Beef Tea

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Procure a pound of fresh-killed lean beef, cut either from the rump or gravy-piece; cut this in slices, pare away every particle of fat, and cut the slices of beef into very small squares or mince; put this in a clean stewpan with a quart of cold water, and set it on the fire to boil; remembering that, as soon as the scum rises to the stir-face, it should be removed with a spoon, and a very small quantity of salt and cold water should be poured in at the edge of the stewpan, in order to facilitate the rising of the albumen in the form of scum. Unless due precaution be taken to effect the skimming satisfactorily, the broth, instead of being clear and bright, becomes thick and turgid; and consequently presents an unappetising aspect to the eye of the patient, whose debilitated state requires perhaps something which has at least an inviting appearance to tempt him to partake of any food whatever.

When the beef tea has boiled gently for about half an hour, and has become reduced to about half its original quantity, let it be strained through a clean sieve or napkin into a basin, and serve some of it in a cup, with dry toast, and salt, on a tray.

Note.—The foregoing is intended for patients whose case may require comparatively weak food; in cases where food of a more stimulating character is needed in the form of extract of beef, it will be necessary to double the quantity of meat; and when it happens that beef tea is required in a hurry, the meat should be chopped as fine as sausage-meat, put in a stewpan with boiling water, stirred on the fire for ten minutes, and then strained through a napkin, for use. A small glass of old Madeira, or of Amontillado, added to beef tea, proves an excellent restorative.

No. 973