To Select Beef

Meat from mature and well-fattened cattle has a better flavor, and loses less of its weight when cooked, than that from younger beef animals. Good beef has a dark red color when first cut, which changes to cherry red after a few minutes' exposure to the air. It looks juicy, is fine grained, is elastic to the touch, and the lean is finely mar-bled with dots of fat. A very dark color indicates an old animal; a pale, moist muscle, a very young one; and a bluish or dark red color, poor beef. The meat from the central and posterior parts of the back is generally considered the most choice, and consequently commands the highest price, for agreeableness to the palate is a large factor in the current demand and market price. There is, as a matter of fact, no more muscle-forming material in an ounce of protein from the tenderloin of beef than in an ounce from the round or shoulder. The fore quarter of a beef contains a larger proportion of bone to meat than the hind quarter, and is less tender, but it is quite equal in flavor and juiciness. The choicest steak is the porter-house, cut from the loin of an animal where the tenderloin is largest. It contains both tenderloin and sirloin, separated by a small bone, and is frequently called pin-bone steak. Further back the pin-bone centers in a cross-bone at the top, and a cut from there is often called a T-bone steak. Steaks cut forward from the porterhouse steaks have no separating bone in them, but are nevertheless called porterhouse steaks at many markets, and are sometimes offered to unsuspecting purchasers when cut so far forward that there is no semblance of tenderloin about them. When the pin-bone or T-bone is removed from a porterhouse steak, and the two parts separated, they are known as tenderloin and sirloin steaks, respectively. The upper part of the round is used for steaks, and as seen on the block it appears as one large muscle, and not several muscles, as in that case it is from farther down the round and is more apt to be tough. There are a few cuts of round which are very choice. These can be easily distinguished by the appearance of the bone. The marrow stands out very distinctly and has a pinkish hue. Round steak is more difficult to broil successfully than sirloin, because the juices are thinner, and escape more readily. To choose a roast of beef which will have the best flavor, be tender and easily cooked, select a porterhouse, a sirloin or a choice cut of ribs. The muscle fibres in such cuts are so bound together as to make their mechanical subdivision easy, with little time and skill in cooking. Such cuts appear to be composed largely of a part of one or two large muscles, and there is consequently less connective tissue than in a cut composed of parts of several small muscles. If you wish a roast equally nutritious when intelligently and skillfully prepared, choose a so-called cheap or tough piece of meat, a roast from the chuck ribs or a piece from the round. The back of the rump makes a nice roast, but it often has part of the backbone and sometimes the rump bone in it, and is consequently not very economical. The smaller or front end nearest the loin has the most tender meat. The part between these two is not so tender.