Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/1431

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The choice parts of a pheasant are the breast and wings. The various members of the bird are severed from the body in exactly the same manner as those of a roast or boiled fowl, and to avoid repetition the reader is referred to those directions on pp. 1269–1270.


One of these small but delicious birds may be given whole to a gentleman; but in helping a lady, it will be better to cut them quite through the centre, completely dividing them into equal and like portions, and put only one half on the plate.


A carver of average ability will have little or no difficulty in cutting up this joint. An incision being made completely down to the bone, the gravy will then be able easily to flow; when slices, not too thick, should be cut along the haunch, the thick end of the joint having been turned towards the carver, so that he may have a more complete command over the joint. Although some epicures are of opinion that some parts of the haunch are better than others, yet we doubt if there is any difference between the slices cut above and below the incision that the carver makes. Each guest should be served with a portion of fat; and the most expeditious carver is the best carver, as, like mutton, venison soon begins to chill, when it loses much of its excellence.


This bird, like a partridge, may be carved by cutting it exactly into two like portions, or made into three helpings, as described in carving partridge. The backbone is considered the tit-bit of a woodcock, and by many the thigh is also thought a great delicacy. This bird is served in the manner advised by Brillat Savarin in connection with the pheasant—viz., on toast which has received its dripping whilst toasting; and a piece of this toast should invariably accompany each plate.


Landrail, being trussed like Snipe, with the exception of its being drawn, may be carved in the same manner.

Ortolans are usually helped whole, but may be divided for ladies. (See Snipe.)


Ptarmigan may be carved in the same way as Grouse and Partridge.