Weigh the beef before and after cooking. Wipe beef and, if necessary, skewer into shape. Dredge all sides with salt, pepper, and flour (Why is this added?). Insert a thermometer with the bulb in the center of the roast. Place fat side up, in a hot oven at 428° F. for fifteen minutes, then reduce the heat to 342° F. and cook until the inner temperature of the meat as shown by the thermometer reaches, if rare is desired, 131° to 149° F.; if medium, 149° to 158° F.; if well-done, 158° to 176° F. If meat is quite lean, it may be necessary to add fat to the pan. If very dry, add a little water. This is undesirable, as it may give the beef a "stewed" flavor.
Let the thermometer remain in for some time after the meat has been removed from the oven. Explain the change in temperature which takes place.
Calculate the length of time necessary for each pound of meat roasted rare, medium, or well-done. Why is the meat put into a very hot oven at first ? Why is the temperature lowered later ?
B. Class Experiment. Cooking Meat.
1. Sprinkle a bit of raw meat with salt. What effect does the salt have upon the juices of the meat?
1 The roast can be cooked rare and used for left-over meat.
2. Take two small pieces of meat.
a. Put one in a cold frying pan and cook it, heating slowly at first.
b. Put the other in a hot frying pan. Explain why the juices flow in one case and not in the other.
C. Prepare Broiled Beefsteak. When will you salt it ? Serve with corn pudding.
Corn Pudding (Corn a la Southern).
To one can chopped corn, add two eggs slightly beaten, one teaspoon of salt, one-eighth teaspoon pepper, one and one-half tablespoons melted butter, and one pint scalded milk; turn into a buttered pudding-dish and bake in slow oven until firm.
From the "Boston Cooking-School Cook Book." By Fannie M. Farmer.
Beef is not always cut up in exactly the same way. In general, the carcass is first split into two "sides" of beef, then divided into the fore and hind quarters. From the fore quarter are cut rib roasts and chuck. The first ribs cut off are the best, known as "prime." The chuck ribs may also be used for roasts or steaks. Brisket, shoulder, clod, cross-ribs, plate and navel are all used for corned beef; while they, as well as the neck and shank, are used for stews, ground meat, or soup meat. The shank is used for soups.
The hind quarter consists of loin, rump, round, flank, and hind shank. The loin furnishes the choicer steaks, club, porterhouse, and sirloin, which are cooked by broiling, or cut into roasts. The rump is used for steaks and roasts,
4. Shoulder cled.
5. Fore shank.
7. Cross ribs.
14. Second cut round.
15. Hind shank.
Cuts of Beef.
but is not considered so choice as rib and loin. It furnishes much edible meat for the price paid; however, it is somewhat coarse. The round is divided into parts called "top" and "bottom", as the meat lies on the butchers table in being cut. "Inside" and "outside" would mean more in locating the cut. The top is much the tenderer of the two and is sometimes used for steaks and roasts, while the bottom of the round serves for stews and Hamburg steak. The flank is sometimes sold as flank steak, but needs to be cut and pounded to make it tender. It is more often used for stewing or corning.
The other parts of beef also used for eating are the heart, liver, kidneys, brains, tongue, tail, and tripe (the lining of the stomach).
It will be noticed that the more tender meat is reserved for roasting and broiling. This means for the bulk of the meat the use of a low temperature. Notice that, even in a well-done roast of beef, the internal temperature is below the simmering point of water. The surface, to be sure, is exposed to very high temperatures and is correspondingly toughened, but this small sacrifice is in order to furnish flavor, also in order to coagulate the proteins near the outside and so confine the juices. Stewing or boiling, and pot-roasting or braising (which is really steaming and stewing) are the methods employed in cooking tough meat. In all these, the meat is exposed to a much higher temperature than is used in cooking tender meat. Muscle fiber is such a poor conductor of heat that in roasting and broiling only the outside is much heated. But in the other methods, the water or steam penetrates into the meat, carrying heat with it. This gives a temperature high enough, with time, to soften connective tissue or even gelatinize it. The fibers, however, are not dissolved and are always tougher than in more tender meat; but, on the whole, the general effect is better than can be obtained by treating such meat as a better cut.
Porter-house Steak Typical Cuts of Steak.
Since heat toughens meat, special care needs to be exercised in the preparation of left-over meats. If the meat is tender and already well cooked, it should be reheated but not recooked; if tough or insufficiently cooked, it should be simmered until tender.
Since tenderness is such a desirable characteristic that it is the one on which price is based, great pains should be taken not to toughen choice cuts of meat in cooking, and to prepare the tougher cuts so that they may be as desirable as possible. Many cooks woefully fail in this respect.
References As in last lesson. (Farmer's Bulletins, No. 39, 34 and 162.)
1. Would you need a hotter or a cooler oven to roast two pieces of beef to the same degree, if one piece were very large and the other very small?
2. How thick should steak be cut?
3. If you wish steak well done, will you merely cook it longer?
4. To what is the loss in weight due in roasting beef?
5. Which cuts of beef furnish the most lean meat for the price paid ?