ECONOMY AND ADAPTABILITY IN SELECTION.—While the greatest care should be exercised in the selection of beef as regards its soundness and wholesomeness, it must likewise be selected with reference to economy and adaptability for cooking purposes, pieces from different portions of the animal being suitable for cooking only in certain ways. Ox beef is said to be best. That beef is most juicy and tender which has fine streaks of fat intermingled with the lean. Beef which is coarse-grained and hard to cut is apt to be tough. An economical piece of beef to purchase is the back of the rump. It is a long piece with only a small portion of bone, and weighs about ten pounds. The thickest portion may be cut into steaks, the thin, end with bone may be utilized for soups and stews, while the remainder will furnish a good roast. Only a small portion of choice tender lean meat is to be found in one animal, and these are also the most expensive; but the tougher, cheaper parts, if properly cooked, are nearly as nutritious.
BROILED BEEF.—Beef for broiling should be juicy and have a tender fiber. Steaks cut from three parts of the beef are in request for this purpose,—tenderloin, porterhouse, and round steak. The last-named is the more common and economical, yet it is inferior in juice and tenderness to the other two. Steak should be cut three fourths of an inch or more in thickness. If it is of the right quality, do not pound it; if very tough, beat with a steak-mallet or cut across it several times on both sides with a sharp knife. Wipe, and remove any bone and superfluous fat. Have the fire in readiness, the plates heating, then proceed as directed on page 398.
COLD-MEAT STEW.—Cut pieces of cold roast beef into thick slices and put into a stewpan with six or eight potatoes, a good-sized bunch of celery cut into small pieces; and a small carrot cut in dice may be added if the flavor is liked. Cover with hot water, and simmer for three fourths of an hour. Thicken with a little browned flour.