Cut out the tender part of the beef from a porter-house or a tenderloin steak. The slice from these steaks, if large, can be cut in two, as it is sufficient for two meals for an invalid. Let it be three-quarters of an inch thick; trim or press it into shape (it should be oval in form). Broil it carefully over a hot fire, cooking it rare: the inside should be pink, not raw. To cook it evenly without burning, turn it two or three times, but do not pierce it with a fork nor squeeze it. It does not require over two minutes to finish it. Do not put pepper and salt over it until it is cooked, as salt rubbed on fresh meat contracts the fibres and toughens it. However, as soon as it is cooked and placed on a little hot oval platter, sprinkle salt and pepper over it; then, placing a small piece of fresh butter on the top, set it into the oven a minute to allow the butter to soak into the meat: it only requires a small piece of butter. Beefsteak swimming in butter is unwholesome, and as slovenly as it is wasteful.
If an invalid can eat beefsteak, he can generally eat some one vegetable with it; and to make the little plump, tender morsel of beef look more tempting, garnish it with the vegetable. If with potatoes, bake one or two equal-sized potatoes to a turn. When quite hot, remove the inside; mash it perfectly smooth, season it with butter, or, what is better, cream and salt, and press it through a colander. It will look like vermicelli. Place it in a circle around the steak.
If with pease, when they are out of season, the French canned pease or the American brand of "Triumph" pease will be found almost as good. One can, if kept well covered, should furnish three or four meals for an invalid. Merely heat them, adding a little salt and butter. Do not use much, if any, of the juice in making a circle of them around the beef.
If you garnish with tomatoes, make them into a sauce, as follows: After cooking and seasoning them with salt and pepper, turn off the watery part, add a little stock, if you have it (however, it is nice without it, if the word stock frightens any body), and press it through the sieve. Pour it around the steak.
If with Lima beans, cook them as in receipt (see page 201) with parsley, Lima beans, as well as string-beans, green corn, and onions, should not be trusted, in severe cases of illness. A few water-cresses around a steak would not be injurious to a convalescent.