Choosing Meat

Throughout Great Britain you will find the widest possible variety of cuts and joints of meat. This is the result of a partnership. The farmer rears the kind of stock the butcher demands, and this in turn is dictated by his customers’ preferences. There are regional variations in cutting carcases of meat, and the names of cuts and joints are different throughout the country. The ones listed here are those most commonly used. Thanks to sophisticated methods of cold storage, home-killed and imported meat of good quality is available all year.

Always buy from a reliable butcher who selects meat with care and stores it under the right conditions. Make the most of his knowledge and skills: never be afraid to ask his advice about ‘best buys’. If you want an unusual cut or something which needs special preparation, order it at least a few days in advance.

Before you buy meat, work out how much you want to spend, what time you have for preparation and cooking — and of course, how many people you are going to feed. As a general rule, allow 100-150 g (4-6 oz) of boneless meat per person and 175-350 g (6-12 oz) of meat on the bone. Cheaper and tougher cuts of meat are as nutritious as the more expensive ones. They just need careful cooking to make them tender.