This soup needs careful attention. It may be made of beef alone, but, if desired very rich for a special dinner, requires the addition of either a chicken or a knuckle of veal. Allow, then, for the best soup,
Cut all the meat from the beef bone in small pieces; slice the onions; fry the ham (or, if preferred, a thick slice of salt pork weighing not less than two ounces); fry the onions a bright brown in this fat; add the pieces of beef, and brown them also.
Now put all the materials, bones included, into the soup-kettle; add the cold water, and let it very gradually come to a boil. Skim with the utmost care, and then boil slowly and steadily for not less than five hours, six or even seven being preferable. Strain, and set in a cold place.
Next day remove the fat, and put the soup on the fire one hour before it will be wanted. Break the white and shell of an egg into a bowl; add a spoonful of cold water, and beat a moment; add a little of the hot soup, that the white may mix more thoroughly with the soup, and then pour it into the kettle. Let all boil slowly for ten minutes; then strain, either through a jelly-bag, or through a thick cloth laid in a sieve or colander. Do not stir, as this would cloud the soup; and, if not clear and sparkling, strain again. Return to the fire, and heat to boiling-point, putting a lemon cut in thin slices, and, if liked, a glass of sherry, into the tureen before serving.
A poached egg, or a boiled egg from which the shell has been peeled, is often served with each plate of this soup, which must be clear to deserve its name.