It may seem needless to direct one how to carve a sirloin steak, but it
sometimes appears to require more skill than to carve poultry, as those
who have been so unfortunate as to receive only the flank can testify.
I believe most strongly, as a matter of economy, in removing the bone,
and any tough membrane or gristle that will not be eaten, before cooking
the steak. If there be a large portion of the flank, cook that in some
other way. With a small, sharp knife cut close to the rib on each side,
round the backbone, and remove the tough white membrane on the edge of
the tenderloin. Leave the fat on the upper edge, and the kidney fat
also, or a part of it, if it be very thick. There need be no waste or
escape of juices if the cutting be done quickly, neatly, and just before
cooking. Press the tenderloin—that is, the small portion on the under
side of the bone—close to the upper part, that the shape may not be
In serving place it on the dish with the tenderloin next to the carver.
Cut in long narrow strips from the fat edge down through the tenderloin.
Give each person a bit of tenderloin, upper part, and fat. If the bone
be not removed before cooking, remove the tenderloin first by cutting
close to the bone, and divide it into narrow pieces; then remove the
meat from the upper side of the bone and cut in the same manner. A long,
narrow strip about as wide as the steak is thick is much more easily
managed on one's plate than a square piece. Serve small portions, and
then, if more be desired, help again.
In carving large rump steaks or round steaks, cut always across the
grain, in narrow strips. Carving-knives are always sharper than
table-knives, and should do the work of cutting the fibres of the meat;
then the short fibres may easily be separated by one's own knife. There
is a choice in the several muscles of a large rump steak, and it is
quite an art to serve it equally.
The backbone or thickest end should be at the right end of the dish.
Carve a sirloin roast by cutting several thin slices parallel with the
ribs. Then cut down across the ribs near the backbone, and also at the
flank end, and separate the slices.
The slices should be as thin as possible and yet remain slices, not
shavings. Turn the meat over and cut out the tenderloin and slice it in
the same manner across the grain; or turn the meat over and remove the
tenderloin first. Many prefer to leave the tenderloin to be served cold.
Cut slices of the crisp fat on the flank in the same way, and serve to
those who wish it. This is a part which many dislike, but some persons
consider it very choice. Always offer it unless you know the tastes of
those whom you are serving.
THE BACK OF THE RUMP
A roast from the back of the rump, if cooked without removing the bone,
should be placed on the platter with the backbone on the farther side.
Cut first underneath to loosen the meat from the bone. Then, if the
family be large and all the meat is to be used, the slices may be cut
lengthwise; but should only a small quantity be needed, cut crosswise
and only from the small end. It is then in better shape for the second
It is more economical to serve the poorer parts the first day, as they
are never better than when hot and freshly cooked. Reserve the more
tender meat to be served cold.
FILLET OF BEEF OR TENDERLOIN
Before cooking, remove all the fat, and every fibre of the tough white
membrane. Press it into shape again and lard it, or cover it with its
own fat. If this fibre be not removed, the sharpest knife will fail to
cut through it. Place it on the platter with the larger end at the
right; or if two short fillets be used, place the thickest ends in the
middle. Carve from the thickest part, in thin, uniform slices.
ROUND OF BEEF
Place round of beef on the platter, flesh side up, and carve in horizontal
slices, care being taken to carve evenly, so that the portion remaining
may be in good shape. As the whole of the browned outside comes off with
the first slices, divide this into small pieces, to be served if desired
with the rare, juicy, inside slices.