Meat is animal tissue used as food. Most often is used to describe skeletal muscle and fat that is found with it. Types of meat include beef and veal from cattle, pork, ham and bacon from pigs, mutton from sheep, venison from deer, fish, insects, and poultry from chickens, ducks and turkeys. The word meat is also used for sausages and for non-muscle organs which are used for food, for example liver, brain, and kidneys.
Meat is an important part of the diet of many people because it contains protein. Protein helps the growth and healing of a body and gives energy. Meat is a "high-protein" food, but costs more than other foods like bread and vegetables. People who cannot afford meat, or who do not like to eat it need to find other ways to get enough protein in their diet. Beans and certain nuts are also high in protein. People that choose not to eat meat are called vegetarians, and those who do not eat any animal product are known as vegans.
Animals such as members of the cat family that mainly eat animals are called carnivores. Red meat is darker-coloured meat, different from white meat such as chicken or fish. Some raw meat can make people sick or even cause death. Although most persons believe that protein can only be obtained from meat, it is found in many other foods, such as milk, skim milk, cheese, cottage cheese, poultry, eggs, fish, dried peas, beans, cow peas, lentils and nuts. For instance, pound for pound, salmon, either fresh or canned, equals round steak in protein content; cream cheese contains one-quarter more protein and three times as much fat; peanuts (hulled) one-quarter more protein and three and a half times as much fat; beans (dried) a little more protein and one-fifth as much fat; eggs (one dozen) about the same in protein and one-half more fat. It is our manifest duty to learn how to make the best use of these foods in order to save beef, pork and mutton, to be shipped across the sea. This means that the housekeeper has before her the task of training the family palate to accept new food preparations. Training the family palate is not easy, because bodies that have grown accustomed to certain food combinations find it difficult to get along without them, and rebel at a change. If these habits of diet are suddenly disturbed we may upset digestion, as well as create a feeling of dissatisfaction which is equally harmful to physical well-being. The wise housekeeper will therefore make her changes gradually.
In reducing meat in the diet of a family that has been used to having meat twice a day, it will be well to start out with meat once a day and keep up this régime for a couple of weeks. Then drop meat for a whole day, supplying in its stead a meat substitute dish that will furnish the same nutriment. After a while you can use meat substitutes at least twice a week without disturbing the family's mental or physical equilibrium. It would be well also to introduce dishes that extend the meat flavor, such as stews combined with dumplings, hominy, or rice; pot pies or short cakes with a dressing of meat and vegetables; meat loaf, souffle or croquettes in which meat is combined with bread crumbs, potato or rice.
Meat eating is largely a matter of flavor. If flavor is supplied, the reduction of meat in the diet can be made with little annoyance. Nutrition can always be supplied in the other dishes that accompany the meal, as a certain proportion of protein is found in almost every food product. The meat that we use to obtain flavor in sauces and gravies need not be large in quantity, nor expensive in cut. The poor or cheap cuts have generally more flavor than the expensive ones, the difference being entirely in texture and tenderness, freedom from gristle and inedible tissue. There are many cereals, such as rice, hominy, cornmeal, samp and many vegetable dishes, especially dried beans of all kinds, that are greatly improved by the addition of meat sauce and when prepared in this way may be served as the main dish of a meal.
Dr. Harvey w. Wiley has stated that the meat eating of the future will not be regarded as a necessity so much as it has been in the past, and that meat will be used more as a condimental substance. Europe has for years used meat for flavor rather than for nutriment. It would seem that the time has come for americans to learn the use of meat for flavor and to utilize more skillfully the protein of other foods.
It may be difficult to convince the meat lover that he can radically reduce the proportion of meat in his diet without detriment to health. Many persons adhere to the notion that you are not nourished unless you eat meat; that meat foods are absolutely necessary to maintain the body strength. This idea is entirely without foundation, for the foods mentioned as meat substitutes earlier in this chapter can be made to feed the world, and feed it well—in fact, no nation uses so large a proportion of meat as america.
The first step, therefore, in preparing ourselves to reduce meat consumption is to recognize that only a small quantity of meat is necessary to supply sufficient protein for adult life. The growing child or the youth springing into manhood needs a larger percentage of meat than the adult, and in apportioning the family's meat ration this fact should not be overlooked.
The second step is to reduce the amount purchased, choosing cuts that contain the least waste, and by utilizing with care that which we do purchase. Fat, trimmings, and bones all have their uses and should be saved from the garbage pail.
Careful buying, of course, depends on a knowledge of cuts, a study of the percentage of waste in each cut, and the food value of the different kinds of meat. Make a study of the different cuts, as shown in the charts on pages 36, 37, and armed with this knowledge go forth to the butcher for practical buying.
Then comes the cooking, which can only be properly done when the fundamental principles of the cooking processes, such as boiling, braising, broiling, stewing, roasting and frying are understood. Each cut requires different handling to secure the maximum amount of nutriment and flavor. The waste occasioned by improper cooking is a large factor in both household and national economy.
