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cheaper cuts of meat

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default cheaper cuts of meat

Post by pod on 15th November 2009, 5:08 pm

If you are a meat eater but are looking at cutting the cost of buying it look at using cheaper cuts of meat. I recommend a shoulder of pork instead of a leg-and pork instead of lamb in general. At the moment its even cheaper to buy a whole chicken than to buy leg portions! My dad also buys meat in a local sindicate in his town direct from the farmer, but then he has a large freezer. Any other ideas welcomed...
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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 15th November 2009, 5:54 pm

Buy a whole animal and chop it up yourself.
Get in with a farmer and cut out the middle man altogether.
The ones I deal with call me if any of their animals have to be exterminated due to injury etc - it is not uncommon for a pig to break a leg for example, and I pay £60-80 for a whole carcass, which is about £1/kg dead weight.

If you don't feel like going that far, you can get trotters, tails, heads etc for pennies form any butcher - they usually chuck them away either. Long cut trotter can yield a surprising amount of meat. and there is a good pound or so of meat to be had off a head, even if you don't feel up to using the ears and snout and so on.
We boil up all these parts of the pig and transform them into brawn, haggis-like sausages, crispy ears, pork scratchings etc, and make rich liquor form the stock which makes sublime base for lentil soups etc.

Similarly the butcher will give you bags of beef marrow bones for pennies or often for free if you are a regular customer. These will make a fine beef stock that can even be eaten on its own as consommé.

And chicken carcasses - once they have cut off the breast and the legs the rest generally goes in the bin. I buy these a dozen at a time, roast them for 20 minutes and have a day of stock making. There is usually enough viable meat to make two good meals such as risotto or chicken pie and several litres of super rich stock. Why anyone would buy chicken breast fillets on their own is something I have never understood.

Mutton is cheaper than lamb and much more flavoursome and holds its texture better in any slow-cooking recipe like curry or stew.

Rabbit is a delicious and inexpensive meat. If you are in a vaguely rural area, chat up a gamekeeper and buy them for 50p-£1 a piece. If you have access to land, shoot them yourself - air-rifle pellets cost a fraction of a penny. Same applies to wood-pigeons and squirrels.

You can also rear your own rabbits for meat in even the most modest back garden. I know someone who does so on a flat balcony. Two does and a buck will keep you in meat all year round.

If you invest in a pressure canner you can bottle meat and preserve it without the need for a freezer. This makes bulk-buying and 'acquisition' a much more viable proposition. When the gamekeeper or farmer is culling rabbits, offer to take 50 at a time and make up huge batches of bottled bunny bolognese. If you cure the pelts as well you could make a decent throw from 50 bunnies.

Buying a hand-powered mincer is a must. Making your own mince is an absolute no-brainer. It is way cheaper than buying shop mince and you can guarantee what goes into it. What goes into the supermarket stuff I dread to think.

Mince-based meals like spag bol can be made to go a lot further with the judicious addition of a couple of handfuls of porrage oats. The cholesterol-busting benefits of the oats compensate for the fatty red meat as well.

Goes without saying that offal is cheaper than chips. Well, calves liver may be priceyish, but pig's liver is under a quid, as are kidneys, hearts and so on, and all are quite delicious if prepared properly. Even stuff that really honks like ox kidney and tripes can be made very palatable, usually by marinating in milk or vinegared water for half a day before use.

That's all I can thin of the top of my head. Will add more as I think of it.

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Post by Akuma on 15th November 2009, 8:13 pm

My Mam makes THE most delicious stuffed lambs hearts. I'm taking some over at christmas so she can make them and teach me properly once and for all. Always stuffed with sage & onion stuffing and sewn up....IIRC she cooks them in the pressure cooker.

DS will be trying them for the first time - I'll tell him what it is after he's tried it Laughing

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Post by Compostwoman on 15th November 2009, 8:33 pm

ooh yes I like doing stuffed lamb hearts...I haven't done them for a bit and you have reminded me how nice they are Akuma!

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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 15th November 2009, 9:12 pm

One of my signature dishes, which as far as I am aware I invented, is the 'Bloodclaat 'eart Attack' - a heart stuffed with black pudding mixture - basically congealed blood and pea-sized chunks of back fat. The heart is an amazing organ - you can stuff it to three times its original size or so before it starts to rupture in the oven - which only adds authenticity to the dish. Although I tend not to pack quite as much as that in usually as it is fairly rich (no sh**, Sherlock!) and the idea is for each diner to have an individual heart on their plate.
It is a truly delicious dish and a lot less gruesome looking than you might imagine - being quite self contained. Inexpensive to make as well, even if you buy the black pudding.

