Forgotten cuts

Tesco Meat1 (h)

With a little bit of love, these lesser-used cuts of meat can give flavoursome, tender results.

Discover our top tips for choosing, preparing and cooking cuts of meat

1 Choose

As with any cut, look for meat that is deep pink and marbled with creamy white fat. Ask the butcher in store for advice on choosing the right cut and cooking methods.

2 Prep

Bring meat up to room temperature before cooking. This will help it cook evenly, and means it won't 'seize' and become tough when it's transferred from a cold fridge to a hot pan.

3 Cook

The majority of these cuts benefit from slow cooking at a low temperature, giving meltingly tender meat, although some cuts such as beef skirt can be pan or stir-fried. 

Here are some of our favourite cuts of meat that deserve their moment in the spotlight

Lamb neck fillet

Lamb neck fillet

Whole neck fillet is great slow-roasted. It has a sweet meaty flavour that pairs well with cinnamon and dried fruits. You can also buy it ready-diced for stews (it's traditionally used in Lancashire hotpot), or for threading kebabs.

 

Beef skirt

Beef skirt

Also known as 'butcher's cut' (because butchers like to keep it back for themselves), the skirt comes from the udnerside of the cow and is often used as a minute steak. Pan-fry it, use in a stir-fry or roast a whole skirt slowly until tender.

 

Pork ribs

Pork ribs

Like pork belly, ribs are great for carrying strong flavours, so marinate them in honey or barbcue sauce. Ribs can be roasted, barbecued or grilled - for really tnder ribs simmer them in water before fnishing on the grill.

 

Beef brisket

Beef brisket

Rich and flavoursome, brisket is a cut taken from the breast of the cow and is firm in texture. Keep it whole and use in pot-roasts as an economic alternative to your Sunday roast beef. You'll need to cook it all the way through until it's super tender.

 

Lamb breast

Lamb breast

Slow roasting will transform this rolled breast joint into meltingly tender meat. For an impressive, but cheap, mea, try stuffing and then re-rolling it with herbs and spices. Don't forget to scrape all the sticky bits from the pan to make a gravy.

 

Pork belly

Pork belly

This versatile cut can take strong flavours and is popular in many cuisines around the world. Try rubbing with five spice ad slow-roasting whole, or use diced pork belly to add flavour to casseroles.

 

 

Nicola Crowson

Meet the expert: Nicola Crowson, Quality and Development Manager

Why do you think forgotten cuts of meat are gaining popularity?

Many people overlook these cuts because they perceive them to be tough or too fiddly. It can take a bit of time to cook some varieties, in order to bring out the best in them, but treated properly they can be absolutely delicious. Beef brisket and lamb breast, for example, are marbled with fat, and it's this that gives them their flavour.

Is the meat any lesser quality?

These cuts are as good a quality as any other more sought-after cut taken from the same animal. It's just taken from a different part of the body - often the muscles that have worked harder than the rest. Leading chefs are making cuts like these more poular today and you'll often see some of them (pork belly, for example) on menus at top restaurants.

Are these cuts better suited to stews?

They do work well in stews, but they're more versatile than that and can be used in all sorts of other dishes as well. Some cuts, such as beef skirt or pork ribs, can be cooked quickly - simply marinate them first (overnigth, if time permits) to help bring out their great falvour. Although I do have to say my favourite dish is beef brisket and Guinness casserole. It's really homely and the meet is incredibly tender.

Why not make the most of forgotten meat cuts with delicious recipes such as the Lamb rogan josh featured in this issue?

October cover final

As featured in Tesco Magazine October 2014.


 

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