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{{Side by side pages|Meat for Thrifty Meals.djvu|5}}
To cut down fuel costs, select meat that can be cooked on top of the stove, that is, unless you are using a coal or wood stove for heating the kitchen, or for some other purpose, and your oven is hot anyway.

Ready-to-eat meats and canned meat have an important place on the carefully planned shopping list. Canned meat is already cooked and, like left-over meat, can be quickly turned into many a good dish.


Save Trimmings and Bones

Preparing a cut of meat for the pan may call for a certain amount of trimming. Save any well-flavored lean tidbits to make stew or to grind for meat patties. Save the fat trimmings. If they have a good flavor, render or melt them down at low heat, strain the drippings, store in a covered container in a dry, cold place, and use the fat for cooking. It is especially important in wartime that no fat be wasted. Return any surplus fat to the processor, if practicable. Otherwise make into soap any fat not suitable for food. Save the bones for soup.

Keep Meat Clean and Cold

Fresh meat spoils quickly and easily; so keep it cold, and of course, clean. How long meat can be kept safely depends on its condition when you receive it and how cold it is kept.

As soon as fresh meat, ground or in the piece, arrives in the kitchen, take off the wrapping paper and store the meat loosely covered in a cold place. If you do not have a refrigerator or some other place just as cold, cook the meat promptly. Ground meat is very perishable. It spoils quickly even in a cold place, so cook it within 24 hours. If meat in the piece is to be kept as long as 2 days, store it, if possible, at 45° F. or colder. Meat may be kept safely even longer in the freezing compartment of a refrigerator.

Liver, kidney, sweetbreads, brains, and other meat organs spoil more quickly than other cuts of meat. Cook them promptly.

Frozen meat requires special care. Thaw it slowly and cook as soon as possible. Do not refreeze it. Frozen meat, once it is thawed, is more perishable than chilled meat.

The modern type of very mildly cured ham should be stored in the same way as fresh meat, in the refrigerator or other cold place. Strongly cured meat should be kept in a cool, dry, dark place that is tightly screened.

When ready to cook fresh or mildly cured meat, wipe it off with a clean cloth wrung out of cold water. Do not soak the meat in water—soaking draws out juice and with it some of the flavor and food value. An old ham or strongly cured pork shoulder, however, generally needs thorough scrubbing. They may require overnight soaking in water to remove some salt.

Cook According to Cut and Fatness

Roast or broil a tender, well-fatted cut in an uncovered pan. Add no water. Water in a covered pan makes steam which forces out juice and causes the meat to lose flavor and weight. Tender, well-fatted meat holds its juices, cooks perfectly in an open pan if moderate heat is used.

Tough meat, on the other hand, requires long, slow cooking in a covered pan with water or steam. So turn the less tender cuts into pot roast, stew, or some other braised dish. Or, grind them and cook the same as tender meat. Meat cooked in water or steamed is juicier if cooled in the broth for an hour or longer.

Regardless of cut, add fat to very lean beef, lamb, and most veal for richness and good flavor. Then cook as braised steaks and chops, oven-braised meat, pot roast, or stew.

Cook With Moderate Heat

Moderate heat cooks meat evenly and makes it tender. Moderate heat also keeps losses through cooking low, so there is more meat left to serve for each pound purchased. Browning meat develops the rich flavor; however, it may increase the cooking losses somewhat.

To make the most of food value and flavor, cook meat until it is tender, but don't overcook. Cook stuffed roasts and braised or stewed cuts until the meat is tender when speared with a fork or a skewer. Be sure to cook pork well done as a health safeguard. It sometimes contains the trichina parasite , which must be destroyed by thorough cooking or by special methods of processing; otherwise it may cause illness,

Vary the Seasoning

When to season meat with salt and pepper and whether to flour or not are questions on which the opinions of cooks differ. Really it does not matter whether salt and pepper are added to meat just before, after, or during cooking. Likewise, it does not matter greatly whether meat is floured or not. Salt draws out juice from meat, so in any case do not add it until ready to cook, unless the meat is sprinkled with flour.

Try new flavors in meat dishes. That is the way the expert chefs invent their specialties. Garden herbs and other seasonings add zest to many a homely dish at little cost. The following are particularly good with meat: Onions, tomatoes, sage, thyme, sweet marjoram, basil, leaf savory, bay leaf, mint leaves, parsley (fresh or dried), celery tops (fresh or dried), celery seed, caraway seed, cloves, pepper, paprika, green peppers, curry, grated horseradish, garlic, and many others.

In wartime, you may not find all these spices and seasonings on the grocer's shelf. However, some of the condiment plants can be grown in