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Old Fashioned Beef Recipes

Image of beef in pan.

Beef and Meats Tips

The most desirable requisite to make the following receipts good and practical, is good meat. There is no cook in the world who can broil a "chuck steak" into a “sirloin”. The cook may do much towards supplying the want of real goodness in the meat, by skillful labor, but to place on the table the choicest dishes, the best of meats are necessary. Every good cook should know how to select the best meats, instead of depending on the butcher. Beef, to be the best, should be from a young steer—killed at three to four years old—after having been fattened as quickly as possible, on good, rich food. The quicker beef is fattened, the richer and more tender it is, and beef of this class has a bright, rich, red, juicy look, while poor beef looks dark, dry, acid a brownish red color. The best cuts for steaks are from the hind quarter, the loin being generally chosen as the best, but many prefer the round, because, while not so tender, it is more juicy. For roasting, rib cuts are the best, the bone being removed from the meat, it being skewered so that it comes on the table rolled. There is, however, a difference of taste and fancy as to removing the bones before cooking. Some real epicures think the bones give the meat a richness of flavor not attainable without them. The fore-shoulder furnishes nice pieces for stewing and boiling, and an experienced butcher will supply a few very eatable steaks from it. Corned beef usually comes from the fore-quarter, but butchers generally corn nearly every part which they fail to sell fresh. The calf matures much more rapidly than the lamb and, if well fed and cared for, may be killed at five weeks old, though, in the great majority of cases, the veal improves very rapidly during the sixth and seventh weeks of the calf's age, and it will pay the owner to feed a calf during these two weeks. Calves are sometimes killed at four weeks old, but the meat is soft, and too tender to either cook or eat, and is very unwholesome.

In selecting mutton, choose, as a rule, a medium sized sheep, or a small one. The flesh should have a clear, fresh hue, and the fat, especially around the kidneys, look fat, rich, and rather oily, and a clear white, not a dull whitish color, and not dry. For roasting, the loin is the choice cut; but the fore-shoulder, when properly boned, stuffed and basted, is very nice. The leg is for boiling, or chops. The age at which lambs furnish the best meat, extends from three to ten months, and at ten, most lambs become sufficiently developed to be called mutton. Like mutton, the hind-quarter is the best; but if the fore-quarter be prepared properly, it is rich and good, and many prefer it to the hind-quarter.

Care of Fat Meat and Drippings

When meat has more fat than is desirable to cook with it, the fat should be trimmed off, such pieces as are nice should be cut small and put in a vessel with a little water, and stewed slowly till the fat is extracted and the water boiled out, then strained in a dish. Any surplus fat in the drippings of a roast may be added also, and when meat is boiled, the fat that rises on the top should be saved. It is well to clarify all such fat by putting it into a kettle to melt slowly, stirring occasionally till it looks clear, then strain and set away for use. This saves butter, for it may be mixed in equal proportions with that or lard, for ginger cakes or pie crust. By some it is considered more healthy for frying doughnuts than lard. It needs careful watching to see that it does not grow stale; it is necessary to clarify it quite often in summer, but it will keep longer in winter; keep it in tin or good solid stone jars that will not absorb the grease and grow rancid. Mutton is not good to put with other fat, being too hard and tallowy. All refuse grease should be saved for making soap.

Roast Beef

To roast in a cooking stove, the fire must have careful attention lest the meat should burn. Lay it, well floured, and seasoned, into a dripping pan, with rather more than enough water to cover the bottom, turn the pan around often, that all parts may be equally roasted, and baste frequently. The oven should be quite hot when the beef is first put in that the outside may cook quickly and thus retain the juices. A large roast of 8 or 10 pounds is much better and more economical than a small one, even in a small family. The first day it can be served rare; that which is near the outside will be well enough cooked for any one. It can be re-roasted on the next day. If much remains serve cold on the next, or cut in very thin slices, dip each one in flour, then chop two onions fine, place a layer of meat in a baking dish and sprinkle it with salt pepper and onions; above this, place a layer of sliced or cannedtomatoes; alternate the layers till the dish is nearly full, moistening with the gravy; place a layer of tomatoes upon the top, fill with boiling water, cover with a plate, and bake two hours.

Roast Beef (2)

A 10 pound roast is the nicest. Put it into a hot oven and let it crisp over, as soon as possible, to keep all the juice inside the meat. After the meat is well browned, put a little boiling water into the dripping pan, grease a paper, two or three thicknesses, and lay over the meat, then turn a dripping pan over all.

Beef A La Mode

Take a tender, fresh round, take out the bone and with a sharp knife make many deep incisions, then wash and season well with pepper and salt. For the dressing, crumb the soft part of a baker's loaf, to which add 1 teaspoonful of sweet marjoram, 1 of sweet basil, 2 small onions, mixed tine, 2 or 3 small blades of mace finely powdered; salt and pepper. Rub well together with six ounces of butter, fill the incisions, and tie tape around the meat to keep in place. Bake until well done.