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Post by Compostwoman on 15th November 2009, 9:27 pm

Sound delish Billy. dribble .but I guess it is a cardiologists nightmare.... 🤢

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Post by MrsNesbitt on 15th November 2009, 10:21 pm

hey Billy, or anybody else into black pudding, one of our customers won the Best Black pudding in Yorkshire competition, so I could always blag you a free sample!
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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 15th November 2009, 10:35 pm

Ooh yes please. Always happy to eat black pudding. Award winning black pudding even more so.

It is one aspect of charcuterie I still struggle to master to be honest - getting the texture and consistency just right.

One of our favourite things is to simply fry up fresh blood with some specks of fat and lots of onions in a pan and eat piping hot with crusty bread. This dish is a great delicacy in Gräfin Von Rhomboid's home village and one usually reserved for the children on slaughterday.
Mmmm, I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

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Post by pod on 16th November 2009, 10:55 am

I love black pudding ( a special treat when i go to scotland) anyone got a good recipe for hogs pudding ? Always had it as a kid but difficult to get hold of here these days and would love a go at making it myself-or any suasage for that matter ( feeling adventurous!) Im not known for my prowess in the kitchen... crylaugh
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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 16th November 2009, 11:08 am

Hooray! At last someone who appreciates Hog's pudding!!!

Yes, Pod, Hog's pudidng is very similar to the Hurkey we make - the only major difference being we don't use bread in in it, just rice or oatmeal.

I am going to be making a batch in about three weeks time, so will do a photo-tutorial then and put it up here.

In fact I really need to make a batch of sausage this week as the freezer is full of pig and I need to make space in it before we go off to Slovakia, so perhaps I'll do a detailed sausage making one as well, if anyone is interested.

I ought really to go and fetch my Pig-butchering tutorial form another forum before it gets ensnared in the great copyright battle and I can no longer claim authorship of it.

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Post by Compostwoman on 16th November 2009, 11:22 am

Oh yes Billy..you REALLY need to do that...! Shocked That was such a good post, very clear and informative and there were many others you put up as well....there and in other sections.

Any news on the great copyright battle ? As you know, I can't go and look any more... Rolling Eyes Evil or Very Mad

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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 16th November 2009, 12:00 pm

Nothing definitive, as far as I am aware. Different answers depending who you ask. Seemingly if you ask technobob directly then he will give you the ultimatum of assigning all copyright in all past posts to him, but if you keep quiet and under the radar then you are not legally obliged to... very confusing.

But let's not take this thread off-topic. We can set up a separate thread if anyone is concerned about the issue of lthe loss of their copyrights at GLF - although I don't want it to appear as if we are becoming adversarial towards them.

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Post by Compostwoman on 16th November 2009, 12:08 pm

I agree...oh wholeheartedly I agree..adversarial is always a bad idea !

but it is an important point and one which perhaps should be on another thread...

I just wanted to encourage you to save the meaty posts as they were really informative with some great photos in them....

I look forward to sseeing them up on here , if possible?

Very Happy

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Post by Jaded Green on 13th February 2010, 10:37 am

I thought I had posted this the other day, but it vanished. must have pressed he wrong button!

I lways thought lamb shanks were a cheap cut of meat. But in Waitrose last week, they seemed same price as everythnig else. Was I wrong to be looking in Waitrose? Or have lamb shanks got trendyand so more expensive/ Or was I wrong to start with and they werenever cheap?

As soon as I am recovered properly, I am planning a visit to my mum's local butcher and some serious cooking and freezing
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Post by Compostwoman on 13th February 2010, 10:48 am

Lamb shanks do sem to have become very trendy and therefore expensive in supermakets...I was thinking on that the other day..

In butchers shops they are usually still a reasonable price, though

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Post by polgara on 13th February 2010, 11:15 am

Larger pork shanks are usually cheaper. I gave up on lamb ones ages ago.
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Post by Jaded Green on 13th February 2010, 3:18 pm

Oooh. Hadn't thought of pork shanks. Definitely got to go to the butcher.
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Post by polgara on 13th February 2010, 3:23 pm

OOH JG you can do so much with shanks, I usually just roast them, but the last one I have got I stripped the meat off ready to make some faggots with when we finish the 1st lot I made, but would be good for sausages, casseroles etc.
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Post by polgara on 10th March 2010, 10:57 pm

It seems to me that the more bone in the meat, the dearer it is these days. Good old fashioned things like neck of lamb & oxtail are the same sort of price per lb as some of the other meats.
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Post by polgara on 27th April 2011, 4:12 pm

My butcher friend cures his own bacon hocks, very mild flavour, more like ham to be honest & absolutly melt in the mouth.

Have just made some pea & ham soup from a couple of lots of bone, my does that taste good.

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