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right i need advice on what meat to cook

(13 Posts)
bettykelly123 Thu 20-Sep-12 21:38:55

i need to know whats the cheapest cuts of meats to buy and the best ways to cook them. i lost the plot on sunday when i went to morrisons and spent over £7 on a small cut of rump beef and slow rosted it for over 3 hours and it was like rubber. a total waste of money. what am i doing wrong????? (apart from buying supermarket meat i mean).

FaintingGoat Thu 20-Sep-12 23:08:27

I'm not too clued up on roasting meat, but if you are watching the pennies I would recommend getting a slow cooker. Braising steak is cheap, you can bung it in for a few hours and it will be amazingly tender and succulent. Add something like pearl barley which is super cheap but will add bulk, and you have the makings of a pretty good stew. (I can send you the full recipe if you like.)

somebloke123 Fri 21-Sep-12 11:55:03

Liver is amazingly cheap.

I just dust slices if it in flour and fry in a mixture of oil and butter. You can make a sauce by putting in a bit of red wine an simmering a few minutes.

Ditto kidneys

nannyl Fri 21-Sep-12 14:06:32

i try and go in to the co op most days, and get their orange stickered meat and freeze

In the past i have got whole large packs of thighs for 35p, whole chickens for £2, 4 pieces of salmon for £2, butchers sausages 83p, etc etc.

NoComparison Fri 21-Sep-12 14:24:38

For me a whole chicken gives best value. From one medium sized bird, four of us has a roast on Sunday, chicken stir-fry on Tues and chicken soup bulked out with noodles, shredded greens and sweetcorn on Thurs. The soup makes both DSs and DH jump for joy and me feel all smug because it's made from what many households throw out. smile

I know the theory about cheaper cuts, stewing steak and slow cooking, but it still seems really expensive to me.

I always add a couple of good handfuls of dried lentils when making anything with mince. It makes the meat go twice as far, reduces the fat content per portion and no-one even notices they're there.

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 21-Sep-12 15:15:50

Go later in the day and buy it marked down.

Buy a smartprice lamb breast, un-roll it and coat the inside with stuffing then roll it up again and tie it with string. Roast. Delicious!

Pork shoulder is quite cheap usually, beef joints are on offer at sainsburys at the moment, it's a huge piece but you could cook it then slice it and freeze.

Try your local butcher, they can be cheaper than the supermarkets or the local markets.

Lentils are Brilliant.

Chicken thighs have more flavour than chicken breasts and are much cheaper usually.

bettykelly123 Fri 21-Sep-12 20:45:24

now dont lauch but could i add lentils to mince for lasagna or cottage pie. i might start going to tesco or asda later at night and see if i can get some marked down meat. my sister bought me a slow cooker about 3 years ago and ive never used it so i think this winter i will. thanks for all the fab replies. im going to buy a whole chicken in future instead of breasts.

bettykelly123 Fri 21-Sep-12 20:48:59

fainting goat can i have your recipe please x

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 22-Sep-12 09:04:42

Yes lentils can go in, green stay firm and red dissolve into the sauce.

lightrain Sat 22-Sep-12 09:10:41

3 hours in the slow cooker isn't long enough OP. you need to leave for at least 6 hours.

Braising steak or diced casserole beef is good value. Chicken thighs also good value (but roast not slow cook, crispy skin is nice).

bacon Sat 22-Sep-12 12:17:12

Chicken thighs (I buy the best I can) always in my house, I never buy breasts too rubbery and too expensive. ANything with a bone-in adds flavour. You can make most chicken/lamb dishes with chicken thighs. A quality whole chicken £7 is better value than buying pieces.

You want to buy good beef then avoid the supermarkets. Best go to farmers markets the more you buy the better the deal and pay cash. I wouldnt slow roast a rump either and at £7 its awfully cheap really you got what you paid for. Better get better quality, fast roast and have leftovers for sandwhich fillings. A quality small rump roast should be around £12.

You cant go wrong with quality high meat sausages either (again farmers markets/meat box) at £3 for 6 its still a great meal.

Pork shoulder is delicious but this isnt that cheap, again buy british, the quality will pay for itself with taste and less shrinkage.

Beef, slow roast/LMC/brisket, shin etc all slow roast - lots of fat otherwise it will be dry and tasteless. Beef should be matured (dry hung) min 14 day - better 21 - 28 days. Better pedigree breeds over rough continental breeds.

Lamb is expensive but again a good shoulder joint.

Agree with above really with liver and kidneys.

bettykelly123 Sat 22-Sep-12 20:24:58

can i ask is there a difference between farmers market for meat and farm shops. ive been to a few farm shops but never been boled over by the quality. the meat didnt taste any different. but ive never been to a farmers market. i guess what i really need to know is how do i know that the meat at these farm shops is local etc. is it cheeky to ask?
im sick of buying cheap meat that ends up in the bin, its expensive in the end and ive had enough!!!!!!!

FaintingGoat Sat 22-Sep-12 21:13:09

I haven't been to many farm shops but I would assume that the meat they sell would have been reared on that farm - it's not at all cheeky to ask though, normally they are happy to tell you about it.

Recipe for beer barley beef done in the slow cooker:

Sunflower oil
625g / 1.25lb lean stewing beef / braising steak
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp plain flour
250g / 8oz carrots, diced
250g / 8oz parsnips or potatoes, diced
300ml / half a pint light ale
750ml / 1.25 pints beef stock
mixed herbs
100g / 3.5oz pearl barley
salt & pepper

The recipe says: Brown the meat in the oil in a frying pan, remove the meat with slotted spoon & put in slow cooker pot. Add onion to frying pan, fry for 5 min, mix in the flour, then add diced vegetables and beer, bring to the boil and then put into slow cooker pot. Pour stock into frying pan with herbs, salt & pepper, bring to the boil, then pour into slow cooker pot. Stir in pearl barley, put lid on, cook on low for 9 - 10 hours.

In reality, I have tried following the recipe, and I've tried the "chuck it all straight into the slow cooker" approach, and found very little difference. I didn't put the flour in when I did it that way, or it would have made it lumpy. I waited til the end, and to thicken it - and I am giving away my top cheat's tip here - I add a bit of instant mash.

I wouldn't worry about following the recipe to the letter, it's pretty forgiving. You can leave out the beer too if you like. The only thing I'd say is that 10 hours is a long time to cook, so it'll need to be on by 8am if you want to eat at 6pm - for me, this means preparing the veg the night before.

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