Cookery (Rudiments Of). The foundation of all good cookery consists in preparing the meat so as to render it tender in substance, without extracting from it those juices which constitute its true flayour; in doing which, the main point in the art of making soups, and made dishes of every sort, which should form so large a portion in every well-ordered dinner, as well, also, as of cooking many of the plain family joints, is boiling, or rather stewing, which ought always to be performed over a slow lire. There is, in fact, no error so common among English people as that of boiling meat over a strong fire, which renders joints hard and partly tasteless; while, if simmered during nearly double the time, with less than half the quantity of fuel and water, and never allowed to " boil up," the meat, without being too much done, will be found both pliant to the tooth and savoury to the palate.
For instance: the most common and almost universal dish throughout France is a large piece of plainly-boiled fresh beef, from which the soup - or "potage," as it is there called - has been partly made, and which is separately served up as " bouilli," accompanied by strong gravy and minced vegetables, or stewed cabbage. Now this, as constantly dressed in the French mode, is ever delicate both in fibre and flavour; while, in the English manner of boiling it, it is almost always hard and insipid. The reason of which, as explained by that celebrated cook, Careme, who superintended the kitchen of his Majesty George IV., is this: - "The meat, instead of being put down to boil, as in the English method, is in France put in the pot with the usual quantity of cold water, and placed at the corner of the fire-place, where, slowly becoming hot, the heat gradually swells the muscular fibres of the beef, dissolving the gelatinous substances therein contained, and disengaging that portion which chemists term ' osma-zome,' and which imparts savour to the flesh - thus both rendering the meat tender and palateable, and the broth relishing and nutritive; whilst, on the contrary, if the pot be inconsiderately put upon too quick a fire, the boiling is precipitated, the fibre coagulates and hardens, the osmazome is hindered from disengaging itself, and thus nothing is obtained but a piece of tough meat, and a broth without taste or succulence."
The use of skewers in joints should be avoided as much as possible, as they let out the gravy ; twine will answer better.
To Remove the Taint of Meat, wash it several times in cold water; then put it into plenty of cold water, into which throw several pieces of red-hot charcoal. If you fear meat will not keep till the time it is wanted, par-roast or par-boil it, that is, partly cook it; it will then keep two days longer, when it may be dressed as usual, but in rather less time.
When Meat is Frozen, it should be brought into the kitchen, and laid at some distance from the fire, early in the morning; or soak the meat in cold water two or three hours before it is used: putting it near the fire, or into warm water, till thawed, should be avoided.
Meats become tenderer and more digestible, as well as better flavoured, by hanging. In summer, two days is enough for lamb and veal, and from three to four for beef and mutton. In cold weather, the latter may be kept for double that time.
Legs and shoulders should be hung knuckle downwards.
Articles that are likely to spoil should not be kept in, or laid upon wood.