Sirloin and leg of lamb are all well and good, but we’re feeling peckish for lesser-known cuts. Cheaper, more sustainable and rammed with flavour, here’s what to hunt down.
Have a butchers at nose to tail
These cuts will save you cash. But the other tasty titbit is that they’re a more sustainable way of eating meat as using more of the animal means less waste.
As National Butchers Week gets underway, now’s the time to quiz your local butcher on what alternative cuts they have on offer. As well as great tips to get the most out of the meat, they’ll also be able to prep it just the way you need it, saving you a fiddly job.
Cheap cuts and how to try them
Cheek Braise then slow cook for melt in the mouth meat. Try this delish recipe with red wine gravy.
Chuck and blade From the shoulder, this meat makes a mighty beef cobbler.
Oxtail Slow cook your way to a heavenly oxtail stew.
Shin and leg Cuts from the shin and leg do well slow cooked in plenty of liquid, like in this tasty beef shin casserole with thyme gravy.
Silverside From the hindquarter, this cut is a good roasting joint but why not be adventurous and make your own salt beef for sarnies?
Skirt Cook this cut from the underbelly to medium only to avoid a leathery mouthful. Perfect for homemade Cornish pasties.
Shoulder A slow roasted shoulder of lamb rivals a traditional leg roast any day of the week!
Scrag and middle neck With longer cooking time required, these cuts are good for stews or a succulent curry.
Breast From the underbelly, slow cook to release flavour and break down the meat. Served with gnocchi and thick, rich gravy, what’s not to love about this recipe?
Belly Still relatively cheap, pork belly makes a blinder of a roast. Mmm, that crunchy crackling…
Cheek Stew until tender as in this recipe for braised pigs’ cheeks with caramelised leeks.
Chump As with lamb chump, this cut is great for pan-frying. Try this juicy, breaded chop recipe.
Ham hock (aka pork knuckle) The lower shank of the leg makes a hearty ham hock and barley soup.
Hand and spring The upper part of the foreleg can be used in stew or slow roasted for a tender rolled-joint.
Neck Good for slow roasting, light frying, homemade sausages and pies (link to pie blog).
Thighs and drumsticks If you don’t want to deal with a whole chicken, leg meat is still cheaper than breast. The brown meat has far more flavour too. Try these delicious drumsticks or irresistible crispy chicken thighs.
Cheap and cheerful? More like economical and exquisite!