Tip of the sirloin, or rib roast.
It is easier to carve this joint by cutting across the ribs, parallel with the backbone, but that is cutting with the grain; and meat, especially beef, seems more tender if cut across the grain.
Place it on the platter with the backbone at the right. If the backbones be not removed before cooking, place the fork in the middle and cut close to the backbone down to the ribs. Shave off the thick, gristly cord near the backbone, as this, if left on, interferes with cutting thin slices. Then cut, from the side nearest you, thin uniform slices parallel with the ribs. Run the knife under and separate them from the bone. Many prefer to remove the bone and skewer the meat into a roll before cooking. It may then be laid, flesh down, on the dish, and carved across the top horizontally in thin slices; or if you find it easier, place it with the skin surface up, and carve down from the flesh side nearest you.
This style of serving is generally preferred, but there are advantages in retaining the bone; for the thin end when rolled under is not cooked to such a nice degree of crispness, and the slices are usually larger than desired. Again, the ribs, by keeping the meat in position, secure for it a clean cut, and not one broken and jagged, and the thin end may be served or not, as you please.
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 day.
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, fillet of veal, or fricandeau of veal.
These are placed on the platter, flesh side up, and carved 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.
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.
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 changed.
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.