The American Pictorial Home Book
or Housekeeper's Encyclopedia - online book

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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88                                            STEWING.
A Good and Cheap Dinner.—Get what butchers call a soup-bone from a nice, tender beef and salt it over night. Put it on in time, so that it will be cooked tender about 1-2 an hour before din­ner. Put in potatoes enough for your family, and make it boil brisk­ly for 15 minutes. If the potatoes are large, put it on sooner. About fifteen or twenty minutes before dinner, lift meat and potatoes into a pan with a little of the top of the broth, and if you have sweet po­tatoes, have them boiled sufficiently, so that a fork will enter, and put them, too, in the pan. Now, after the pan of meat has been placed in the oven, have a batter made ready, as stiff as it can be stirred. This batter should be made with an eg£, a cup of sour milk, a small teaspoonful of soda, a pinch of salt and flour to thicken it. Into the soup (there should be plenty of it), seasoned to the taste and boiling, drop the batter, a small teaspoonful at a time, dipping the spoon into the soup between spoonfuls. Keep the pot boiling briskly, and stir gently, so that the separate spoonfuls of bat­ter will not run together. As soon as done they should be lifted at once, or they will get heavy. Such dumplings and soup, with good bread and butter, and a cup of nice coffee, or anything else that can be afforded for dessert, makes a good and cheap dinner at any time.
Stewed Ox Heart.—Cut it up lengthwise into long, thin pieces, put them into a stew-pot of cold water or pot-liquor, with salt; let it simmer, and carefully skim away the blood, which may be thrown up in large quantities; when nearly tender, take out the pieces of meat and carve them neatly into mouthfuls, dredge a little flour over them, season with a little pepper and allspice, and return to the strained liquor with six or eight small onions chopped fine, a stick or two of celery cut up, a dozen parboiled potatoes and a little cat­sup or walnut pickle, and let all simmer together until the meat and vegetables are perfectly tender and the gravy rich and well mingled.
Stewed Ox Tail and Potatoes.—The tails should be divided at the joints. Put the tails and potatoes in as much water or broth as will cover them ; simmer the tails one hour and the potatoes until the skin will easily peel off; let the liquor cool to remove the fat, The tails may be either whole or cut in slices, and the gravy, which thicken and season with butter rolled in brown flour (which is done by spreading a thin surface of it on a plate or tin and drying it in the oven), cayenne pepper, shallot or onions, catsup or walnut pickle and a little mustard, and stew very slowly until perfectly tender. Serve with toasted slices of bread and pickled onions, cucumbers or walnuts.