Chap. VI. – Boiling Meats, pp.316-324.

[Boiling Meats Contents]

General Rules.

   All kinds of meat should be well washed and boiled very slow in plenty of water, which makes it swell and look plump; keep it clear from scum, and the pot close covered. If it boils too hasty the outside will be hardened before the inside is warmed, and the meat thereby appear discoloured. Salt meat requires to be put on with cold water; fresh meat when the water boils. 

   Mutton and beef, although a little underdone eats very well; but pork, veal, and lamb, ought to be thoroughly done. 

   The liquor in which meat has been boiled, makes an excellent soup, or broth, with the addition of roots and vegetables, or barley and pease. The bones of roast meat, or shank bones of ham, also make fine pease soup, with a few stocks of lettuce, onions, and pepper. Boiling meat in a cloth well floured renders it whiter. 

   The time required for boiling meat cannot be condescended upon exactly, but the following calculation, it is believed, will not be far wrong. Weigh the meat, and allow for all solid joints of mutton and beef seventeen minutes per pound; twelve pounds of veal will take three hours and a half; twelve pounds pork will require four hours, and a ham of twenty pounds four hours and a half, and so in proportion. 

   In the very warm months of summer, meat that is to be salted should be done that day it is killed, rubbing every part well, which makes half the quantity of salt answer the purpose. Turn and rub in the pickle daily, which will render it fit for use in three or four days. If you want it very salt, wrap it into a cloth well floured after rubbing it with salt. This method will corn fresh beef in two days, observing to put it into the pot after the water boils. 


   Dried tongues require to be steeped all night in water, and four hours boiling; a pickled tongue only to be washed from the brine, and boiled moderately three hours; if to be eaten hot stick a few cloves into it, rub it over with the yolk of an egg, strew crumbs of bread over it, and baste with butter; set it before the fire till of a light brown, serve with gravy or red wine sauce, and garnish with slices of currant jelly round the dish. 

Pickled Pork,

After being washed and scraped clean, is put on with cold water and boiled till the rhind feels tender; it is generally served with boiled greens, or pease pudding. 


   Put it on with cold water, if dry let it be three hours in coming to boil, and boil it slowly; a ham of twenty pounds requires two hours and a half, after being soaked thus; this will serve to regulate the time for larger or smaller ones. A very old ham, if large, will require to be soaked in water twelve or sixteen hours; while boiling skim it frequently; a green ham requires no soaking. When ready pull off the skin, rub it over with an egg, strew over it bread crumbs, baste with butter, and set it before the fire till it is a light brown; or, rub it over with raw sugar and then brown it. If it is to be made use of cold the skin may be left on to preserve the juice. 

A Leg of Mutton.

   Boil it according to the general directions and serve with caper sauce


   Follow the general directions and serve with melted butter and stewed spinage. Grass lamb is served with spinage, broccoli, and other vegetables. 


   A turkey is generally kept some days after being killed, and when trussed the body is filled with a stuffing and the vent closed with a skewer; put it on with cold water, skim it carefully and keep the pot close covered. A large turkey will take an hour and a half to boil, a small one an hour. 


Require about half an hour, or three quarters, a chicken sixteen minutes. It is an improvement in boiling poultry, to take them off the fire before they are quite ready, allowing them to remain some time in the pot close covered, which renders them white and plump; they ought to be boiled with plenty of water. House lamb may be boiled along with them, or in the same water. This liquor makes a nourishing soup, or broth, for children or weakly persons, with the addition of barley, green pease, or vegetables to taste. 


Are first steeped in boiling milk, then dried with a cloth, stuffed with sage and onion shred small, and the neck and vent sewed up; then hung up till next day and put on with cold water, covered close and boiled gently an hour. Serve with onion sauce. 

Ducks and Rabbits.

   Boil them in plenty of water and take off the scum as it rises. A duck requires about twenty minutes, and a rabbit thirty. Serve with melted butter and parsley, or onion sauce

Pigeons and Partridges

Also require plenty of water; about fifteen minutes will boil them. Partridges are served with melted butter and cream poured over them. Pigeons are served with melted butter and parsley, and the dish garnished with broccoli, cauliflower, &c. accompanied with a side dish of bacon, greens, spinage, or asparagus. 

Snipes and Woodcocks

Are boiled in strong broth, or gravy, seasoned with sweet herbs and spiceries, and require ten minutes to boil. 

Boiling Fish.

   When purchasing salmon, haddock, cod, mackarel, and herring, always make choice of the fish with the smallest heads, broadest shoulders, and smallest tails. As soon as possible, pass a cord or iron rod through their under chop and hang them up; cut their tails almost through, and you will see a good deal of blood drop from them, although they have been a good many hours out of the water; this not only makes the fish of a delicate whiteness, but they keep good much longer. Fish of the flounder species should also be hung up, the tails cut off, and the fins pared all round to let out the blood; which, when retained, hurts the flavour, and lodging between the flakes makes it appear discoloured and full of black streaks. 

