Take a young farm-yard duck fattened at liberty, but cleansed by being shut up two or three days and fed on barley-meal and water. Two small young ducks make a better dish than a large, handsome, hard-fleshed drake, which, as a rule, is best fit for a stew. Pluck, singe and empty; scald the feet, skin and twist round on the back of the bird; head, neck, and pinions must be cut off, the latter at the first joint, and all skewered firmly to give the breast a nice plump appearance. For stuffing, take one-half pound of onions, a teaspoonful of powdered sage, three tablespoonfuls of bread-crumbs, the liver of duck parboiled and minced with pepper, salt, and cayenne. Cut the onions very fine, throw boiling water over them, and cover for ten minutes; drain through a gravy strainer, and add the bread-crumbs, minced liver, sage, pepper and salt to taste; mix, and put it inside the duck. This quantity is for one duck; more onion and sage may be added, but the above is a delicate compound not likely to disagree with the stomach. Let the duck be hung a day or two, according to the weather, to make the flesh tender. Roast before a brisk clear fire, baste often, and dredge with flour to make the bird look frothy. Serve with a good brown gravy in the dish, and apple sauce in a tureen. It takes about an hour. Mrs. E. Engel.
Cut the rind from half a pound of lean bacon. Divide it into pieces two inches square and fry a light brown with butter. Dredge in a little flour, and stir three minutes. Add a pint of broth, an onion stuck with two cloves, a bunch of sweet herbs, salt and pepper. The duck should be previously fried or roasted for ten minutes then put into the stew-pan with the gravy and stewed slowly for an hour and a quarter or till tender. Meanwhile stew a quart of peas with butter. Place the ducks and peas on a hot dish, pour over them the gravy strained and thickened, and serve hot. Mrs. A. Ament.
Prepare the duck as if for roasting. Line a small pan just large enough for the duck, with slices of bacon. Strew over the bottom parsley, thyme, and lemon peel. Lay in the duck, add a carrot cut into strips, an onion stuck with three cloves, season with pepper, and cover with stock broth and a glass of white wine. Baste frequently, and simmer an hour, or till done. Fry some slices of turnip in butter to a light brown, drain and add them to the stew-pan, after removing the duck, which should be kept hot. When the turnips are tender remove them and strain the gravy, thickening with a little flour. Put the duck on a dish, throw the hot gravy over, and garnish with the turnips. Fry the turnips eight or ten minutes. Mrs. C. Clements.
Mrs. Charlotte Baldwin.
IN PURCHASING meat one should know how to select the best quality, and the most useful pieces.
Beef, which stands at the head of the list, as being most generally used and liked, should be of a bright clear red, and the fat white. It should be well clothed in fat, to insure its being tender, and juicy. The finest pieces are the sirloin and the ribs - the latter making the best roasting piece in the animal.
In cooking steaks remember it is far better to turn over three or four times on a platter containing a little olive oil, than it is to hammer them, to make them tender. The object is not to force out the juice, but to soften the fiber.
In selecting Pork, one cannot exercise too great care in examining it. Do not buy any that is clammy or has kernels in the fat. Remember, too, when the rind is hard it is old.
Veal should be fine in grain, of a delicate pink with plenty of kidney fat. It should never be eaten under two months old.
Mutton should be firm and juicy, the flesh close-grained, the fat hard and white.
Ovens vary in heating qualities, some baking quicker than others, but fifteen minutes to the pound will do most roasts. The oven must be at the proper heat when the meat is placed therein, so that the surface will crisp quickly, and the juices be retained in the meat. It is not necessary to wash the meat, but wipe it with a clean, damp cloth, and set it in the oven without any water. As soon as it begins to cook add a very little water, and baste it frequently. An onion may be laid on top of the roast, to give it a flavor, but should be removed before serving.
Fresh meat should be put at once into boiling water, and when half done, the salt and vegetables should be added. Salt meats must be put into cold water in order to extract the salt. They require longer boiling than fresh meats, nearly thirty minutes to the pound.
Drippings accumulated from different cooked meats (except mutton, which has a strong flavor), can be clarified by putting all into a basin and slicing into it a raw potato, allowing it to boil long enough for the potato to brown, which causes all impurities to disappear. Remove from the fire, and when cool drain into basin and set in a cool place.