Recipes: Beef

Adapted Recipes

Broiled Beef Steaks with Shallots

Adapted from Leslie 1840

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 oz butter, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp mushroom ketchup or Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 4 beef steaks, 8 ounces
  • vegetable oil
  • pepper
  • kosher salt
  • lemon


  1. Heat the broiler until it is a medium high heat.

  2. Lightly rub the steaks on both sides with vegetable oil.

  3. Broil the steaks until you reach the desire temperature point, turning 2-3 times.

    Rare (120-130F)1" 0-1 minute, 1 1/4" 2-3 minute, 1 3/4" 4-5 minute

    Medium (140-150F) 1" 2-3 minute, 1 1/4" 4-5 minute, 1 3/4" 6-7 minute

    Medium Well(150-160F) 1" 4-5 minute, 1 1/4" 6-7 minute, 1 3/4" 8-9 minute

  4. Melt the butter in a cast iron skillet. Add the mushroom ketchup, the shallots, salt and pepper.

  5. Heat through without cooking the shallots, mix in the parsley and keep on one side.

  6. Place the steaks into the pan and pour some of the shallot butter over each, letting the juices mingle.

  7. Remove from the pan and serve immediately, lightly sprinkled with lemon juice.

Original Recipe

They should be cut about three quarters of an inch thick, and, unless the beef is remarkably fine and tender, the steaks will be much improved by beating them on both sides with a steak mallet, or with a rolling-pin. Do not season them till you take them from the fire.
Have ready on your hearth a fine bed of clear bright coals, entirely free from smoke and ashes. Set the gridiron over the coals in a slanting direction, that the meat may not be smoked by the fat dropping into the fire directly under it. When the gridiron is quite hot, rub the bars with suet, sprinkle a little salt over the coals, and lay on the steaks. Turn them frequently with a pair of steak-tongs, or with a knife and fork. A quarter of an hour is generally sufficient time to broil a beef-steak. For those who like them underdone or rare, ten or twelve minutes will be enough.
When the fat blazes and smokes very much as it drips into the fire, quickly remove the gridiron for a moment, till the blaze has subsided. After they are browned, cover the upper side of the steaks with an inverted plate or dish to prevent the flavouring from evaporating. Rub a dish with a shallot, or small onion, and place it near the gridiron and close to the fire, that it may be well heated. In turning the steak drop the gravy that may be standing on it into this dish, to save it from being lost. When the steaks are done, sprinkle them with a little salt and pepper, and lay them in a hot dish, putting on each a piece of fresh butter. Then, if it is liked, season them with a very little raw shallot, minced as finely as possible, and moistened with a spoonful of water; and stir a tea-spoonful of catchup into the gravy. Send the steaks to table very hot, in a covered dish. You may serve up with them onion sauce in a small tureen.
Pickles are frequently eaten with beef-steaks.
Mutton chops may be broiled in the same manner.
(Leslie 1840:74-75)

Steaks with Onion Gravy

Adapted from Edgeworth 1860

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes


  • 3 lbs thick sirloin or round steak
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water, divided
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp mushroom ketchup or Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • kosher salt


  1. Season both sides of the steak with salt, cayenne and pepper. Massage seasoning into the meat.

  2. In a large cast iron skillet heat oil over high heat until hot. Add the steak and cook until browned turning steak every 3 - 4 minutes. The steak should be well browned and caramelized on both sides.

  3. Remove steak and add onions. Toss lightly and cook until translucent.

  4. Place steak on top of onions and add 1/4 cup of water.

  5. Lower heat to medium and cover, simmering for an hour and a half, turning steak every 20 minutes.

  6. Remove steak. Mix cornstarch and 1/4 cup of water and add to the pan. Stir over low medium heat until thickened.

  7. Serve steak and gravy immediately.

Original Recipe

Peel and slice two large onions, put them into a quart stew-pan, with two table-spoonfuls of water; cover the stew-pan close, set it on a slow fire till the water has boiled away, and the onions are a little browned, then add half a pint of good broth, and boil the onions till quite tender; strain the broth from them, chop them very fine, and season with mushroom-catsup, pepper, and salt; put the onion into it, and let it boil gently for five minutes; pour it into a dish and lay it over the steak. If, instead of broth you use good beef gravy, it will be improved. Stewed cucumbers are also a great addition. (Edgeworth 1860:114)

Beef Stew

Adapted from Carter 1796 and Brooks 1897

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes


  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1.5 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 3 lbs boneless chuck roast
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 medium yellow onion, coarsely diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 3 medium celery stalks
  • kosher salt
  • pepper


  1. Mix flour and 2 tablespoons of salt and pepper in a large bowl.

  2. Trim the roast of excess fat and sinew and cut into 1 inch cubes. Toss the meat in the mixture and coat evenly.

  3. Heat oil in large heavy bottomed pan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Shake off the excess flour from 1/3 of the meat and add to pot. Cook, stirring rarely, until browned all over. Remove and repeat with the remaining meat in two more batches.

