Buying meat

Buying meat

By
From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

You can judge meat to some degree by its appearance, but you must rely largely on the skill and integrity of your butcher for first-class meat. Eating is the final test, but for points to help you appraise quality, see entries for individual meats.

To choose the right cut for the dish: As discussed under Cooking Meat (below), cuts from different parts of the animal vary greatly in tenderness and, of course, in cost. This does not mean that you should buy the most expensive cut you can afford for every dish. The connective tissue which makes cheaper cuts too tough for grilling or frying is exactly what gives a rich, melting texture to a dish when it is cooked slowly with moisture and broken down into gelatine. For best results, follow the suggestions for the suitable cuts given in entries for individual meats and in the recipe you are following.

How much to buy: The amount of meat for each serving varies, of course, with appetites and the type of dish. As a general guide, allow:

125-250 g per serving on boneless cuts, such as stewing meat, roasts, steaks and minced (ground) meat.

155-250 g of meat with some bone, such as chops, T–bone steaks and roasts on the bone.

375–500 g of bony cuts such as spare ribs, lamb shanks and bone-in shoulder.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

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