Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/577

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but not the heat, from a wood fire. Meat treated in this manner may be kept for a long time.

The pickle, after being boiled and well skimmed, may be used again.

851.—BEEF, BOILED. (Fr.Bœuf Bouilli.)

Ingredients.—Salt beef, turnips, carrots, onions, peppercorns, bouquet-garni (parsley, thyme, bay-leaf), suet dumplings, if liked.

Method.—The aitchbone, round, and brisket are all suitable for boiling. In boiling meat a certain proportion of the nutritive qualities escape into the water, and the liquor should therefore be utilized for soup, when it is not too salt for the purpose. With this end in view the liquor should be reduced to the smallest possible quantity by using a boiling-pot just large enough to contain the joint, with barely sufficient water to cover it. The meat must be skewered, or bound with tape into a compact form. The water in which it is immersed should be warm unless the meat be very salt, then cold water is necessary to extract some of the salt (see Notes on Boiling Meat, p. 406). In either case, it should be heated gradually to boiling point, and well skimmed. With a joint weighing from 10 to 14 lb., an allowance should be made of 2 or 3 medium-sized onions, 2 large or 4 small carrots, 1 large or 2 small turnips, and 12 peppercorns. The onions should be kept whole, the turnips cut in thick slices, and the carrots lengthwise into 2 or 4 pieces. They should be added after the liquor has been well skimmed. When suet dumplings form part of the dish, they should be put into the liquor ½ an hour before serving, the liquor being previously brought to the boil. To serve, replace the tapes and skewers with one or 2 silver skewers, pour some of the liquor round the dish, and garnish with the vegetables.

Time.—From 20 to 30 minutes to each lb. (see p. 490). Average Cost, 8d. to 10d. per lb. Seasonable in winter.

The Action of Salt on Meat.—Salt when applied to meat, extracts the juices in large quantities. The salt, and watery juices from a saturated solution or brine, which is absorbed into the tissues of the meat, and being strongly antiseptic preserves it from putrefaction. In addition to its antiseptic action, salt contracts the fibres of the muscles, and excludes the air from the interior of the meat. The astringent action of saltpetre, or nitre, is much greater than that of common salt, and if used too freely renders the meat to which it is applied very hard. In small quantities it intensifies the antiseptic action of salt, and preserves the colour of meat, which the action of salt alone destroys. Salt and saltpetre preserve the fibre of meat from decay, but deprive it to a considerable degree of the nutritive juices; these antiseptics should, therefore, be used in moderation

Soyer's Recipe for Preserving the Gravy in Salt Meat, when it is to be served cold. Fill 2 tubs with cold water, into which throw a few pounds of rough ice; when the meat is done, put it into one of the tubs of ice-water, let it remain 1 minute, then take it out, and put it into the other tub. Fill the first tub again with water, and continue this process for about 20 minutes; then set it upon a dish, and let it remain until quite cold. When cut, the fat will be as white as possible, and the whole of the gravy will have been saved. If there is no ice, spring water will answer the same purpose, but will require to be more frequently changed.