Meat-Saving ~ Money Saving Tips

Meat-Saving Tips ~ Kitchen Tricks

With food prices in general, soaring.

And with economic conditions as they are, we're all trying to save dimes to dollars on our food budgets.

It's difficult, but here are some tips we'd like to share.

That we hope can help you and your family save money on your meat purchases.

Bulk Buying

In our opinion, the best meat values are chicken leg quarters.

Various pork loin chops and well-aged top sirloin steaks.

They're great, versatile cuts, that are inexpensive.

And always good to have on hand in your freezer.

The best way to preserve.

Is to wrap each part securely in freezer or butcher paper.

And then place in a resealable plastic freezer bag.

Always try to squeeze out as much air as possible.

If you have a vacuum sealer, even better.

Ground Beef & Roast Chicken

For larger groups, ground beef can go a long way.

The beauty of ground beef is its versatility, from burgers and sliders to chili and tacos.

We like grinding our own from a chuck roast.

You’ll find the fourth most tender muscle in the cow is found here.

We also love whole roasted chickens.

You’ll be surprised what a little olive oil, salt, pepper and a little lemon on a good quality roaster can do.

The Best Meat-Saving, Money-Saving Cut of Steak: Flat Iron

Definitely search for flat iron steak.

It's the second most tender muscle in the cow, second to the tenderloin, yet at half the price.

The flat iron is also better equipped to handle a higher degree of doneness.

While maintaining its integrity.

So if you like your steak medium or medium-well, then this is the cut for you.

Another Meat-saving cut worth trying is the bavette.

Which is sometimes referred to as the bottom sirloin flap.

It’s like skirt steak, but a little thicker and holds a marinade just as well.

It’s a quick and easy cut that’s great for tailgating.

Be Your Own Meat-Saving Butcher

I like to buy larger pieces of meat at club stores or you can try your local butcher shop.

Start with a whole boneless pork loin, buying it on sale of course.

You can create chops or butterfly sections of roast for country-style ribs.

A little more expensive, but also a great cut to start with is a whole rib-eye or a beef tenderloin.

Trust me, you can save significantly by cutting it yourself.

All these Meat-saving cuts are a good, manageable size.

And allow you to get comfortable with some butcher basics.

Like cutting, trimming, portioning and butterflying.

Once you're comfortable with these cuts, work your way into other cuts.

And, it's always important to have the proper tools.

You’ll need a heavy duty cutting board and a sharp knife.

Beginners tend to underestimate the length of a knife and risk cutting themselves.

A good beginner tool is a 6-inch boning knife.

It’s not too long, it’s easier to handle and it allows you to get used to working with a knife.

If you're already comfortable using a knife, I like an 8-inch breaking knife.

Meat-Saving & Eating Less

Because a product is organic or sustainable.

Doesn't mean it delivers a better eating experience.

One way consumers can support sustainability without paying more.

Is to eat smaller portion sizes.

The right part size, six ounces of raw protein, is about the size of a deck of cards.

Do you need to eat a 24-ounce T-bone?

Bone-In or Bone-out?

Buying bone-in meat does have its benefits.

It lends flavor to the meat during cooking.

And lends structure to the muscle and conducts heat.

Thereby speeding up the cooking process.

True, you are paying for the bone, but bone-out cuts cost more per pound than bone-in, so it’s actually a wash.

Getting a Meat-Saving Steakhouse Experience at Home

There are some great value cuts out there like the flat iron and Denver cut.

So, if you want to create a high-end restaurant quality steak at home.

You can try buying a whole rib-eye or strip loin from your butcher or club store.

They're typically sold vacuum-packed.

Do check that there are no holes in the packaging and store the package in your refrigerator for 21 days.

This is called wet aging, which enhances tenderness and flavor.

Over these 21 days you'll notice increasing liquid in the packaging.

This is normal and leads to a more concentrated and savory beef flavor.

Cheaper Meats for Slow Cooker Recipes

Pork butt is great for creating comfort foods.

Like pulled pork sandwiches, tacos, stews and soups.

This cut has a good amount of intramuscular fat that melts into the meat as it cooks long and slow.

Another good option is beef country-style ribs.

Ask your butcher to cut these boneless ribs from the chuck eye portion of the chuck roll.

My favorite way to prepare these is to braise them and then finish on the grill.

I love preparing this on my outdoor grill, rain or shine!

Beyond the Expensive Cuts

Most everyone loves a great rib-eye.

But did you know that chuck steak offers a similar eating experience?

There are other, less expensive cuts that are extremely flavorful.

But need more cooking time.

Two cheap cuts that are great for braising, are brisket and chuck roasts.

Try Cow-pooling

I believe most people are concerned (at some level) with knowing where their food comes from.

How it.s raised, and if given the choice, many would prefer to buy organic or sustainably-raised food.

Let's be realistic though, the buying decision often comes down to economics.

Fortunately, there are many ways to support the cause.

You can buy from local businesses, markets and farms.

Another great Meat-saving tip is to try cow-pooling.

Buying and splitting up a whole or part of an animal with your friends and relatives.

The following is a recipe we hope you'll enjoy!

Pork Chops with Maple-Mustard Sauce

Pork chops, maple syrup and a few pantry items come together in this quick and easy recipe that will keep kids, adults and your Meat-saving wallet happy.

Makes 2 Servings

Ingredients:

1 1/2 tsp. plus 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard, divided

1 tsp. canola oil

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 c. cider vinegar

1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper

2 Tbs. pure maple syrup

2 boneless pork loin chops, (8 oz.), trimmed of fat

1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh sage, or 1/2 tsp. rubbed dried sage

Preparation;

1. Combine 1 1/2 tsp. mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Rub all over pork.

2. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.

Add the pork and cook until browned on both sides and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Transfer to a cutting board and cover with foil.

3. While the pork is resting, heat vinegar in the skillet over medium-high heat.

Boil, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon, about 30 seconds.

Whisk in the remaining 1 Tbs. mustard and maple syrup.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the sauce is thickened, about 3 minutes.

Add any accumulated juices from the pork to the sauce, along with sage.

Serve the pork topped with the sauce.

Nutrition:

per serving

Calories: 234

Fiber: 0 g.

Fat: 8 g.

Saturated Fat: 2 g.

Carbohydrates: 16 g.

Protein: 21 g.

Sodium: 458 mg.

Monounsaturated Fat: 4 g.

Cholesterol: 66 g.

Potassium: 369 mg.

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