Making the cut

Once maligned cuts, such as pork belly, are now ultra-fashionable and demand has pushed up the price – but you can still find little-known cuts that are both delicious and great value for money. delicious. magazine's food editor Angela Boggiano has a chat with her butcher to discover some of the best.

Making the cut

Cheap cuts are very much on the menu at the moment. Walk into any gastropub worth its salt, and you’ll be spoilt for choice – lamb shanks, pork belly and oxtail are sure to feature on the menu. At home, it’s the same story, according to my butcher, Garry Moen at M Moen & Sons, who tells me that in the last year the demand for these cuts has gone through the roof, driven by a trend for slow-cooked meals. The problem, he says, is that these once unfashionable cuts are now in short supply and as a result, they’re not so cheap any more.

So what’s the solution? Well, ask your butcher about alternative cheap cuts such as ham hock, brisket and scrag end – these are delicious when you know what to do with them.

Garry’s advice, perhaps not surprisingly for a butcher, was to buy more meat. But he does have a point; pound for pound, you get better value from a large joint of meat, such as shoulder of pork, from which you can make several tasty meals, from a roast to a stew, plus cold cuts.

M. Moen & Sons, 24 The Pavement, Clapham Common, London SW4 0JA.


Brisket

Brisket is from a cow‘s belly. Boned and rolled, it’s ideal for slow- or pot-roasting. It can be fatty, but this adds to the flavour of the stock during cooking. You can also use short ribs or hind quarter flank instead.

Poor man’s boeuf bourguignon

Poor man’s boeuf bourguignon

Beef brisket is a cheap cut of meat that's delicious when you know what to do with it. This Boeuf bourguignon recipe is the answer.

 


Chump end of pork

Chump end can be boned out and rolled into one joint, or cut into boneless chump steaks. When roasted, the chump becomes slighter moister than the leg. Also known as end of loin, or use rack of pork or middle loin.

Slow-roasted pork

Slow-roasted pork

Slow cook recipes are currently all the rage and this pork dish won't disappoint. The chump end is the best part of a pig for this roast.

 


Ham hock

Ham hock is the lower end of the leg of pork. It is a fatty cut so needs to be slow-cooked until the meat is meltingly tender. Also known as knuckle, or use hand of pork or chaps (pigs’ cheeks.)

Ham hock and lentils

Ham hock and lentils

Ham hock is a cheap cut of meat and so versatile. Use a hock to make a delicious terrine or this hearty dish.

 


Scrag end and middle chops

Scrag end and middle chops are from the bony part of the neck. They have lots of flavour and need to be slow-cooked. Lamb shanks would work well in this dish, too.

Braised Oriental lamb

Braised Oriental lamb

This slow-cooked stew is perfect made with these tasty chops, and delicious with steamed rice and pak choi.

 

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