Boiling. Boiling is the most simple of all processes of cooking. Regularity and attention to time are the main secrets - indeed, these are the main secrets of all successes.
Much less heat is requisite to keepliquids boil-ing in copper and iron saucepans than in those made of tin.
There is frequently a great waste of fuel in cooking, which arises from making liquids boil fast, when they only require to be kept slowly boiling. Count Rumford (the inventor of the Rumford stove) states that more than half the fuel used in kitchens is wasted in the above manner.
It is a sad waste to put fuel under a boiling pot. There is a degree of heat in water called the boiling-point; and all the coal or wood in the world cannot make water hotter in an open vessel : it can but boil. By this waste, the cook not only loses time, but spoils the cookery.
The average time for boiling fresh meat is from eighteen to twenty minutes for every pound; thus, a joint weighing six pounds will require from one hour and three-quarters to two hours boiling. Salted meat requires rather more boiling and water; fresh killed meat longer time ; and all meats longer in cold than in warm weather.
It is, however, better to be guided for time, by the thickness of the joint, than by its weight.
Dried or salted fish and meats require Soaking in cold water before boiling.
Meal and poultry will lose their flavour and thinness, if left in the water after they are done; as will also fish, which will break to pieces.
The water in which fish, meat, or poultry has been boiled should be saved; this pot-liquor, as it is called, may be made into soup.
Slow boiling is very important for all meats to ensure their tenderness; fast boiling always makes them hard and tough, less plump, and of darker colour, than when they are boiled gradually.
Skimming the pot will alone ensure the good colour and sweetness of the meat; a little cold water and salt will aid in throwing up the scum ; milk put into the pot does good in few cases only ; and wrapping in a cloth is unnecessary, if the scum be carefully removed.
The lid of the saucepan should only be removed for skimming; and before taking off the lid, be careful to blow from it any dust or blacks from the fire or chimney.
The joint should always be covered with water; above this quantity, the less water the more savoury will be the meat.
In some few instances, however, it may be necessary to boil the articles in a much larger quantity of water ; a quart of water is mostly a good proportion to a pound of meat.
If meat be put into cold water, it should be heated gradually, so as not to cause it to boil in less than forty minutes; if it boil much sooner, the meat will shrink and be hardened, and not so freely throw up the scum.
Four skewers, or a plate, inside downwards, should be laid on the bottom of the saucepan, especially for large joints and puddings; so that they may be equally done, and escape burning or adhering to the saucepan.
When a pot boils, remove it nearly off the fire, but let the lid remain on: a very little heat will then keep up the boiling.
The time of boiling should be reckoned from the time bubbles begin to rise on the surface of the liquid. As the boiling continues, the water will evaporate, and in some cases it may be requisite to fill up the saucepan with boiling; water.