Whole sirloin, circa 15 lb.
Grated horseradish root
Yorkshire pudding (optional)
The noble sirloin of about fifteen pounds (if much thicker, the outside will be done too much before the inside is enough), will require to be before the fire about three and a half or four hours; take care to spit it evenly, that it may not be heavier on one side than the other; put a little clean dripping into the dripping-pan (tie a sheet of paper over it to preserve the fat), baste it well as soon as it is put down, and every quarter of an hour all the time it is roasting, till the last half hour; then take off the paper, and make some gravy for it; stir the fire and make it clear; to butter and froth it, sprinkle a little salt over it, baste it with butter, and dredge [sprinkle] it with flour; let it go a few minutes longer, till the froth rises; take it up and put it on the dish &c.
Garnish it with hillocks of horseradish, scraped as fine as possible with a very sharp knife. A Yorkshire pudding is an excellent accompaniment.
From The Cook’s Oracle by William Kitchiner, MD, New York, 1829
Comment: To make this dish requires a kitchen equipped like a typical one of the early 19th century: a massive cooking hearth, which probably doubled as the heating source for the home; cast iron spits and rotisseries, gridirons, dripping-pans and related utensils; and a good supply of well seasoned hardwoods to make the sort of fire required. And, of course, a large enough household or circle of friends to need a 15 pound piece of cow as a centerpiece for a meal!
Even the charmingly described “hillocks of horseradish” will be somewhat difficult to achieve unless you have access to fresh horseradish root. As far as the Yorkshire pudding goes, we ourselves would sooner eat roasted library paste but perhaps we have just never managed to make the dish properly.