Stewed Brisket of Beef

Put three or four pounds of brisket into a kettle and cover it with water; remove the scum as it rises, and let it boil steadily two hours; take it from the kettle and brown it with butter in a spider; when it is browned on every side, return it to the kettle and stew it gently five hours more; add more water if it boils away; pat in a few cloves, salt and pepper, as you' think necessary. Half an hour before dinner add tomato or mushroom catsup. The water in which it was stewed is a nice soup.

Stewed Beef

The ends of the slices of "Porterhouse" steak are nice for stewing. In this case, have the thin part cut off before the meat is sliced. Cover the piece to stew with boiling water, and cook untill every part is perfectly tender; season when two-thirds cooked. The water must be entirely cooked away to retain the sweetness of the meat.

Broiled Steak

Select your steak carefully. The wide end of the slice of "Porterhouse" is nice, or the "loin." Have the gridiron hot and ' buttered, and over hot coals; place the beef upon the gridiron, and cook till the blood begins to start upon the upper side before turning, if the fire is not too hot. To retain the juice, beef should be cooked rapidly at first. Turn frequently rather than scorch. When done, remove to the platter and season to the taste. Use no salt while cooking. This prevents the blood from escaping.

Beef Steak Roll

Select a nice, tender, sirloin steak; pound it well, season with salt and pepper; then make a nice dressing of chopped bread, well buttered, salted and peppered, with a little sage, and mixed together with a very little warm water. Spread this on the meat, then begin at one end and roll it together; tie with strings. Put into a dripping-pan with a little water. Bake about three-quarters of an hour. To be eaten warm, or sliced cold for tea.

Beef Steak & Onions

Take thick beefsteak, (that which is not so tender will answer), cut it in pieces ready to serve; put into a spider with a little hot water; slice up three or four onions, and stew very slowly several hours. Let the water boil out and the meat become brown, the stir flour into the fat which has come from the meat. If there is too much, take some out and pour on boiling water, and stir till the flour is cooked. Pour the meat and gravy into a deep dish or platter, and serve. Bay leaves, which can be obtained at the druggists, are a good substitute for those who do not like onions, but the leaves should be taken out before sending to the table.

Tomato Steak

Take two pounds of beef, cut it in small strips, and put it into a pot with seven medium sized tomatoes; stew it very slowly; add a dessert-spoonful of sugar, salt, a little clove, and, just before you take it up, a dessert-spoonful of butter. If you have tomato catsup, add a little, and, if you like, chopped onion. This is a good rule for cooking beef that is tough, as it renders it more palatable than most other ways. Some think this dish is better when heated over, the next day.

Beefsteak for the Old

Take coarse, lean beef, with a small quantity of suet; run it through a sausage cutter, or chop very fine; add pepper and salt; make into cakes three quarters of an inch thick, and cook as you would beefsteak. The poor will find it cheap, and the rich, nearly as good as the choicest cuts.

Beef Ball

3 lbs. choice beef (rare) chopped fine, 10 butter crackers crushed thoroughly, ½ tea cup butter, pepper and salt to the taste, ½ cup water. Mix all well together, press down hard in pans, dip a few spoonfuls of the water in which the beef was boiled over the top and bake 1 1/2 or 2 hours. Slice when cold.

Beef Omelet

One and one-half pounds of good beefsteak chopped fine, one cup suet, two slices of wheat bread soaked in water, two eggs and half a cup of sweet cream; season well with salt and pepper. Mold into a loaf or roll and bake three-fourths of an hour, basting frequently.

Spiced Beef

Chop tough beefsteak, raw, and a piece of suet the size of an egg; season with pepper, salt, and a little summer savory; add two eggs, half a pint of bread crumbs, four or five tablespoonfuls of cream, a small piece of butter; mix and make into a roll, with flour sufficient to keep together. Put in a pan with a little drippings and water, and bake as a roast. Slice thin when cold.

Boiling Corned Beef

Wash it thoroughly and put into a pot that will hold plenty of water; the water should be cold; skim with great care; allow forty minutes for every pound after it has begun to boil. The goodness depends much on its being boiled gently and long. If it is to be eaten cold, lay it in a vessel which will admit of its being pressed with a heavy weight, as salt meat is very much improved by pressing.

Corned Beef

To have good corned beef, select a good piece of brisket or flank, and put it into a pot of boiling water; throw in a handful of salt, or enough to suit the taste, and boil till tender; then add potatoes, turnips and cabbage, with a piece of salt pork. This makes a good Yankee dinner, superior to beef pickled in brine.

