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Best, cheaper cuts of meat and what to do with them

(26 Posts)
StuffezLaBouche Sat 05-Jan-13 13:01:34

I like eating meat but meat prices scare me. Am sick of eating value mince and water-injected frozen chicken so was wondering if anyone could suggest any good value types of meat?

Recently I've fallen in love with Beef flank - GORGEOUS tasting meat that, when stewed for a couple of hours, simply falls apart. I've just bought a big slab for £4 and made it into a casserole that will do me 4 good dinners.

IamMummyhearmeROAR Sat 05-Jan-13 14:12:10

Beef shin- cant beat it for stews and curries. Dh likes to eat the marrow from the bone- boak

StuffezLaBouche Sat 05-Jan-13 14:15:18

Ooh my nan used to let me eat the marrow from the bones when I was a kid.... right before the BSE scares!!!
Yes to beef shin though - I recently made a nice beef dish which asked for shin, but used flank as my mum gave me a load.

kiwigirl42 Sat 05-Jan-13 14:15:57

thanks for starting this thread. I could really use some suggestions too. I've started shopping online and finding it great for being able to compare prices/ cuts etc. I did buy a gammon this shop to use baked, fried with eggs, hashed with rice or potatoes then soup. Have big plans for this gammon ;0)

StuffezLaBouche Sat 05-Jan-13 14:28:48

Kiwi - do you have a local butcher near you? It's just I struggle to find cuts like shin, skirt, flank, etc in Tesco. A good butcher will tell you honestly what's best for whatever you're cooking. I've never cooked a gammon to be honest, but do love the stuff!

StiffyByng Sat 05-Jan-13 14:32:19

If you're boiling the gammon yourself, don't forget the stock you'll get. Makes amazing soup. A bit of apple juice in the water will take some of the saltiness out.

Pork belly is still cheap in shops, even though it now costs a fortune in restaurants!

StuffezLaBouche Sat 05-Jan-13 14:37:32

Ohhhhh porrrrk bellyyyyyy!!! That is so true about the restaurants though - madness!

SpottyBagOfTumble Sat 05-Jan-13 14:45:22

Watching with interest. I could do with some new ideas!

KazzaRazza Sat 05-Jan-13 17:09:49

Lamb shoulder - slow cook.

Cheap and tasty.

legoballoon Sat 05-Jan-13 17:14:57

Get a slow cooker for starters!

Google 'ossobuco'. I don't like beef, but my mate makes this and raves about it.

Pork shoulder - beautiful slow roast. Fill out with yorkshire puds or dumplings.

Stewing lamb - great in a hotpot, fill out with lentils.

Agent64 Sat 05-Jan-13 17:17:50

Brisket - cook really slowly with with loads of veg.

StuffezLaBouche Sat 05-Jan-13 17:38:25

Oh yes, shoulder's amazing! Forgot about that.

Lego - that ossobuco thing is veal, I've never heard of it called that but is it cheap?

And of course brisket!

I don't own a slow cooker any more - I am out of the house 12 hours a day and even on the lo setting I was coming home to inedible mounds of slop. Maybe I was doing it wrong? I've just invested in a really good, solid casserole pan and find a good 3 hour stew is the optimum time for a good texture. Open to being corrected though!

legoballoon Sat 05-Jan-13 21:09:14

ossobuco is oxtail - I think the Italians slow cook it with red wine.

A slow cooker on the low setting for 8-10 hours should be fine for beef and lamb. You could cook a batch on days off and refrigerate/freeze, then microwave portions when you want.

Similarly you could slow roast pork on days off till it turns to 'threads' then eat some and freeze the rest - beautiful in stir fries. Lamb does well like this in shepherd's pies too. HTH.

legoballoon Sat 05-Jan-13 21:10:00

Re. prices, I do a lot of bulking out, e.g. chickpea and aubergine along with lamb dishes, lentils with mince meat, half quorn half mince etc. Healthier too.

ouryve Sat 05-Jan-13 21:11:49

Pork shoulder - slow roasted, it's just as delicious as belly pork, but not quite so fatty. In the past, I would have said shoulder of lamb, too, but it's trendy and expensive, now.

onyx72 Sat 05-Jan-13 21:19:28

Lamb neck tastes great in a stew (costs a couple of quid at Morrisons) which I bulk out with pearl barley.

