NOTES ON CARVING
THE waitress in many households is expected to do the carving. This work, to be accomplished satisfactorily, requires a knowledge of the anatomy of that which is to be carved, which can be gained only by handling meats before and after cooking.
A person who carves needs a steady hand, a correct eye, and, above all else, sharp carving-knives of different sizes and carving-forks provided with guards which should be up while carving. It can be plainly seen that a turkey calls for a carving set of different size from that required for a smaller bird. Platters, too, should be of suitable size.
If one understands the direction in which the muscular fibers lie, he knows just how to cut, namely, across the grain. Remember that slices should be of uniform thickness and without ragged edges.
To Carve Porterhouse Beefsteak.
The flank end should be removed before cooking. Cut both the tenderloin and the sirloin from the central bone, carving the meat in two pieces ; then cut in pieces, with the grain, about one inch in thickness. Serve a piece of each to a portion, not forgetting the dish gravy. When carving beef, always ask a guest if he likes it rare, medium, or well done.
To Carve Roast Beef — Rib or Sirloin.
Place roast on platter, skin side up. Press fork well down into the center of the roast, hold fork firmly in left hand and with a pointed, thin-bladed, sharp knife in right hand cut in thin, parallel slices from crispy, fat edge to bones, then slip knife under slices and cut from bones. Serve dish gravy with each portion.
Back of Rump.
Press the fork well down into center of the roast, hold firmly in left hand, and with knife in right hand cut in thin, parallel slices, with grain of meat. By so doing, some of the less tender muscle will be served with that which is more tender. Serve dish gravy with each portion.
To Carve a Fillet of Beef.
Begin at the thick end and cut diagonally across, having each slice from one fourth to one half of an inch in thickness.
Carve a Leg of Lamb.
Place roast on platter with rounding side up and small bone to the left of the carver. Introduce carving-fork into center of roast and hold firmly with left hand, with carving-knife in right hand. Cut in thin, parallel slices across grain to bone, then slip knife under slices and remove from bone. A leg of lamb which has been boned either by cook or butcher before cooking is more easily carved and gives better slices.
To Carve a Saddle of Mutton.
Make cuts parallel to backbone from half to three fourths of an inch apart; then make cross cuts at right angles to first cuts, from two to two and a half inches in length. Free meat from bone by slipping the knife under and cutting pieces from bone.
To Carve a Loin of Lamb or Veal.
Before cooking, the backbone of the loin should be cut at each rib. Cut the roast between ribs, serving one to each person. A Crown of Lamb is carved in the same manner.
To Carve Roast Turkey or Roast Chicken.
Place bird on back with drumsticks at right of carver. Introduce carving fork across breast-bone at its highest point) and hold firmly in left hand; with carving knife in right hand cut through skin between second joint and body, close to body. With knife, pull back the leg and second joint (in one piece) and disjoint from the body, then cut off wing. Carve breast meat in thin parallel slices. Remove fork and use with knife in separating second joints from drumsticks ; also carve each of these in slices. Finish carving one side of a bird before beginning the other. Serve a portion of light and of dark meat with some of the stuffing to each person, unless a preference has been asked and given.
To Carve Broilers.
Cut in halves, and halve each half if the bird is large, severing at joints as far as is possible. Serve a quarter or a half, according to the size of the broiler, to each person.
To Carve Domestic Duck.
Place bird on back, with drumsticks at right of carver. Introduce carving-fork through breast and hold firmly in left hand, with carving-knife in right hand. The joints will be found much farther back than in turkeys and chickens. Remove wing and leg. Make cuts in breast meat parallel to breastbone, three fourths of an inch apart, and remove by sliding the knife under the meat. Some rich dark meat may be obtained from the sides, though in small pieces.
To Carve Wild Duck.
Remove the breast meat from one side, then from the other. Allow half a breast to each person. Both legs and wings are usually too tough for table use, but may be utilized in the kitchen.