Let the joint hang as long as it can possibly be kept perfectly sweet. When it is first brought in, remove the pipe of marrow which runs along the backbone; and cut out the kernels from the fat. Be very careful in summer to guard it from flies; examine it frequently in warm or damp weather; and scrape off with a knife, or wipe away with a dry cloth, any moisture which may appear on the surface: when this has been done, dust some powdered ginger or pepper over it. Unless the joint should be very large, its appearance will be improved by taking off the ends of the bones, which may then be salted for a few days, and afterwards boiled. Spit the beef firmly; place it near the fire to render the surface firm, as directed in the article Roasting; then draw it to a distance and let it remain so until the heat has well penetrated the interior; and, if from prejudice the old method be still preferred, heat it very gradually in the first instance (in either case baste it constantly), and let it be drawn nearer to the fire for the last half hour or more of roasting, merely to brown it well. Persons who object to meat being frothed for table, have it dredged with flour when it is first placed at the fire, and sprinkled with fine salt when it is nearly done. It is not necessary to paper the fat of beef, as many cooks direct, if proper attention be given to it while roasting.
As a general rule, it may be observed, that when the steam from the meat draws strongly towards the fire, it is nearly or quite ready to serve. The time required to roast it will depend on the state of the weather,* the size and strength of the fire, the thickness of the joint, the use or non-use of a meat-screen or reflector, the general temperature of the kitchen, and other contingencies. A quarter of an hour for each pound of meat is commonly allowed for solid, heavy joints, and, if the directions we have given be attended to, this will not be found too much even for persons who prefer beef somewhat rere: it must be left longer at the fire if wished very thoroughly roasted, and quite double the usual time when the plan we have noticed, is adopted. When likely to be sent to table hashed, minced, or dressed a second time in any way, the juices of the meat should be dried up as little as possible when it is first cooked.
* The meat will be much sooner done in hot weather than in cold. If frozen, it must be thawed very gradually before it is put to the fire, or no length of time will roast it; this will be effected better by laying it into cold water for some hours before it is wanted, than by any other means.