MEAT COOKERY. Butcher's meat may be roasted, baked, fried, grilled (broiled) or stewed. It may also be combined with pastry (q.v.) in meat pies, puddings, vol-au-vents, etc.; with cereals, vegetables (see CEREALS, VEGETABLE COOKERY and PULSE) ; and used in soups (q.v.).
To prepare meat for roasting or baking, wipe the meat, trim and truss it into shape if necessary to prevent spreading. Certain joints need boning and rolling, e.g., a breast of mutton. In this case the bones are removed by slipping a sharp knife along the bone without cutting through the flesh. Boned meats may be spread with forcemeat. Bones should be used for stock. Basting is the most important of all require ments for roasting. Sufficient fat usually runs out of fat meats for the purpose but in meats which are deficient in fat, e.g., veal, additional fat is necessary. Dredging the joint with flour helps to seal in the juices and also improves the colour of a roast joint and makes a better gravy. (See GRAVIES.) Small joints may be covered with brown paper to keep them from browning too much. Hams may be covered with a flour and water paste and baked in the oven. Pork which has a tough outer skin ought to be seared with a knife before roasting for the convenience of the carver. Stuffed meats are usually served with a thickened gravy; plain roasts with a clear gravy.
Joints for boiling should be securely tied with string. Fresh meats are placed in boiling salted water with pot herbs, i.e., carrot, onion. / turnip and a bouquet garni (parsley, bay leaf, thyme, etc.). Boil for ten minutes, skimming the water carefully. Where vegetables are being boiled with the meat for serving, these should not be added until the requisite time needed for cooking. It is usual to serve special vegetables or sauces with boiled meats to give extra flavour : e.g., boiled mutton and caper sauce; bacon and pease pudding; boiled beef and carrots.
Ox tongues and hams require 24 hours' soaking before cooking to draw out the salt and pickle. Salted and pickled meats should be put into cold water and brought slowly to the boil. All boiled meats should be simmered after the first ten minutes.
Boiled meats .which are to be used as cold dishes should be dressed, e.g., ox tongues need skinning immediately after cook ing, and when cool should be glazed. Hams also need skinning and should then be covered while warm with grated toast.
Calf's head should be cut down the middle, leaving the tongue whole. Remove the brains and soak the head in cold water for an hour. Soak the brains separately in salted water; then place them in cold water with a little lemon juice and boil for i 5 minutes. When cooked mix with chopped sage and onion (one teaspoonful). Put the head into cold water, bring to a boil and rinse in cold water. Return to the fire in a pan with vegetables, spices and seasoning, and simmer until tender. Blend the brains with a melted butter sauce and pour over the head. Garnish with slices of lemon.
This is the most inexpensive method of meat cook ery and may take the form of a white or clear stew, e.g., Irish stew, hot pot, or, a brown or white thickened stew, e.g., stewed veal. For a clear stew place the meat direct in a pan with just enough water or stock to cover it. Season and add vegetables according to taste. For brown stew dip the meat in seasoned flour and fry in fat, then remove the meat and add sufficient flour to absorb the remaining fat in the pan and form a roux. Cook the roux until brown and add the stock which should be sufficient only to cover the meat. If onions are added these ought to be fried after the meat. A more elaborate stew is made by adding other ingredients, e.g., mushrooms, vegetables, etc., together with special sauces.
A white stew is made with white stock, or milk and water, and the roux is not allowed to brown. In this case, the meat is not fried. A blanquette of veal is made by cutting the veal into small pieces. Place these in a pan with white stock to cover. Peel two onions, stick with cloves, add one carrot and herbs. Bring to a boil and simmer for one hour. Strain off the liquor, thicken the latter with a flour liaison, cook and slightly cool. Add the yolk of an egg and chopped parsley. Pour over the veal.