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Cookery of Meat

The principal methods of cooking meat are roasting, baking, boiling, stewing, broiling, braising, and frying. Of these methods roasting and baking are conducted on the same principle—dry heat; boiling and stewing are often spoken of as if they were the same, but this is quite a mistake. When we boil a joint we plunge it into boiling water, and this water should cover it completely; but when meat is stewed it must be cooked in a very small quantity of water, and never allowed to boil. Water boils at 212, but simmering heat is 180, and meat cannot be properly stewed if it is cooked quicker than this. One of the great faults of English cooks is that they cook too quickly, and it is particularly necessary in stewing to cook slowly, because we want to extract and blend all the different flavours of the various substances, which are necessary for a good and savoury stew. When boiling meat for table plunge it into boiling water, and then reduce the heat; but when broth or soup is to be made it must be put into cold water, so that the goodness may be drawn from it. Corned beef or pork should also be placed in cold water and heated gradually, so that some of the salt is drawn out. The frying-pan should be discarded from the kitchen, at least as far as steaks and chops are concerned; grilling or broiling is by far the best method of cooking them. Meat unless it is very carefully fried is tough and greasy, yet the same piece of meat if grilled or stewed would be tender and nutritious. There is often a prejudice against meat twice cooked, but the most delicate entrees that are so highly esteemed by many are only re-cooked meat. It is the time and care expended on it that makes it so delicious. Even in plain cooking there is no reason why the homely dish of hash should not be appetizing and wholesome.

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Source

The Art of Living in Australia (1893).


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