Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book – Part 9

Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book – Part 9

I cannot believe that is has been almost 3 months since I last posted from this grand old book!  Sorry about that – time really has just flown by.

Without further ado, here is an excerpt from the chapter on Meat:

“In shining refrigerators modern-processed, government-inspected cuts of meat are ready to supply a slimming chop for the Hollywood diets, steaks to be smothered in onions or thick slices of ham to swim in gravy.  In smoking pits by roadsides or in picnic grounds barbecues still invite a primitive finger-licking enjoyment of cooked meat that  recalls Lamb’s famous legent of the first roast pig.  We burn no housese to cook the roast; we do not need to for nowehere is good meat of every kind as plentiful and as cheap as in America.  Nowhere do more people eat it every day.

To the standard roast beef and mutton of the Old World we have added such native delicacies as spareribs, hot dogs and country sausage.  We have invented frozen steaks and sizzling platters.  From filet mignon to corned-beef hash and chili con carne, there are meats for every American taste and purse; and often those relatively easy on the budget are the most popular when they are properly cooked.

Care of Meat

Fresh Meat:  Immediately upon arrival from the market, fresh meat should be unwrapped, scraped and wiped off if necessary – never washed – and store in the refrigerator.  If your refrigrator boasts a meat compartment or pan, store it there uncovered.  Otherwise put it on a shallow dish or plate and store it in the coldest part of the refrigerator – preferably uncovered; at the most, lightly topped with a piece of waxed paper.

Cooked Meat:  On the other hand, cooked meat should be kept covered in the refrigerator to prevent the surface from becoming hard and dry.

Smoked Meat:  A dry cold place is sufficient for the storage of smoked meats.  If they are kept in the refrigerator it need not be the cold part.  Bacon should not be allowed to stand at room temperature for any length of time or its keeping qualities may be impaired.

Frozen and Quick-Frozen Meats

Frozen meats may be thawed or not, as desired, before booking; they may be thawed at room temperature r in the refrigerator.  Although thawing in the refrigerator takes longer, the loss of juice is less than in meat thawed at room temperature.  Once thawed, the meat should be cooked as soon as possible.

Any frozen meat is cooked int he same way as the equivalent unfrozen cut.  The cooking period must be increased if the meat is not thawed first – generally speaking, about 15 minutes more per pound for beef and port raost; 10 to 15 minutes for beefsteaks and pork chops.  See directions on label if packaged quick-frozen foods are purchased.

Buying Meats

To assist the shopper in identifying the different cuts of meat, charts have been prepared showing cuts of beef, lamp, pork and veal.  In addition the charts give the method of cooking best adapted to each cut.  From them the shopper can learn to recognize the different cuts by their shape, the bones they contain, and by the structure of the muscle.

Tender and less tender cuts are about equal in food value, and may be equally palatable if each is prepared by the method best adapted to bring out its qualities.  Generally speaking, the tender cuts lie along the supporting muscles of the backbone – muscles which are little exercised.  The less tender cuts are those from the much-exercised parts of the animal, such as the leg, shoulder and neck.  In small animals like the pig and the lamb nearly all the cuts are tender; the same would be true of veal if it did not contain such large amounts of connective tissue which must be softened by long slow cooking.”

There are a further 58 pages on the meat chapter which give great detail on different cooking methods and loads of recipes.


44 thoughts on “Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book – Part 9

  1. Thanks for dropping by, yes, Gremlins..and the machine’s mother board I was using is now toast… So, I’m running off an old 32 bit dinosaur from the closet…so I’ll probably not be posting a lot for a while.. though I intend to try and drop in for one of your great reads now and then.
    Bless You

    • Paul, I hope that you can get back up and running ASAP – technology can be extremely frustrating and my somewhat limited technical knowledge doesn’t always help the situation. Chat soon again and have a super weekend. 🙂

  2. That looks like a very well used cook book. I bet it is full of delicious foods. I have downloaded Mrs Beetons book, I don’t know mch about her apart from she didn’t seem to know that much about cooking (or so I am told). Great post as always.

  3. So this book is old? and yet some of it reads in quite a modern way.. lovely language and the writer really knew what he or she was talking about.. interesting.. I have lamb in the freezer now so i am interested in anything to do with lamb which was mentioned too. c

  4. I wonder if uncovering the meat in the fridge has anything to do with aging it. I’ve a recipe for standing rib roast that recommends leaving the meat, uncovered, in your fridge for up to 1 week. Well, whatever the reason, I do enjoy these glimpses into the past. Thanks, Mandy, for sharing them and have a great day!

  5. I have a couple of very old cookbooks I picked up at antique shops! I love reading about how foods were cooked and stored…and the etiquette behind hosting dinner parties! It’s so fun and fascinating!

  6. My Mother still has her old Good Housekeeping cook book – a wedding present. I love to look back on the recipes and advice that were deemed essential then. A great glimpse of the past. Have a lovely weekend.

  7. Always insightful! I love to read these. Spare ribs, not normal? LOL. I guess my family is pretty abnormal then. Too funny. 🙂 Have a great weekend!

  8. I love these posts! I always thought that fresh meat was stored uncovered (mind you, I cover mine) in the same way that it is stored or hung uncovered (or cloth covered) in a butcher´s refrigerator to help age it, especially beef as the fat hardens and melts better when roasted. Can´t swear to it though!

  9. I have a lot of very old and very tired and very stained and very marked treasured cookbooks. They are my absolute favourites to cook from no matter what is in vogue.

  10. I adore old cook books and this one has some classic, folksy phrasing “From filet mignon to corned-beef hash and chili con carne, there are meats for every American taste and purse.” Thanks Mandy – always an enjoyable read.

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