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A Shilling Cookery for the People

By Alexis Soyer

Published 1854

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There is more difficulty in the choice of veal than any other meat, although the general opinion is, it is the easiest. I often hear how white it is, how plump it looks: these are often produced artificially.

The preference is usually given to the cow calf, from its being whiter and having the udder; but if a bull calf has been properly fed, and killed at about ten weeks old, nothing can be finer in flavour or closer in grain when cooked, and will be much more juicy than the cow calf. The grain should be close, firm, and white, the fat a pinkish white, not a dead white, and the kidneys well covered with thick white fat; that is the first class veal. The second quality is darker in flesh, may be slaughtered in the country, and equally as nourishing as the first; the third quality will have less fat round the kidney, be coarser grained, and the lean red. It is often more nourishing than the very white veal, but not so delicate or digestible. It is caused by the calf being reared in the open air.

If the suet under the kidney is soft and clammy the meat is not fresh.

The neck is the first joint that becomes tainted. Calves’ liver should be firm, and free from gristle or spots; the heart should be surrounded with fat.

When veal has to be kept, it should always be hung up, and never allowed to lay on anything, or it soon becomes tainted.

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