It has been estimated that a waste of an ounce each day of edible meat or fat in the twenty million american homes amounts to 456,000,000 pounds of valuable animal food a year. At average dressed weights, this amounts to 875,000 steers, or over 3,000,000 hogs. Each housekeeper, therefore, who saves her ounce a day aids in this enormous saving, which will mean so much in the feeding of our men on the fighting line.
So the housekeeper who goes to her task of training the family palate to accept meat substitutes and meat economy dishes, who revolutionizes her methods of cooking so as to utilize even "The pig's squeak," will be doing her bit toward making the world safe for democracy.
The following charts, tables of nutritive values and suggested menus have been arranged to help her do this work. The american woman has her share in this great world struggle, and that is the intelligent conservation of food.
Beef—dull red as cut, brighter after exposure to air; lean, well mottled with fat; flesh, firm; fat, yellowish in color. Best beef from animal 3 to 5 years old, weighing 900 to 1,200 pounds. Do not buy wet, soft, or pink beef.
Veal—flesh pink. (if white, calf was bled before killed or animal too young.) the fat should be white.
Mutton—best from animal 3 years old. Flesh dull red, fat firm and white.
Lamb—(spring lamb 3 months to 6 months old; season, february to march.) bones of lamb should be small; end of bone in leg of lamb should be serrated; flesh pink, and fat white.
Pork—the lean should be fine grained and pale pink. The skin should be smooth and clear. If flesh is soft, or fat yellowish, pork is not good.
Less expensive cuts of meat have more nourishment than the more expensive, and if properly cooked and seasoned, have as much tenderness. Tough cuts, as chuck or top sirloin, may be boned and rolled and then roasted by the same method as tender cuts, the only difference will be that the tougher cuts require longer cooking. Have the bones from rolled meats sent home to use for soups. Corned beef may be selected from flank, naval, plate or brisket. These cuts are more juicy than rump or round cuts.
1. for pot roast use chuck, crossrib, round, shoulder, rump or top sirloin.
2. for stew use shin, shoulder, top sirloin or neck.
3. for steaks use flank, round or chuck. If these cuts are pounded, or both pounded and rubbed with a mixture of 1 part vinegar and 2 parts oil before cooking, they will be very tender.
4. soups—buy shin or neck. The meat from these may be utilized by serving with horseradish or mustard sauce, or combined with equal amount of fresh meat for meat loaf, scalloped dish, etc.
1. roasting or baking—oven roasting or baking is applied to roasts.
Place the roast in a hot oven, or if gas is used, put in the broiling oven to sear the outside quickly, and thus keep in the juices. Salt, pepper and flour. If an open roasting pan is used place a few tablespoonfuls of fat and 1 cup of water in the pan, which should be used to baste the roast frequently. If a covered pan is used basting is unnecessary.
|beef or mutton||(5 to 8 lbs.)||10 min. To the lb.||10 min. Extra|
|lamb||(5 to 8 lbs.)||12 min. To the lb.||12 min. Extra|
|veal||(5 to 8 lbs.)||15 min. To the lb.||15 min. Extra|
|pork||(5 to 8 lbs.)||25 min. To the lb.||25 min. Extra|
|turkey||20 min. To the lb.|
|chicken||30 min. To the lb.|
|duck||30 min. To the lb.|
|goose||30 min. To the lb.|
|game||30 min. To the lb.|
2. broiling—cooking over or under clear fire. This method is used for chops or steaks.
Sear the meat on both sides. Then reduce the heat and turn the meat frequently. Use no fat.
time table—(count time after meat is seared).
½ inch chops or steaks, 5 minutes
1 inch chops or steaks, 10 minutes
2 inch chops or steaks, 15 to 18 minutes
3. pan broiling—cooking in pan with no fat. time table same as for broiling chops, steaks, etc.
4. sautéing—cooking in pan in small amount of fat. Commonly termed "Frying." used for steaks, chops, etc. time table same as for broiling.
1. Boiling—cooking in boiling water—especially poultry, salt meats, etc.
2. Steaming—a method of cooking by utilizing steam from boiling water, which retains more food value than any other. Too seldom applied to meats.
3. Frying—cooking by immersion in hot fat at temperature 400 to 450 degrees fahrenheit. Used for croquettes, etc.
If a fat thermometer is not available, test by using small pieces of bread. Put into heated fat:
A—for croquettes made from food requiring little cooking, such as oysters, or from previously cooked mixtures, as rice, fish or meat croquettes, bread should brown in one-half minute.
B—for mixtures requiring cooking, as doughnuts, fritters, etc., bread should brown in one minute.
1. Pot roasting—cooking (by use of steam from small amount of water) tough cuts of meat which have been browned but not cooked thoroughly.
