11 Delicious cheap cut recipes

Helen Best-Shaw

Cooking a cheaper cut of meat doesn’t mean missing out on the flavour; quite the opposite, in fact. Here are 11 recipes to get you going 

Cheap cuts of meat all call for long, slow cooks so they aren’t quick and easy weeknight wins but can be made at the weekend to enjoy later in the week. I find that casseroles and stews often improve after some time in the fridge, so you’re not losing out by cooking ahead—quite the opposite!

Slow-Cooked Spiced Pulled Lamb

Slow-cooked pulled meat is my go-to when I need to make a crowd pleaser. Pork is the standard, but pulled chicken and lamb both provide a new variation on the classic. This recipe is made in a multicooker but it can work equally well in a slow cooker; to add some flavour, the lamb is spiced with chilli or chipotle and cumin. Serve in a baguette with salad leaves and some crunchy pickles.

 

Borsos Tokany—a Hungarian Pork Stew

There’s so much more to Hungarian cooking than just another paprika-laced goulash. This pork stew is flavoured with lots of black pepper, and has a sauce featuring bacon and sour cream. My grandfather loved his pepper, to the extent that he wore out his pepper grinder, so he must’ve have enjoyed this recipe to say the least! For the full Hungarian experience, serve with nokedli—little noodles.

 

Beef Daube Provencal

A daube is an absolute classic slow-cooked beef dish. From Provence—the South of France, the meat is stewed gently in red wine flavoured with vegetables, herbs and orange peel. A daube differs from beef Bourguignon, in that it doesn’t have mushrooms and onions, but does have carrots, tomatoes and the orange peel.

 

Cavatelli with Pork Ragù

This ragu is made with pork shoulder and sweet Italian sausage, cooked in a tomato sauce. I have found that spending a bit more money on tinned tomatoes makes a huge difference with the final result. The cheapest tins are just too flavourless and watery, so spending a few of those pence saved on the meat on a better brand of tomato really shows up in the finished ragu.

 

Slow Cooker Beef Ragu with Pappardelle

This is definitely not just yet another spag bol. A proper ragu needs time for the flavours to develop, so is ideal for a slow cooker. Come back at the end of the day and supper is ready, rich and delicious. Serve with lovely wide pappardelle noodles, which get coated so well in the sauce. Much better than spaghetti, which simply doesn’t hold the sauce in the same way.

 

 

Roasted pork belly

I love pork belly, but it is a cut that needs time in the oven, with layers of fat and meat, so low and slow allows that fat to render out leaving behind a wonderfully tender and richly flavoured dish. This recipe includes fennel seeds for a hint of aniseed flavour.

 

Slow Cooker Beef Stew and Dumplings

Adding dumplings to a stew makes for a two-in-one meal; no need for potatoes or other carbohydrates (but if you want, you could add a little mash to soak up all that lovely juice!). The dumplings are flavoured with parsley or chives, and horseradish or mustard, and can be made with or without suet. A good dumpling is a lovely thing, moist and flavourful, having soaked up the sauce.

 

 

Braised Pork Ribs with Pasta

The word that I immediately associate with ribs would be “barbecue”. Proper, Southern barbecue, with ribs smoked long and slow. For those of us without their own smokehouse, here’s a delicious ribs recipe from Italy. The ribs are cooked in a rich tomato sauce. Again, as with the pork ragu, it’s worth spending money on the tomatoes: this recipe uses passata rather than whole tomatoes.

 

Russian Sweet and Sour Beef Stew Solyanka

The origin of the name of this dish is unclear; it’s either derived from the word sol meaning salt or selo meaning village. Either way, it’s a dish from the land, when farmers needed a hearty meal at the end of the day, and one which didn’t cost too much! It’s made from beef and a variety of smoked meats like ham, smoked sausage, bacon, salami and salted preserves like pickles, mushrooms, olives, and capers; a dish that can be made when the land is covered in feet of snow.

 

Dutch oven pulled pork

Pulled pork—where a slow cooked joint is shredded with forks, is so versatile. Serve with a burger bun, or add some gravy and mashed potato—the uses are endless. Here, the joint is cooked in a lidded casserole pot or Dutch oven, itself placed in the oven. Cooking takes three hours, so again, it’s not a quick and easy weeknight dish, but could easily be prepared ahead and frozen.

 

The Simplest Beef Casserole (slow cooker)

This casserole only contains meat, stock, wine, flour, onions and a little oil or dripping. Simple but so delicious! The meat is browned before stewing, at which point it’s either five to eight hours in a slow cooker, or two and a half hours in the oven. Serve with cumin mash (linked recipe) to soak up the juices.

 

Helen Best-Shaw, is a freelance food & travel writer, recipe developer & photographer. She has been blogging at Fuss Free Flavours for over 14 years

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Read more: James Martin's home-cooked pork 

Read more: 10 Comforting slow cooker recipes 

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