Thursday, June 18, 2009

Beef, it's what's for dinner, 1852 edition


Take a fine steak and dip it into cold spring water, let it drain a few minutes, lay it in a dish and pour over it sufficient clarified butter hot, and cover it; let it remain twelve hours, then remove the butter, and roll the steak with the rolling-pin a dozen times rather hardly, let it lie in front of a clear fire ten minutes, turning it once or twice, put it into a frying-pan, with water half an inch in depth, and let it fry until it browns.

Mince some parsley very fine, chop an eschalot as fine as can be, and season them with cayenne, salt, and a little white pepper, work them with a lump of butter, and when the steak is brown take it from the pan, rub it well with the mixture on both sides, and return it to the pan until enough; dish it, thicken the gravy in the pan with a little butter rolled in flour if it requires it, and pour it over the steak and serve.

--From The Illustrated London Cookery Book--

Other than their habit of keeping meat at room temperature for long periods of time, their recipes sound pretty good. By the way, many of the recipes called for prodigious amounts of meat; ten or twenty pounds. Obviously soups would always be going, to handle the leftovers and extra bits.

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