StuffezLaBouche Sun 06-Jan-13 11:02:32

Oops sorry! The page I went to seemed to think ossobuco was veal! Hmm, I've never had oxtail, except in soup - I shall look out for it. I don't know why the supermarkets don't do these "forgotten cuts".

Never had lamb neck, but it's another I'd give a go to. To be honest, if it's come from a sheep, it's going to have that nice lamb taste, isn't it? It's just a case of cooking it to bring the best out of it.

Well I have just been to Tesco and asked the chap on the counter what lamb he'd recommend for a caserole. He suggested leg. I declined. What a waste of a leg that would be!

thekitchenfairy Sun 06-Jan-13 11:12:55

Chicken wings.... We get a mahoosive bag from our butcher, for about £2, roast with plenty of salt and lemon, chilli flakes, whatever you fancy, hot, sticky delicious supper for four of us.

Lamb breast needs to be slow roasted for hours and the meat separated from the fat and membrane but is delicious and when less than £4 feeds 4 with leftovers it's worth the faff. I use the meat to make curry or stir fry.

wheredidiputit Sun 06-Jan-13 12:19:32


You don't need much water/stock when using a slowcooker as the liquid come from what you are cooking.

CwtchesAndCuddles Sun 06-Jan-13 17:27:53

Buy a large joint of pork shoulder when it is on offer and cut it up into pieces yourself. Fab for all types casseroles etc.

Turkey thigh meat is often very good value, great for slow cooked curries etc.

1stMrsFrugal Mon 07-Jan-13 14:19:00

Lamb scrag - make a traditional Welsh Cawl (stew) with parsnips, leeks, carrots and potatoes. It's best with some homemade lamb stick, but OK with bottle veg stock or even just water as there are bones in the lamb for flavour. Cut the veg up intomquite big pieces so youncan slow cook for a long time without them falling apart. Make dumplings to go with too.

I find veal is quite cheap as it's not very fashionable, especially the British rose veal, which does not have the animal welfare concerns of continental white veal.

legoballoon Mon 07-Jan-13 16:24:07

Rabbit high in protein, low in fat, sometimes cheap from farm shop type places, and some butchers source it for you.

Bit gamey for me though!

racingheart Tue 08-Jan-13 19:10:20

Chicken thighs. Supermarket does them at £1.50 for 6-8 pieces. Chuck them in the oven with a mug of stock or glass of wine over them, sprinkled with salt, pepper and herbs, and roast for half an hour. They are all crispy and bubbly with sticky juices. Gorgeous.

Or lamb shoulder roasted with sliced potatoes underneath. The juices drip down onto the potatoes and cook into them.

Pork mince is cheap too. It's good for home made burgers, or a sausage plait with puff pastry. Not the healthiest of foods, but it's a cheap treat.

Ham hock. Super cheap. Sometimes only pence for a hock at the butcher. Soak it and cook it with split peas and onions for a casserole then turn it into a soup next day.

jenduck Wed 09-Jan-13 09:41:08

Have you considered getting a whole/half animal direct from a farmer (if you live near any farms?) We got a whole lamb for £90, which we shared with my parents For half a lamb it would have been £50. It meant that we got all the cuts of lamb, right down to the heart & liver, and also we know where it comes from, that is has not used many 'food miles' and that it had a good life (picked up from the farm so saw the very fields it grazed in!)

Otherwise, offal is very cheap & can be used to bulk out pies etc (eg steak & kidney).

If you like chickeny dishes use turkey instead. It is much cheaper & also leaner.

Finally, try to visit supermarkets when they do their 75% reductions (staff will tell you when). We always do this & have a freezer full of eg chicken breasts down from £4 to £1, good quality sausages down to 50p etc

Bundlejoycosysweet Wed 09-Jan-13 19:29:27

I second lamb neck, nice and cheap and good for slow cooking (I do it with Moroccan spices and prunes with cous cous).

Also turkey thigh mince for making meatballs. Small pack costs about £2 and with that plus fennel seeds, chilli and some chopped streaky bacon makes enough meatballs for four adults.

Pork belly also great.

My other tip would be pork tenderloin. I often get one for £3 and then cut it in half, if you slice it really thin you can use in stir fry with loads of veg or in a spicy Thai style soup.

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