  4. Add the onion to the pot, seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook until softened and just browning. Add in tomato paste and stir through 1-2 minutes.

  5. Sprinkle in 1 tablespoon of flour and stir while cooking- roughly 1 minute. Pour in wine, scraping the bottom. Cook until mixture has thickened.

  6. Return meat and any juices into pot. Add broth, bay leaves and thyme. Mix well. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 1 hour.

  7. Roughly dice carrots, celery and potatoes and add them to the pot. Stir to combine and cover, stirring occasionally for about 1 hour.

  8. Remove and discard the bay leaves and thyme stems. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Original Recipe

Take four pounds of stewing beef, with the hard fat of brisket beef cut in pieces; put these into a stew-pan with three pints of water, a little salt, pepper, dried marjoram powdered; and three cloves. Cover the pan very close, and let it stew four hours over a slow fire. Then throw into it as much turnips and carrots cut into square pieces, as you think convenient; add the white part of a large leek, two heads of celery shred fine, a crust of bread burnt, and half a pint of red wine (or good small beer will do as well). Then pour it all into a soup-dish, and serve it up hot. Garnish with boiled carrot sliced. (Carter 1796:54) Buy juicy beef from the upper part of the round. Wipe the meat, remove the fat and cut the lean meat into 1 in. cubes. Dredge the meat thoroughly with flour. Peel and slice the onion, brown it in the fat taken from the meat, and put it into a saucepan with the boiling water, salt and pepper. Brown half of the floured meat in the same fat, and add it to the boiling water. Simmer 1 hr. to soften the meat and draw out some of the juice. Prepare the turnip, carrot and potatoes; cut the potatoes into quarters and the turnip and carrot into ¼ in. cubes. Add the turnip and carrot to the meat, and 15 min. later add the potatoes. Ten min. before meal time drop some dumplings on the potatoes and meat, being careful not to let them down into the water, and boil the stew, closely covered, for 10 min. Serve on a hot platter with the dumplings around the edge, the potatoes inside and the meat and vegetables in a mound in the centre. By this method the stew is completed in an hour. Another way to use tough meat and, after preparing the meat and vegetables as above, let them cook together very slowly on the back of the stove 2 or 3 hrs., until the meat is tender. (Brooks 1897:32-33)

Ragout of Beef with Sweetbread and Mushroom

Adapted from Carter 1796

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes


Beef Ragout

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 lbs beef chuck, cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1.5 cups red wine
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 rosemary branches
  • 1/4 cup sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fennel bulb, finely chopped
  • kosher salt
  • pepper


  • 1 lb sweetbreads
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 tbsp clarified butter
  • 1/2 lb Cremini mushroom
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp Sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives, minced


Beef Ragout

  1. Preheat oven to 300F

  2. Heat remaining oil in casserole dish on medium high heat. Dry meat, season, and sear on all sides in several batches. Remove and lower heat to medium.

  3. Add fennel, sage, shallot and garlic to casserole dish, season and stir, cooking until lightly browned. Stir in flour and cook for a few moment, then add in wine. Stir scraping pan and bring to a simmer. Add stock. Return meat and juices top with remaining rosemary and thyme. Cover and place in the oven. Cook for 2 hours.


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of clarified butter over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic, saute. Add sliced mushrooms, continue to saute until mushrooms brown. Add beef stock and wine. Continue to cook until mixture reduces by half. Add cream and cook further until mix thickens. Remove from heat.

  2. Bring water to boil with salt and juice of lemon. When at a rolling boil add the sweetbreads, return to a boil and drain. Cool sweetbreads under running water. When cool enough to handle, peel of any membranes and fat deposits.

  3. Slice sweetbreads into 1/2 inch slices, season with salt and pepper and dredge in flour.

  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of clarified butter in a separate pan over medium heat and brown sweetbreads.

  5. When browned on both sides, add in mushroom mixture  and cook until heated through. Stir in vinegar and chives. 


  1. Serve sweetbread and ragout together. 

Original Recipe

Take a buttock of beef, interlarded with great lard, rolled up in chopped spice, sage, parsley, thyme, and green onions; bind it close with coarse tape, and put it into a great saucepan. When it is half done, turn it; let it stand over the fire on a stove twelve hours. It is fit to eat cold or hot. When it is cold, slice it out thin, and toss it up in a fine ragout of sweetbreads, oysters, mushrooms, and palates. (Carter 1796:81)

Beef Shin Soup

Adapted from Leslie 1840

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 40 minutes
Total Time 5 hours 10 minutes


  • 1 lb beef shin bone
  • 2 lb beef shin meat, roughly cubed
  • 2 cups celery, diced
  • 1.5 cups carrot, diced
  • 2 cups cabbage, shredded
  • 1.5 cups Yukon gold potatoes, diced
  • 28 oz stewed tomatoes
  • 1 cup onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 marjoram sprigs
  • salt
  • pepper


  1. Set shin bone in a large stock pot and cover with salted water. Set on high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a medium and simmer for 2-3 hours if not longer, adding more water as needed. Skim scum from the top as needed.

