This is an old-fashioned dish, often cooked in our grandmothers’ time. Take a piece of fresh BEEF weighing about five or six pounds. It must not be too fat. Wash it and put it into a pot with barely sufficient water to cover it. Set it over a slow fire, and after it has stewed an hour salt and pepper it. Then stew it slowly until tender, adding a little onion if liked. Do not replenish the water at the last, but let all nearly boil away. When tender all through take the meat from the pot and pour the gravy in a bowl. Put a large lump of butter in the bottom of the pot, then dredge the piece of meat with flour and return it to the pot to brown, turning it often to prevent its burning. Take the gravy that you have poured from the meat into the bowl and skim off all the fat; pour this gravy in with the meat and stir in a large spoonful of flour wet with a little water; let it boil up ten or fifteen minutes and pour into a gravy dish. Serve both hot, the meat on a platter. Some are very fond of this way of cooking a piece of BEEF which has been previously placed in spiced pickle for two or three days.
The Whitehouse Cookbook, by Mrs. F.L. Gillette (Year 1887)