Observation.—This admirable preparation is not only most valuable as a restorative of the best kind for invalids who require light but highly nutritious diet, it is also of the utmost utility for the general purposes of the kitchen, and will enable a cook who can take skilful advantage of it, to convert the cold meat which often abounds so inconveniently in an English larder, from our habit of having joints of large size so much served, into good nourishing dishes, which the hashes and minces of our common cookery are not, though they may answer well enough as mere varieties of diet. We shall indicate in the proper chapters the many other uses to which this beef juice—for such indeed it is—will be found eminently adapted. Of its value in illness it is impossible to speak too highly; and in every family, therefore, the exact mode of making it ought to be thoroughly understood. The economist who may consider it expensive, must remember that drugs and medical advice are usually far more so; and in cases of extreme debility the benefit derived from it, when it is well prepared and judiciously administered, is often remarkable. It should be given in small quantities at first, and in its pure state. It may afterwards be varied by the addition of vermicelli, semoulina, or other preparations of the kind; and also by using for it a portion of mutton, calf’s head, poultry, or game, when these suit a patient as well as the beef.
To make light beef tea or broth, merely increase the proportion of water to
Obs.—To mingle vegetable diet in its best form with this extract, it will be sufficient, as we have explained in “Cookery for Invalids,” to boil down the kind of vegetable desired, sliced or cut up small, in a very moderate quantity of water, until its juices are well drawn out; then to strain off the liquid from it with slight pressure, and, when it has become cold, to pour it to the chopped meat instead of water. Several different sorts can be mixed together, and cooked in this way: the water must boil before they are added to it.
They should be much more tender than when merely boiled for table, but not reduced to pulp. The juice should remain clear; no salt should be added; and it should be quite cold before it is stirred to the meat.
When the extract is wanted for gravy, a small portion of onion, and of herbs, carrots, celery, and the other usual vegetables, may be stewed together, to give it the requisite flavour.
About an inch square of the Jewish beef (Foreign Cookery), whether cooked or uncooked, will impart a fine savour to it; the smoked surface of this should be pared off before it is used, and it may be added in thin slices.