Joannes de Mediolano Regimen Sanitatis Salerni sig. It is important to remember that because meat was relatively tough and frequently salted to prevent spoilage, it was often necessary to rinse it in milk and boil it once or twice before using it in a specific recipe." ---A Taste of Ancient Rome, Ilaria Gozzini Giacosa, translated by Anna Herklotz [Univeristy of Chicago Press: Chicago] 1992 (p. Meat was oven-roasted, spit-roasted, used in patties, stuffings, and stews, or...cooked on a grill... A grill was convenient for flat meats, a spit for larger cuts.
Naturally there were serious problems in keeping the meat fresh, since mechanical refrigeration was unavailable.
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.
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.