, where slices of meat broiled, fried, or sautes are to be served under that name, the filet is chosen in preference to the parts from whence we obtain our steak, i.e., the rump or the round, which are not abroad considered so tender as the meat derived from what we know as the "undercut." But to English ideas what is gained in tenderness by this arrangement is lost in flavour. However, the fact remains that when fillets of beef are spoken of, the sliced undercut is properly meant. At the same time, many a cook ignores this, and quietly utilises her steak, rump or otherwise, by cutting it into the required shape and serving it with the desired garnish. Like mutton, beef also is served both as filets, grenadins, medallions, noisettes, escalopes, etc., but in these cases the meat is usually more or less larded, and in any case, is smaller than the less pretentious filets. Properly speaking, for filets the fillet is cut out in one piece, and is then sliced in a slanting direction to produce small wedge-shaped slices; these are then peppered and brushed over with, or dipped into, good salad oil or dissolved butter, and broiled for eight minutes or so, turning them once or at most twice in the process; they are then arranged on a very hot dish, and served with any vegetable garnish to taste.