Recipes from Scotland 1680s to 1940s

Meat, game and poultry


Directions for choosing meat

John Caird's 'The compleat confectioner and family cook' gives directions or instructions for choosing joints of beef, lamb and pork noting the different practices in Scotland and England. There are also directions for carving joints of meat and fowl.

In the 19th century, livestock could be kept all year round and animals were killed as needed. Even in winter, those that could afford to were able to eat fresh meat.

'Ou aye, it's a cauf. When we kill a beast, we just eat up ae side and doun the tither.'
— Edward Ramsay, 'Reminiscences of Scottish life and character', 1858. [Library reference: 5.1757(30)]

By this time, there were specialist butcher shops in the larger towns. In the days before refrigeration, it was necessary to buy meat regularly — even daily in hot weather.

Diagram of a bull with carving joints indicated

Diagram showing English cuts of beef, from John Caird's 'The complete confectioner and family cook', Leith, 1809. [Library reference: Maca.92]

Meat, game and poultry