Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/630

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correct idea what the buyer should pay for meat from different parts of the ox or sheep, according to the market price. The butcher pays a certain price per stone for the whole carcass; but as the different joints of the sheep or bullock differ considerably in quality, and are classed respectively as PRIME, MIDDLING and INFERIOR parts, the prices of the several parts are raised or lowered by the butcher, above or below the average market price per stone, so that all classes of purchasers may be suited, and the sale of all parts of the animals secured. Of course, the butcher takes care to regulate his prices so as to secure a remunerative profit on his outlay. Prime parts of beef are sirloins, ribs and rounds; of mutton, legs and loins. Middling pieces of beef are top ribs, back ribs, and silverside; of mutton, shoulders. Inferior pieces of beef are shins, brisket and flank, clod, or shoulder, sticking piece, or neck; of mutton, necks and breasts. The prices given in the table are such as would be paid for meat of the best quality. The table is constructed so as to range from 4s. 2d. to 8s. per stone inclusive at an increase of 2d. per stone, or 1¼d. per pound on the wholesale market prices.

The Mode of Slaughtering Sheep is, perhaps, as humane and expeditious a process as could be adopted to attain the objects sought; the animal being laid on its side in a sort of concave stool, the butcher, while pressing the body with his knee, transfixes the throat near the angle of the jaw, passing the knife between the windpipe and bones of the neck, thus dividing the jugulars, cartoids, and large vessels, death taking place very rapidly from the haemorrhage which follows.

Manner of Cutting up.—Almost every large city has a particular manner of cutting up, or, as it is called, dressing the carcass. In London this process is very simple, and as our butchers have found that much skewering back, doubling one part over another, or scoring the inner cuticle or fell, tends to spoil the meat and shorten the time it would otherwise keep, they avoid all such treatment. The sheep then is hung up and the carcass flayed (which operation is performed while yet warm). After separating the hind from the fore quarters, with eleven ribs to the latter, the quarters are usually subdivided in the manner shown in the accompanying illustration.

Hind-Quarter. Fore-Quarter.
1. Leg. 4. Best end of neck.
2. Loin. 5. Scrag end of neck.
3. Chump end of loin. 6 and 8. Shoulder and blade-bone.
7. Breast.

(1) Leg.—This is the most economical joint for a family if it is sold, as is usual, at only one penny a pound more than the shoulder, for unless there is a considerable difference in price, it does not compensate