  2. Remove shin bone from pot and add in shin meat. Turn up heat and bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer and cook for another hour. Skim scum from the top as needed.

  3. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot, turn to low and simmer for another 40 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Original Recipe

Take a shin or leg of beef that has been newly killed; the fore leg is best, as there is the most meat on it. Have it cut into three pieces, and wash it well. To each pound allow somewhat less than a quart of water; for instance, to ten pounds of leg of beef, nine quarts of water is a good proportion. Put it in a large pot, and add half a table-spoonful of salt. Hang it over a good fire, as early as six o’clock in the morning, if you dine at two. When it has come to a hard boil, and the scum has risen, (which it will do as soon as it has boiled,) skim it well. Do not remove the lid more frequently than is absolutely necessary, as uncovering the pot causes the flavour to evaporate. Then set it on hot coals in the corner, and keep it simmering steadily, adding fresh coals so as to continue a regular heat. About nine o’clock, put in four carrots, one parsnip, and a large onion cut into slices, and four small turnips, and eight tomatas, also cut up; add a head of celery cut small. Put in a very small head of cabbage, cut into little pieces. If you have any objection to cabbage, substitute a larger proportion of the other vegetables. Put in also a bunch of sweet marjoram, tied up in a thin muslin rag to prevent its floating on the top. Let the soup simmer unceasingly till two o’clock, skimming it well : then take it up, and put it into a tureen. If your dinner hour is later, you may of course begin the soup later; but it will require at least eight hours’ cooking; remembering to put in the vegetables three hours after the meat. If you wish to send the meat to table, take the best part of it out of the soup, about two hours before dinner. Have ready another pot with a dozen tomatas and a few cloves. Moisten them with a little of the soup, just sufficient to keep them from burning. When the tomatas have stewed down soft, put the meat upon them, and let it brown till dinner time over a few coals, keeping the pot closely covered; then send it to table on a dish by itself. Let the remainder of the meat be left in the large pot till you send up the soup, as by that time it will be boiled to rags and have transferred all its flavour to the liquid. This soup will be greatly improved by the addition of a few dozen ochras cut into a very thin slices, and put in with the other vegetables. You may put Lima beans into it, green peas, or indeed any vegetables you like : or you may thicken it with ochras and tomatas only. Next day, take what is left of the soup, put it into a pot, and simmer it over hot coals for half an hour : a longer time will weaken the taste. If it has been well made and kept in a cool place, it will be found better the second day than the first. If your family is very small, and the leg of beef large, and the season winter, it may furnish soup for four successive days. Cut the beef in half; make soup of the first half, in the manner above directed, and have the remainder warmed next day : then on the third day make fresh soup of the second half. We have been minute in these directions; for if strictly followed, the soup, through plain, will be found excellent. If you do not intend to serve up the meat separately, break to pieces all the bones with a mallet or kitchen cleaver. This, by causing them to give out their marrow, &c., will greatly enrich the liquid. Do this, of course, when you first begin the soup. (Leslie 1840:16-17)

Homemade Corned Beef

Adapted from Leslie 1840

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes


  • 5 lbs beef brisket, trimmed

Brining Spices

  • 2 lbs ice
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp saltpeter
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 8 whole allspice berries
  • 12 whole juniper berries
  • 2 bay leaves, crumbled

Brisket Boil

  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 small onion, quartered



  1. Place water into a large stockpot along with the ingredients from the brining spices.

  2. Cook over high heat until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Remove from heat and add the ice. Stir until ice has melted, if necessary place into the refrigerator until temperature reaches 45F.

  3. Once brine has cooled remove the brisket into a 2 gallon zip top bag and add the brine. Seal and lay flat inside a container. Cover and store in refrigerator on lowest shelf for 10 days. Check daily to ensure beef is completely submerged.


  1. After 10 days remove from brine and rinse under cool water. Place the brisket into a pot and add onion, carrot and celery, and cover with water just 1 inch above the brisket.

  2. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 2-3 hours until meat is fork tender.

  3. Remove from pot and slice across the grain to serve.

Original Recipe

Wash the beef well, after it has lain awhile in cold water. Then drain and examine it, take out all the kernels, and rub it plentifully with salt. It will imbibe the salt more readily after being washed. In cold weather warm the salt by placing it before the fire. This will cause it to penetrate the meat more thoroughly. In summer do not attempt to corn any beef that has not been fresh killed, and even then it will not keep more than a day and a half or two days. Wash and dry it, and rub a great deal of salt well into it. Cover it carefully, and keep it in a cold dry cellar. Pork is corned in the same manner. (Leslie 1840:89)