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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/470

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HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT

roasted, both to be pleasant to the palate and easy of digestion. Thus veal, pork and lamb should be thoroughly done to the centre.

Mutton and Beef, on the other hand, do not, generally speaking, require to be so thoroughly done, and they should be cooked, so that, in carving them, the gravy will just run, but not too freely. Of course in this, as in most other cases, the tastes of individuals vary; and there are many who cannot partake, with satisfaction, of any joint unless it is what others would call overdressed.

Baking.—Meat baked in the oven has never the same delicious aromatic flavour as when roasted in front of the fire, but with care it is possible to have a baked joint with a good flavour and a well-browned and crisp surface. To preserve the flavour of the meat, it is absolutely necessary that every part of the oven should be kept scrupulously clean. Nothing can brown properly or become crisp in too moist an atmosphere; therefore there must be an outlet for the steam produced by the evaporation of some of the water in the meat; and if the construction of the oven does not provide sufficient ventilation, the door must be kept partly open to allow the steam to escape. To ensure perfectly satisfactory results, a proper baking-tin must be used. This consists of a double tin, the upper part being provided with a grid, on which the meat rests, thus preventing unnecessary contact with the dripping. The lower tin is filled with water, which prevents the fat in the upper tin burning, and giving off unpleasant odours to be absorbed by the meat, and which would spoil its flavour. The principles of roasting and baking are exactly the same, the object being in both processes to preserve the nutritive qualities of the meat by preventing the escape of the juices of the meat. Before putting the joint in the oven it should be well basted with hot fat, for the reason already explained in reference to roasting meat. The oven should be hot for the first 10 or 15 minutes, in order that the albumin on the surface of the meat may be quickly coagulated and the juices of the meat retained. The temperature must then be lowered, or the meat transferred to a cooler oven, if the stove is provided with two. The temperature of an oven may be quickly reduced by drawing away some of the fire, putting in the dampers, or leaving the oven door open. Frequent basting is as essential in baking as in roasting; it not only keeps the meat mellow and tender, it also prevents waste by shrinkage, and by washing off some of the hardened particles it prevents the meat becoming too brown, while at the same time it provides a deposit to be afterwards converted into good gravy.

The time required for baking meat is the same as for roasting, viz., 15 minutes to each lb. of beef and mutton, and 15 minutes over; and 20 minutes to each lb. of pork and veal, and 20 minutes over, with the usual allowances for form, condition, stuffing, etc., which common sense or experience must determine.

Boiling.—Boiling is generally considered one of the most easy and