New Guide to Frugal Shopping

Economical cuts of meat are also some of the most flavourful. Check out our list of inexpensive cuts and quick tips on how best to prepare them.

Pork: Shoulder and rib cuts yield enormous amounts of flavour and are perfect for braising. Hocks and shanks are also quite inexpensive and are great for stocks.

Veal: Shoulder cuts of veal are ideal for braising and stewing. Buy a veal shoulder and cut it yourself at home.

Lamb: Ground lamb is very cost effective and makes extremely juicy burgers. Cubed lamb is perfect braised in a stew.

Beef: For grilling, try flank or skirt steaks but be sure to marinade the cuts beforehand. Centre cut roasts can be sliced into steaks and are great for pan frying as are sirloin tip steaks.

Poultry: Poultry is most economical when divided into portions. The options for cooking legs, wings and breasts are endless. Use the bones, necks and backs for stocks.

Cooking Method How To’s

Braising: Brown meat and or vegetables in oil or butter in Dutch oven or large pot. Add enough liquid (stock, water, wine) to cover the mixture and simmer over low heat. Cooking times vary between cuts. For instance, chicken thighs need to simmer for approximately an hour but a veal shank for osso bucco can take up to 3 or 4 hours. Gauge doneness by checking the tenderness of the meat.

Slow Cooking: Slow cooking requires combining a raw meat, poultry or vegetable with a cooking liquid such as water or stock and a selection of seasonings. Slow cookers have varying cooking temperatures and time settings but most recipes can be cooked for 6 to 8 hours on low setting. Some larger cuts of meat may require longer cooking times. A pork shoulder roast for pulled pork for instance can take 8 to 10 hours on a low setting.

Roasting: A method using dry heat from an oven or open flame. Large cuts of meat and whole poultry are best roasted for a number of hours at approximately 325°F (160°C). The exact time and cooking temperature will vary depending on the cut. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the meat reaches the advised temperature. The benefit of slow roasting is that the meat retains moisture and becomes tender and juicy. Allow meat to “rest” or sit in its pan after cooking for 10 minutes covered with tin foil to retain heat. Resting the meat allows the juices to settle rather than spilling out when first cut.

Pan Frying: Pan frying involves cooking meat or poultry in a small quantity of oil or other fat at a medium to high temperature. It is recommended to heat the fat before adding meat or poultry to the pan otherwise the meat will soak up the fat before cooking. Cook the meat to desired doneness. Rare or medium rare meat may take only a few minutes to cook whereas medium-well or well-done meat or poultry may take several minutes to finish cooking.