Premium-quality meat on a budgetudget
There’s no denying that locally sourced, ethically produced meat offers the best flavour. It’s not just about the flavour though. Food provenance is really important – choosing locally sourced meat means fewer food miles, supporting local farmers and feeling confident and reassured about what you’re putting on your plate. There’s a big misconception around farm shops and butcheries. Many people presume prices will be extortionate and therefore, unaffordable. This is not the case.
Of course, some products will be more expensive, but you’re paying for quality and supporting local businesses. However, when it comes to meat, there’s always the option to use cheaper cuts of meat. Just because it’s cheaper, doesn’t mean it’ll lack flavour. In fact, most affordable cuts of meat offer a richer flavour when cooked in the right way. I caught up with our expert butcher, Phil, to pick his brains on this topic! He shared some really useful information and tips on how to make the most of cheap cuts of meat. Whether your favourite is beef, pork or lamb – there will be something to suit your palette and budget. Have a look at the list below to find out more from our expert butcher!
Beef is such a versatile meat and it makes the most tender stews and casseroles. Phil recommends cuts such as brisket & shin to make rich, flavoursome stews. He advises to cook long and slow in a slow cooker or in the oven on low heat -paired perfectly with seasonal root veg. Brisket makes for a wonderful roast – it’s succulent and rich – great with big fat yorkshire puds!
An all time traditional favourite is hand of pork – it’s cheap, but very tender and moist. Phil suggested the best way to prepare this joint would be to pour boiling water over it and then tap it dry. In Phils words, “crank the oven up to 200” and pop the joint in for 20 – 30 mins. This will give a lovely layer of crackling. Reduce the oven temperature to 170 and cook for 3 – 4 hours (according to size). Why not try this for your Sunday roast?
Another affordable joint of pork is shoulder. This makes the most delicious pulled pork. Cook long and slow with a rich marinade. There’s so many different types of marinades to choose from, but cola & bbq sauce is a popular one! It’s very affordable, but packed full of flavour. It just melts in the mouth.
Shoulder of lamb can also be “pulled” – it’s very tender and even richer in flavour than pork. Again, it’s long and slow with this cut of meat if making pulled lamb. It can be cooked in the slow cooker or oven. Just make sure you seal it first to lock in that delicious flavour. You could be more experimental with pulled lamb and use it for more middle-eastern inspired dishes.
If you fancy roast lamb instead then shoulder of lamb is the perfect choice. Phil recommends seasoning well and placing on a bed of thickly sliced/chunks of onions. Again, heat the oven to 200 and cook for 20 mins and then reduce the heat to 170 for 3 hours (according to size/weight).
When it comes to stews, neck of lamb is always a good choice. It makes the most flavoursome of stews. Phil has shared a great recipe to make the most of this delicious cut of lamb.
1/2 neck of lamb on bone
1/2 neck of diced lamb
Seasonal root veg
Best served with fresh, crusty rolls or french baguette to slurp up all of those yummy juices! Now that we’re creeping into Autumn, it’s definitely time to seek comfort from delicious stews such as this!