How to Make Beef Tender

Cut the steak, the day before using, into slices about two inches thick; rub over them a small quantity of carbonate of soda; wash off next morning; cut into suitable thickness; cook to suit the taste.

Boiled Tongue

Boil and skim; sprinkle some flour over it; put in cloves, and turn a cup of jelly over it. Bake moderately fifteen minutes.

Baked Tongue

Season with common salt, a very little salt-peter, half a cup of brown sugar, pepper, cloves, mace and allspice, powdered fine. Let it remain for a fortnight, then take out the tongue, put it in a pan; lay on some butter; cover with bread crumbs, and bake slowly till so tender that a straw will easily go through it. To be eaten cold. Will keep a long time, and is very nice for tea.

Fried Liver

Cut liver into slices, and lay in cold salt water to draw out the blood. Some place it over a slow fire till the liver turns white. Take it out, roll each piece in flour or bread crumbs, season and put in hot lard. Cover, and cook slowly, till the liver is tender, then uncover and fry quickly till brown. Another way is to pour boiling water on the liver for a few moments, and proceed as above.

Fried Tripe

Cut in pieces convenient for serving; beat an egg lightly and dip each piece in the egg. Have your frying-pan hot and fry brown in butter. It will take a good deal of butter to make it nice and keep from burning.

How to Cook Dried Beef

Chip the beef as for the table; put it in a basin of cold water, and set it in a warm (not hot) place. Put a bowl of cream in a stew-pan over the fire, and when hot, shake in flour from the dredging-box, till it is, on boiling, of the consistency of thick cream; set off the stew-pan, and add to the thickened cream the beef which has been drained from the water, and it is ready for the table. The quantity of water used, and the length of time it is allowed to remain in the water, will necessarily depend upon the saltiness of the beef. Fifteen minutes is usually sufficient.

How to Fry Dried Beef

It is nice shaved off with a plane; then put it into a hot frying pan, with butter to fry it until brown. Put in a tablespoonful of flour, then pour in hot water enough to make a gravy. Let it stew a moment before taking it up.


Chop fine any kind of cold meat; mix it with one or two eggs,and some butter; season it with salt and pepper, and sprinkle over flour; roll it in balls and fry brown in hot lard.


Chop cold beef to a fine hash, and season it; mash and season hot boiled potatoes, and place them around a flat dish for a border, two or three inches in width; put the hash in the center and cover with fine bread-crumbs, and put into the oven and brown.

Hash on Toast

Cold pieces of beefsteak are nice, chopped fine, cooked in a little butter and water, and thickened with flour; pour over pieces of toast laid on a platter, and moistened with hot water, salted. Garnish with hard-boiled eggs.

Hash with Potatoes

Cold pieces of beef, either boiled, broiled or baked, can be used for the dish. Free the meat from all pieces of bone, chop fine, and mix with two parts of potatoes to one of beef. Potatoes boiled with the skins on are best. They should be cold, and chopped not quite so fine as the meat. Put them in a spider with melted butter or clarified drippings, and just enough hot water to keep from burning. Season to taste, and keep stirring till the whole is cooked together. If liked crisped, let it remain still long enough to bake a crust on the bottom, and then turn out on a flat dish. Other meats may be used instead of beef.

Beef and Mutton Pie

Take slices of tender meat, pound thin and broil ten minutes; cut off the gristly and bony parts; season it highly with salt and pepper; butter, and cut it into small pieces. Line a pudding-dish with pastry; put in the meat, and to each layer put a teaspoonful of tomato catsup, and a large spoonful of water. Sprinkle flour over the whole and cover it with pie- crust, having a slit in the center of it. Lay strips of pastry over, so as to give it a tasteful appearance, and bake it about an hour. Cooked mutton, and roast beef or broiled beef, can be made into a good pie. Cut them into small pieces, season with salt and pepper; add gravy, or butter and water, till you can see it at the top.

Corned Beef

To 6 gallons of water, add 9 lbs. of pure salt, 3 lbs. of brown sugar, 1 qt. Molasses, 3 oz. of salt-peter, 1 oz. pearlash. Let these ingredients be boiled and carefully skimmed as long as impurities rise to the surface. When the water is ready to receive the rest of the material, pour in the saltpeter only, and when dissolved, and the water boiling, dip your beef, piece by piece, into the salt-peter water, holding it in for a few seconds only. When the beef has been thus immersed and become quite cool, pack it in the cask where it is to remain; when the pickle is perfectly cold, pour it on the meat which should be kept down by cover and stone. This amount of pickle is intended for 100 lbs. Of beef. The immersion of the beef in hot saltpeter water contracts the surface by closing the pores and prevents the juices of the meat from going out into the pickle. The saltpeter absorbed by the contracted or cooked surfaces will modify the salt that passes through it, the whole producing the most perfect result.


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