Friday 4 February 2011

Budget Busting Tips For Sunday Lunch

I've been talking about slow cookers a lot over the past few days so I was really interested to learn that the cheaper, more traditional cuts of meat are making a comeback, which is great news for anyone trying to make their pennies stretch a little further. More information and advice from the Netherton Butchery below.


Tightening the purse strings doesn't have to mean economising on taste, thanks to the Netherton Butchery at Hinchliffe's Farm Shop, which is helping cash-strapped customers continue to enjoy a Sunday lunch - with a twist.

Alongside its succulent fillets and roasting joints, the butchery also offers more traditional cuts - such as brisket and braising steak - at cut price.

"It's the finest pie meat known to man - it breaks down beautifully," says Craig Midwood, talking about the beef skirt, which has been especially popular at the Huddersfield based shop during the recent cold snap. This delicious cut of beef comes from below the diaphragm of the animal and is wonderful rolled in flour and slow braised with winter root vegetables (it's also the traditional filling for Cornish pasties!)

With expert butchers like Craig on hand, you'll always be able to get help and advice, not just about what less recognisable cuts are, but how to get the best flavour from them. And, with traditional cuts of meat often coming on the bone, and ideal for slow cooking casseroles, that flavour is amazing.

One man particularly pleased to see these older cuts of meat return to popularity - and build on his father's ethos of the best quality and value for money - is Charles Hinchliffe, the almost 90-year-old head of the business, which was set up by his father in 1929.

"Eating habits have changed but older cuts such as brisket, pot roasts and braising steaks are coming back in. The customers are boss, they are watching the money and they want value," he says.

Charles's Tips

• Traditional cuts won't be as tender as more expensive loins, breasts or fillets - so take a different attitude to cooking. Slow cooking and casseroling are the order of the day to bring out the flavour and tenderize the meat. The best cuts for this are beef shin, feather steak and mutton.

• Brisket is a great alternative to more expensive roasting joints and as long as you cook it slowly (around four hours at 140°C/Gas Mark 6), and baste it regularly with the juices, it will keep its wonderful depth of flavour.

• Chicken thighs and legs have a lot more flavour than breast and are ideal for adding something special to pot roasts stuffed with seasonal veg, pulses and beans.

• Be a culinary historian. Old, classic recipe books are often stuffed with money saving dishes designed to make the best on a budget.

• Bones and carcasses are great for making meat go even further. Making stock isn't rocket science and homemade is far better than from a packet or a cube...and saves money at the same time!

• Buying cuts from nose to tail helps sustainable farming - so consider some trotter (great for long-cooked stews), Oxtail (rich flavouring for soups), or hock (lovely for terrines).

• Don't be afraid of offal! Real food lovers rate sweetmeats and similar delicacies above the best steaks. If you want a gentler introduction, think velvety pâtés and robust liver and onion dishes.


I love the idea of great chunks of meat that get melt-in-the-mouth tender in the slow cooker, but I have to admit, I may have to draw the line at offal !

Other reviews you may be interested in :


  1. i always use cheaper cuts of meat and just slow cook them, much tastier in my oponion!

  2. I love using my slowccoker,because i find it brings the flavour out in the food.And is lovely family dinner on a cold winters day,plus you can just throw it all in together.Grt tips:)

  3. I can't believe how melt-in-the-mouth tender the cheaper cuts of meat get in the slow cooker. And I also love the convenience factor too. It's great to see you can cook tasty meals that won't break the bank in these credit-crunch times !

  4. On the whole I agree with you about offal - although I do like sweet breads when done really well at a restaurant, (I wouldn't attempt it)...I think that's considered offal? In any case...kidney's and liver are off the menu really. But love the other cuts - slow cooking is one of my favourite ways to cook.

  5. I'm loving experimenting with my slow cooker.Still can't be convinced by offal though ! LOL

  6. Agree with drawing the line at offal but loving the idea of slowcooker yummy great for encouraging my little one to eat and gives you chance to do other things to : )

  7. love using my slow cooker to cook cheaper cooks of meat slowly. they taste fantastic done this way

  8. There's now a "slow cooker" label at the bottom of the post or in the sidebar to help you find some great slow cooking recipes and reviews :)


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