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

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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92                    DIFFERENT WAYS TO COOK MEAT.
Hot Beef a la Mode.—Take 4 1-2 lbs. of flank steak and 10 ounces of fat bacon, (cut off the rind and put it aside to blanch,) cut the bacon into strips 1-2 inch thick and sprinkle them with pepper. Lard the beef in the grain of the meat and tie it up with strings; put into a stew pan with 1 pint of French white wine or good vinegar, 1 gill of brandy, 1 1-2 pint of broth, 2 calves' feet which have been blanched and boned; also the blanched rind of bacon ; put on the fire and add 1 ounce of salt; boil and skim, then add 3 carrots, 1 onion, 2 small pinches of pepper, 3 cloves and parsley, thyme and a little sage. Put to simmer in a closed stew pan for 4 hours and a half on the stove corner; try the beef, and when done take it out together with the calf s feet and carrots ; keep hot till serving; strain the gravy through a pointed gravy strainer, take off all the fat and reduce it 1-4; untie the beef, put it on a dish and garnish it around with calf s feet, each cut into eight pieces, with the carrots cut to the shape of corks and 10 glazed on­ions. Pour the gravy over all, and should there be too much reserve it for the next day. Taste for seasoning—a la mode beef should be full flavored ; a clove of garlic is sometimes added. This is not es­sential, for the taste of the mistress must be consulted.
Cold Bekf a la Mode.—Cold beef a la mode should be prepared as directed for hot beef a la mode. Put in a basin together with the calf's feet vegetables and the gravy, which will be set to a jelly; when ready to serve turn out of the basin on to a dish; the beef a la mode will then present its proper appearance.
N. B. The main points in the preparation of so popular a dish as beef a la mode are as follows: After the selection of the meat, the great secret of success is to cook it very slowly. When cooked hurriedly it invariably produces white, watery and insipid gravy. Slow cook­ing produces red, rather thick gravy of a gelatinous consistency, full of nourishing flavor of the vegetables stewed in the gravy, which is one of the characteristics of a la mode beef. The carrots and spices should be cooked with the meat, by which they add a savory flavor which is so much prized by connoiseusrs. I would recommend that the pieces of meat should be chosen rather too large than small.
Rib of Beff Bones—(A Pretty dish).—Rib of beef bones, one onion chopped fine, a few slices of carrot and turnips, and 1-2 pint of gravy. The bones for this dish should have left on them a slight covering of meat. Saw them into pieces 3 inches long; season them with pepper and salt, and put them into a stewpan with the re­maining ingredients. Stew gently until the vegetables are tender, and serve on a flat dish within walls of mashed potatoes. Cook 3-4 of an hour. Seasonable at any time.