147-151) "Many traditional meat recipes were developed at a time when meats came from mature, fatty animals, and so were fairly tolerant of overcooking. Tough cuts are best heated for a prolonged period at temperatures approaching the boil, usually by stewing, braising, or slow-roasting." ---On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of The Kitchen, Harold Mc Gee, completely revised and updated [Scribner: New York] 2004 (p.
29-30) [16th-17th century France] "In 1560 Bruyerin avowed that he had 'more than once' seen '[half-cooked meats devoured so that blood almost flowed from the mouths of those who were eating.
Eleanor Scully & Terence Scully [University of Michigan Press: Ann Arbor] 1995 (p.
Late 19th century food scientists examined meat doneness, offering temperature/time recommendations according to type of meat, cut, and method of cooking. Meat thermometers (1930s) took the guesswork out of judging doneness. When today we ask for our steak well done, medium or rare, we are repeating a choice that the Renaissance writers revived from Hippocratic writings.
Like their 17th century predecessors, early 20th cooking texts warn against rare meat. Black and blue (aka "Pittsburgh style" steak surfaces in print in the 1970s. In 1626 Pierre Duchatel noted the physical reactions to be expected from meat prepared in each of the thre ways '(1)...well-Boiled meat is suitable to the digestion. (2)...those meats that have been medium boiled or medium roasted add moderately to vigor and digestion.
Boiling, on the other hand, offered a relatively constant heat, and boiling better suited beef because it cold dry nature needed to be both warmed and moistened.
The distance of both grill and spit from the flame could be regulated fairly well...
Unfortunately, these two aims conflict with each other... The method must be tailored to the meat's toughness.
The ideal method for cooking meat would therefore minimize moisture loss and compacting of the meat fiers, while maximizing the conversion of tough connective-tissue colllagen to fluid gelatin.
That medieval French cooks too this warning seriously and rarely roasted their beef is evident in the large stocks of beef bouillon that our recipes imply was always on hand for ready use in other preparations." ---Early French Cookery: Sources, History, Original Recipes and Modern Adaptations, D.
If the ignorant cook were to subject beef to a roasting, so further drying its already dry nature, this could be quite dangerous to the unfortunate person who was to eat it later, and could even put him or her at risk of an attack of melancholia or a bilous upset.