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Cuts of meat, etc to get from my local farmer

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 08, 2011 at 8:48 PM

I'm interested in cutting back on my food spending, but I'm afraid I don't know enough about cooking meat and the various cuts.

Every week, a farmer at my local market sends an email about what he'll have available. (He promises grass-fed beef is almost here, and I'm waiting to stock up!) Although the selection varies, he's generally got everything from pork to chicken to beef to lamb. When I call and place an order, are there cheap cuts or parts that are not desired by the general public that he may not be advertising? For example, I've seen people sing (type?) the praises of bone marrow here. Are there particular bones I should ask for, or all they all the same?

(Also, hold the suggestions for tongues and livers and hearts -- I'm just not gutsy enough to jump into that yet!)

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on September 09, 2011
at 10:19 AM

Chuck steak, or chuck roast, is perfect for the crock pot.

76c885d7d27e6c83542ea493ca866dcd

(2178)

on September 08, 2011
at 09:34 PM

We actually did chuck steak for dinner last night -- got it out of the "green meat bin" at the grocery store (so not grass-fed, unfortunately). It was REALLY good, though my jaw did get a little bit of a workout.

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7 Answers

1
Medium avatar

(19479)

on September 08, 2011
at 08:57 PM

ABSOLUTELY stock up on marrow bones (I just cooked some up recently and you can see how it turned out here) and I recommend checking out this link to find out more about how to best cook cheap steaks and roasts.

You might be able to score some straight up fat for rendering if you're lucky.

If you're squeamish about organs, hooves and heads might freak you out, but I've got to push you to at least pick out a tongue or two. It basically tastes like really tender beef. Or, make someone else cook it for you!

0
De65560c40ddb3f27764307ffa504240

on September 23, 2011
at 11:52 AM

Even if you don't eat the meat, "ox-tail" (cow-tail) makes fantastic stock, as do chicken feet, backs, and necks. You can also feed chicken backs to dogs, and go fishing or trotlining or crabbing with the necks.

Pork jowls and cheeks make good additions to vegetables, and pork belly is basically unseasoned bacon but you can make some neat crispy Asian dishes with it. You can also cure any of the mentioned pork cuts if you're feeling crafty.

0
03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on September 23, 2011
at 11:03 AM

I'd just ask him what he's got. My butcher will give me all the bones, fat, and liver I want for free, because most people don't want it. They can't give me the head or hooves, though, because the regulations say they can only keep the outer parts if the animal is scalded, which they don't do. So it's going to depend on the farmer/butcher and how they do things.

Beyond that, there's really not a bad cut of meat, as long as it's cheap. Anything can be slow-cooked.

0
78972387772c994caa78513a83978437

on September 23, 2011
at 10:19 AM

Welcome to my weekly staples:

1) Chuck roast- I make a big pot roast once a week in my slow cooker. Recipes everywhere

2) Whole Chickens - wash, fill the cavity with cut onions and garlic, salt and pepper all of the skin, and place pats of butter under the skin covering the breast. Cook at 400 or so for 60-90 min depending on the size. Makes an amazing meal for cheap.

3) Pork shoulder- another slow cooker winner. Cube and sprinkle with cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, garlic, cinnamon. Throw in the slow cooker with some onions and make some amazingly tasty carnitas at the end. I pair it with some guac and salad.

4) Chili- use stew meat and ground beef. This is my favorite recipe: http://paleomama.wordpress.com/2009/10/07/my-infamous-paleo-chili/

0
8c5533ffe71bd4262fedc7e898ead1ba

on September 09, 2011
at 08:06 AM

Nothing is easier than roasting a whole chicken. You can find instructions for "trussing" on the Internet, which makes it even nicer. But basically, you tie it up and throw it in the oven. That's it. So, if the chicken is cheap, this can be a good option. Eat the meat, save the carcass/bones for broth.

0
F4d04667059bc682540fdfd8b40f13a7

on September 09, 2011
at 12:20 AM

I quite often go to my butcher and just ask for a cheap cut that will be suitable for slow cooking (or whatever style of cooking I fancy doing with it). I always get a good deal that way.

Also when I'm buying a lot anyway, that's generally a good time to ask him for bones to make a bone broth - they often throw those in for free.

A good butcher/ farmer should be able to work with your budget and offer you good suggestions.

0
6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 08, 2011
at 09:17 PM

I'm quite fond of the chuck eye steak.

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on September 09, 2011
at 10:19 AM

Chuck steak, or chuck roast, is perfect for the crock pot.

76c885d7d27e6c83542ea493ca866dcd

(2178)

on September 08, 2011
at 09:34 PM

We actually did chuck steak for dinner last night -- got it out of the "green meat bin" at the grocery store (so not grass-fed, unfortunately). It was REALLY good, though my jaw did get a little bit of a workout.

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