Season meat. Dredge with flour. Sear in hot pan until well browned. Place oil rack in pot containing water to height of one inch, but do not let water reach the meat. Keep water slowly boiling. Replenish as needed with boiling water. This method renders tough cuts tender, but requires several hours cooking.
2. Stewing—a combination of methods which draws part of flavor into gravy and retains part in pieces which are to be used as meat.
Cut meat into pieces suitable for serving. Cover one-half of meat with cold water. Let stand one hour. Bring slowly to boiling point. Dredge other half of meat with flour and brown in small amount of fat. Add to the other mixture and cook slowly 1½ to 2 hours, or until tender, adding diced vegetables, thickening and seasoning as desired one-half hour before cooking is finished.
3. Fricasseeing—cooking in a sauce until tender, meat which has been previously browned but not cooked throughout.
Brown meat in small amount of fat. Place in boiling water to cover. Cook slowly until tender. To 1 pint of water in which meat is cooked, add ¼ cup flour, 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon cayenne, and ¼ cup milk, thoroughly blended. When at boiling point, add one beaten egg, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley and 1 tablespoon cold water well mixed, add cooked meat and serve
Neck for stews.
Shoulder for inexpensive chops.
Sweetbread—broiled or creamed.
Breast for roast or pot roast.
Loin for roast.
Rump for stews.
Cutlet for broiling.
lamb and mutton
Neck—use for stews.
Shoulder for cheaper chops.
Breast for roast
Ribs for chops or crown roast.
Loin for roast.
Flank for stews.
Leg for cutlet and roast.
Head for cheese.
Shoulder same as ham but have it boned. Has same flavor and is much cheaper.
Loin used for chops or roast.
Ham for boiling, roasting or pan broiling.
|methods of cooking|
|broiled or scrambled with egg|
|stuffed, baked or broiled|
|stewed or sauted|
|fried, boiled, sauted or broiled|
|soup or boiled|
|boiled, pickled, corned|
|tripe||veal||broiled or boiled|
|fat||all animals||fried out for cooking or soap making|
|pigs feet||pork||pickled or boiled or used with|
Meat from head for head cheese
the economy of meat and meat substitutes
Don't buy more than your family actually needs. Study and know what the actual needs are, and you will not make unnecessary expenditures.
Learn what the various cuts of meat are, what they can be used for, and which are best suited to the particular needs of your household.
Study the timeliness of buying certain cuts of meats. There are days when prices are lower than normal.
Always check the butcher's weights by watching him closely or by weighing the goods on scales of your own.
Always buy a definite quantity. Ask what the pound rate is, and note any fractional part of the weight. Don't ask for "Ten or twenty cents' worth."
Select your meat or fish personally. There is no doubt that high retail prices are due to the tendency of many housewives to do their buying by telephone or through their servants.
Test the freshness of meat and fish. Staleness of meat and fish is shown by loose and flabby flesh. The gills of fresh fish are red and the fins stiff.
Make all the purchases possible at a public market, if you can walk to it, or if carfare will not make too large an increase in the amount you have set aside for the day's buying.
A food chopper can be made to pay for itself in a short time by the great variety of ways it furnishes of utilizing left-overs.
If possible, buy meat trimmings. They cost 20 cents a pound and can be used in many ways.
Buy the ends of bacon strips. They are just as nutritious as sliced bacon and cost 50 per cent. Less.
Learn to use drippings in place of butter for cooking purposes.
Buy cracked eggs. They cost much less than whole ones and are usually just as good.
Keep a stock pot. Drop into it all left-overs. These make an excellent basis for soup stock.
Don't throw away the heads and bones of fish. Clean them and use them with vegetables for fish chowder or cream of fish soup.
Study attractive ways of serving food. Plain, cheap, dishes can be made appetizing if they look attractive on the table.
Experiment with meat substitutes. Cheese, dried vegetables and the cheaper varieties of fish can supply all the nutriment of meat at a much lower cost.
Don't do your cooking "By guess." if the various ingredients are measured accurately, the dish will taste better and cost less.
Don't buy delicatessen food if you can possibly avoid it. Delicatessen meals cost 15 per cent. More than the same meals cooked at home, and the food is not as nourishing. You pay for the cooking and the rent of the delicatessen store, as well as the proprietor's profit.
Don't pay five or ten cents more a dozen for white eggs in the belief that they are superior to brown eggs. The food value of each is the same. The difference in shell color is due to the breed of hen.
Tell the butcher to give you the trimmings of chicken, I.E., the head, feet, fat and giblets. They make delicious chicken soup. The feet contain gelatine, which gives soup consistency.
Buy a tough, and consequently less expensive, chicken and make it tender by steaming it for three hours before roasting.
Don't put meat wrapped in paper into the ice-box, as the paper tends to absorb the juices.
Try to find a way to buy at least a part of your meats and eggs direct from the farm. You will get fresher, better food, and if it is sent by parcels post it can usually be delivered to your table for much less than city prices.
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