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.
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.