As a family, our eating habits have changed a bit over the last few years. For starters, we decided to eat less processed meat and have more meals that included fish and seafood. But we love a good steak and traditional Sunday dinner, so excellent quality meat is definitely still on the menu.
Yet with the cost of everything in the supermarkets going up, we want to get the best value for our shopping budget. At first, I thought that meant eating poorer-quality meat, but that’s not the case at all. Many people avoid other cuts of beef because they aren’t sure how to cook them. At one point, I stopped trying to roast beef for Sunday dinner because I ended up just trying to saw through bone dry meat, or trying to resurrect it with gravy. Once I did a little digging into the different cuts of beef and how they should be prepped and cooked, it opened up a world of new recipes. Here are a few of my favourites.
This cut comes from the inner leg of the cow. It is quite a lean cut of meat but is quite versatile. You can roast it, or stew it for a more tender texture.
I was very kindly sent at selection of meats by a fantastic online butcher which included a huge piece of topside. The image above is the Swaledale Topside of Beef that I cooked for a Sunday dinner. I used the Jamie Oliver recipe to cook it and it was absolutely amazing. The secret is to bring it to room temperature first and sear the outside really well before roasting.
Brisket has the three things I love in an ingredient. It’s cheap, it’s tasty and it looks like I put way more effort into cooking it than I actually did. If you’re busy, brisket and a slow cooker are your best friend. Taken from the chest of the cow, it is quite fatty and is often found in large pieces at the supermarket or butchers. My favourite way to cook it is to simply throw it in the slow cooker with some mushrooms, chopped onions, a beef stock cube and some red wine (or a red wine stock pot and a little water). Then just leave it. I tend to leave it long enough that it can be pulled apart and have it with mash and vegetables. Any leftovers are great for sandwiches too.
Found on the cow’s shoulder blades, a flat iron steak is a perfect alternative to ribeye or sirloin. Like all great steaks, it has some marbling that melts into the steak to keep it moist. The secret of cooking a great flat iron is to season it well and cook it super quickly in a really hot pan. This cut is great for slicing up and using in stir-fries or fajitas.
So the next time you visit your butcher or the supermarket, these budget-friendly cuts of beef don’t compromise on flavour.