They’ll ask for seconds
SECONDARY cuts of meat are no longer looked down upon or cast off as waste.
Instead they are front and centre of restaurant menus and being regularly served up at home.
It is a trend that has been showcased on reality television cooking shows such as MasterChef.
And rather than being a cost cutting measure, the key driver is taste, says butcher Adam Stratton, who owns a string of stores called Tender Gourmet Butchery.
“With shows like MasterChef and My Kitchen Rules we are seeing more awareness and interest especially with lamb,” he says.
“My customers want to try different cuts and cooking styles.”
Stratton who was captain of the 2016 Australian Butchery team at the World Butcher’s challenge says in his family, secondary cuts have been revered for generations.
“My mum loved cooking these in a pressure cooker … we were all scared to open it up as we thought the lid would blow off,’’ he says.
“Today slow cookers make cooking these easier ... I love walking into my home to the smell of slow cooked lamb casserole that has been bubbling away all day.’’
They are valued for taste and versatility, Stratton says.
“The great thing about secondary cuts is that you can unlock a great dining experience due to the range available and the different ways of cooking them. As a rule, these cuts benefit from low, long and slow cooking methods and produce delicious results paired with rubs and marinades.
“Don’t hesitate to ask your butcher cooking tips or flavour combinations.”
Stratton says the cooler months are a perfect time to give these cuts a go.
“When autumn hits, I like to explore lesser-known cuts like necks. When slow cooked in casseroles, stews, soups and roasts, they create irresistibly tender meat that falls apart and melts in mouth,” he says.
Stratton suggests sourcing cuts from top suppliers, slow cooking for maximum flavour and carefully pairing with complementary sides.
“Any reputable butcher will have these cuts on show. The most important thing overall is matching your cut to the right cooking method.”
For more cuts and cooking tips
go to: beefandlamb.com.au
Marinated butterflied boneless lamb shoulder in lemon and parsley.