   A cod’s head and shoulders, if very large, will require forty-five minutes to boil; a large turbot, an hour; haddocks, ten minutes; whitings, five minutes; soles, ten minutes; crimped skate, ten minutes; head and shoulders of salmon of sixteen pounds, about an hour. Observe, in boiling fish, to make the water very salt. 

Cod’s Head and Shoulders.

   Clean the head well, lay it in a strong pickle of salt and water two hours to firm; drain it from the pickle, scald it with boiling water, and carefully take off the blackness from the skin, first the one side and then the other. Take the meat of a good haddock, a few oysters, cockles, or muscles, crumbs of bread, a little parsley, pepper, salt, and the roe of a haddock, all minced and made into a paste with an egg and a piece of butter; stuff the breast of the fish and tie it close with a tape. When the water boils, throw in a handful of salt, and, if the fish is not quite fresh, a little vinegar; let it boil half an hour, lift it carefully out, lay it on a dish, strew over it crumbs of bread and parsley shred small; place it before the fire, and baste it with butter till it is a fine brown. 

For Sauce.

   Prepare two pints (mutchkins) strong veal stock, with a handful of parsley and an onion shred small; thicken it with a little ground rice, or flour, add two gills of wine, twenty or thirty oysters, according to their size, a little lemon juice, pepper and salt, the meat of the tail and claws of a boiled lobster chopped small; boil it four minutes, skim it, add a table spoonful of fresh mushroom ketchup, or powder, pour it round the fish; for garnishing, lay small fishes fried, lemon in slices, or any green pickle


   To have this fish in perfection it should not be above twenty-four hours caught; proportion the cut to the number of the company, or the place of the table you design it to fill; boil it with plenty of salt, dish it immediately when ready, garnish the dish with parsley, and serve it hot with beat butter in a tureen, spiced vinegar, pickled cucumbers and beans, also anchovy sauce, upon the table. 

   Salmon requires to be thoroughly done, whether in boiling or broiling; it is a certain sign of being ready when it parts freely from the bone. 


   In chusing this fish, never fix on those having large thorns, although they may be bought much cheaper. The female skate, when good, is a thick round fish, has a very white belly, tinged with lilac, and is a most delicate fish. Observe the rules before given; wash it thoroughly in water, rub it well with a handful of salt, which takes off the sliminess, rinse it in water, and if to be boiled immediately cut it in pieces and boil it in a good pickle of salt and water. This fish, like the salmon, requires to be well done both in boiling and broiling. 

Crimped Skate,

Is the fish cut in lengths of six inches, tied hard with threads, boiled in strong salt and water, then drained, the threads cut off, garnished and served hot with beat butter, oysters, and anchovy sauce, or a little Cayenne pepper. Skate makes a pretty supper dish, served cold with vinegar and mustard. 

Dry Salted Fish.

   All the various kinds of dried, salted, and smoaked fish, require to be previously soaked in water, not only to soften, but to extract part of the salt in the cooking. Smoaked haddocks, should lie three or four hours in water; cod, whiting, and other very dry kinds, should be steeped in warm milk and water, and kept as near as possible in an equal degree of heat, the larger twelve hours and the smaller two, and then taken out and hung up by the tails, by which means they soften equally well as if among water. They are boiled in milk and water and kept just simmering. Large ling and cod, if laid in for winter stock, should be cut in pieces with a knife or saw, and hung in a bag in a dry place, which preserves their colour. They require six hours stewing; serve them with egg sauce in a tureen; garnish with hard boiled eggs. 

To Crimp Cod.

   Chuse the freshest cod you can possibly get, take out the gills and gut, scrape, fin, and clean it well, but do not open the belly. Take a haddock, cut off the meat and mince it very fine with a few of the roes, or a part of the cod’s roe, a piece of fresh butter, pepper and salt; stuff the breast, head, and eyes, and fasten it well by binding a thin cloth well buttered over the head and breast. Then take a long cord with a noose, put it over the neck and make the cord go round like a cork screw; draw it very tight to form deep ridges, and fasten it at the tail; lay it in a pan of boiling water, well salted, boil it ten or fifteen minutes, according to the size; when laid in the dish cut the cord with a pair of sharp pointed scissars at every ridge, and draw it gently away. Garnish with greens, and serve with beat butter, oysters, and anchovy sauce. A large cod done thus is a handsome top dish for dinner. 


Are done in the same manner. 

One thought on “Chap. VI. – Boiling Meats, pp.316-324.

Leave a Reply