This is a plain family dish, and is never provided for company.
Take a nice but not a fat piece of fresh beef. Wash it, rub it with salt, and place it on a trivet in a deep block tin or iron pan. Pour a little water into the bottom, and put under and round the trivet a sufficiency of pared potatoes, either white or sweet ones. Put it Into a hot oven, and let it bake till thoroughly done, basting it frequently with its own gravy. Then transfer it to a hot dish, and serve up the potatoes in another. Skim the gravy, and send it to table in a boat.
Or you may boil the potatoes, mash them with milk, and put them into the bottom of the pan about half an hour before the meat is done baking. Press down the mashed potatoes hard with the back of a spoon, score them in cross lines over the top, and let them brown under the meat, serving them up laid round it.
Instead of potatoes, you may put in the bottom of the pan what is called a Yorkshire pudding, to be baked under the meat.
To make this pudding, - stir gradually four table-spoonfuls of flour into a pint of milk, adding a salt-spoon of salt. Beat four eggs very light, and mix them gradually with the milk and flour. See that the batter is not lumpy. Do not put the pudding under the meat at first, as if baked too long it will be hard and solid. After the meat has baked till the pan is quite hot and well greased with the drippings, you may put in the batter; having continued stirring it till the last moment.
If the pudding is so spread over the pan as to be but an inch thick, it will require about two hours baking, and need not be turned. If it is thicker than an inch, you must (after it is brown on the top) loosen it in the pan, by inserting a knife beneath it, and having cut it across into four pieces, turn them all nicely that the other side may be equally done.
But this pudding is lighter and better if laid so thin as not to require turning.
When you serve up the beef lay the pieces of pudding round it, to be eaten with the meat.