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A neat is a "common domestic bovine," according to Merriam-Webster.

According to http://www.victorianlondon.org/cassells/cassell... , "The feet are mostly sold so nearly cooked as only to require a warming-up; but the substance of neat's feet consists of so little else besides gelatine and bone (the oil, strong in flavour, being extracted in their preparation), that we consider them more fit to enrich other dishes - soups, stews, fricassees, &c.- than to be served as a dish by themselves."

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References

  • 1662