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Nov 30, 2011 08:29 AM

What's a cheap cut of meat just now?

Don't worry, I'm not going hungry or anything, but I just got in a whole internet-chain starting from why corned beef is so expensive these days. Got me thinking about, obviously everything is more expensive these days, but generally, when one type of food that used to be cheap becomes popular, it rises in price, and usually something else has to step into the cheap void.

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  1. Hey Soop!! I don't mean this as an insult by any means but when I think of "cheap meat" I think of potted meat. The poor man's staple and one that I had a lot of as a kid.

    As far as fresh meats are concerned - I know for chicken - thighs tend to be cheaper which is strange considering it is (to me) the tastiest part of the chicken. I will buy thighs or thigh meat for much less than the other cuts.

    1. I think your economic analysis is flawed. Yes, out of fashion (cheap) meats become fashionable and rise in price, but meats that were once expensive don't fall in value they simply don't go up as much as the ones that are getting relatively expensive - i.e. lamb shanks, beef cheeks, pork belly etc

      Also isn't your question better as what cheap meats are good as this is a food board. One can always get very cheap chicken but it won't be any good. A good cheap meat will always be one that is tricky to cook and takes a bit of time but as restaurants like these cuts as well (higher margin) they become popular because people eat them when they go out, again lamb shanks and pork belly.

      1. All things are relative but here's my take on the cheaper option:

        Pork - belly
        Beef - shin
        Lamb - breast
        Chicken - thigh

        All will need longer cooking than the more expensive cuts

        1 Reply
        1. re: Harters

          Harters is spot on but the joy of these cuts is that there is some wonderful flavour to be had when cooked properly. Not something I am always successful at it should be said.

        2. I know mentioning Whole Foods is sort of retarded in a thread about cheap meat, but I had some amazing bavette steaks last night at about £10/kg -- a big steak to feed 3 was approximately £7.

          I live near Whole Foods and they typically have excellent specials on meat. I'll often go shopping with no set menu and decide on my meal based on what is on offer.

          1 Reply
          1. re: brokentelephone

            It's not retarded because many people walk right by good deals that are offered in most of the supermarkets. I don't especially seek them out, but the other day we got two good-sized baby poussin (what we in the old country call Cornish hens) for £5 at Sainsbury's. Half of one of those was enough for a dinner so you can do the math at what 2 meals cost us... and they were very tasty.

          2. Hey, thanks for all the replies everyone. Bavette is a great example.

            I was surprised again when I went to get a couple of cans of corned beef yesterday - £1.70 per can of the value stuff! Swear it used to be about 20p a can...

            and Harters, great reply as usual. Reminds me of a beef shin and oyster pie I've been wanting to make for 2 years now!

            2 Replies
            1. re: Soop

              Shin & oyster, Soop?

              Sounds great. Is it a modern recipe or a vintage one? I have it mind that this pie was common in Victorian times when oysters were dead cheap.

              1. re: Harters

                It was an old irish recipe, when they used to bulk up the pie by using cheap oysters, but I read it 2 years ago in the Guardian xmas special. Probably still on their site somewhere...

                Yeah, here, about halfway down (though the other recipies are good too :) )