All we hear on television or read in the papers is how bad our economy is, were we to dwell upon it we might find our future quite dreary, however, a far more productive reaction would be to learn ways to stretch our food dollars without sacrificing quality in our meals. Our ancestors were no different.
Housewives who are in a habit of using only steaks and roasts, make a great mistake. A capital dish may be made out of the “chuck” as the butchers call it, or the neck, when well prepared. Select a piece of meat as large as the demand of your table may require, wash it well to remove all the blood or soil from the outside, have your dinner pot perfectly clean, salt and pepper the meat well, lay it in the bottom and cover it with water; boil it from two to three hours, or till it is thoroughly tender; add half an onion, a sprinkle of sage, thyme or summer savory.
If the meat is fat, let the water all stew out a half hour before it is put on the table, and when your meat is browned well on the lower side in the gravy, turn it over and brown the other side. When ready, take it up, add a little flour thickening to the gravy, or if you have a dredge box shake the flour into the hot gravy and brown it, then add boiling water, and you will have a dish equal, and to my mind superior to the common roast beef, upon boarding-house tables.
Care must be used to turn it; and equally necessary is good judgement in having it thoroughly well-cooked.
– The New England Farmer, June 1861. Boston.