We all know that food follows trends in the way of everything else in the world, but one trend that seems to grow in popularity year after year is the variety of cuts of meat on offer. Forgotten cuts of meat seem to be making an appearance again, thanks to top restaurants and celebrity chefs serving them up, and butchers widening the choice of cuts available to customers. Of all the traditional cuts experiencing a huge rise in popularity, it’s bone-in meat. These cuts would have been familiar to our parents or grandparents, and are making a come back of late. They are full of flavour and generally offer good value, and we all know the saying: “the closer to the bone, the sweeter the meat”! I recently spoke to Hugh Judd, a Quality Standard beef and lamb butcher to find out more.
Could you tell me about the advantages of cooking bone-in meat?
The big one is the flavour, Quality Standard bone-in cuts generally tend to have a better, more rounded flavour compared to other cuts. Additionally, there is something fun and appealing to consumers in the primeval, eating from the bone aspect, as people are generally looking to have more fun than ever with food. Another advantage to those looking to impress guests when hosting, is that bone-in cuts can really add the wow-factor, with great presence on the plate.
Please tell me about the market for bone-in meat – who’s buying it and is it becoming more popular?
It is becoming more popular, yes. Bone-in cuts are now a staple on upmarket restaurant menus. Demand comes from worldwide travel, for example, from those who have visited the United States where bone-in cuts continue to maintain strong popularity.
What are the best ways to cook with bone-in meat?
It totally depends on the cut. With something like a classic lamb shank, it has to be slow cooked, with the best of the bone marrow coming out to thicken to sauce and provide maximum flavour. Roasting bone-in cuts is also great. In fact if you have a cut where the bones have already been removed, asked your butcher to given you them anyway. You can then use them as a privet to go underneath the meat when roasting it to create a delicious gravy – for both beef and lamb. Grill also works if you have something like a cote de beouf. The key to this is searing it in a hot grill then let it rest properly. If bone-in meat isn’t cooked in a hot enough grill, the meat close to the bone will be raw.
So, here are some of Hugh’s and my favourite recipes below. For more information and recipes, please see www.simplybeefandlamb.co.uk
Roast Rib of Beef with Thyme, Port and Redcurrants
Rare: 20 minutes per 450g/1lb plus 20 minutes
Medium: 25 minutes per 450g/1lb plus 25 minutes
Well done: 30 minutes per 450g/1lb plus 30 minutes
2.7kg/6lb lean bone–in rib of beef or sirloin joint
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
3 large garlic bulbs, cut in half horizontally
24 shallots, peeled and left whole
For the Thyme and Redcurrant Marinade
100g/4oz redcurrant sauce
200ml/7fl oz Port
Large handful fresh thyme leaves
For the Gravy
25g/1oz plain flour (can be gluten free if required)
600ml/1pint good, hot beef stock
1) Preheat the oven to 180C
2) In a large, shallow bowl mix together the marinade ingredients.
3) Place the joint on a chopping board, score the fat, season on both sides and transfer to the bowl with the marinade and coat well. Cover and marinate in the fridge for up to 2 hours, or overnight if time allows, turning occasionally.
4) Remove the joint from the marinade mixture, strain the marinade and reserve for later. Place the joint on a metal rack in a large non-stick roasting tin and open roast for the preferred, calculated cooking time. After 30 minutes cover the joint with foil.
5) 45 minutes before the end of the cooking time, remove the joint and the rack from the tin, add the garlic and shallots to the tin and place the joint directly on top. Return to the oven for the remainder of the cooking time.
6) When the beef is ready remove the joint from the tin with the vegetables and transfer to a warmed platter, cover and set aside to rest.
7) To prepare the gravy; spoon off any excess fat from the roasting tin and discard. Place the tin over a medium heat and sprinkle over the flour. Stir well with a small whisk or spoon, add a little stock and stir again, scraping the base of the pan to release any rich, beefy sediment.
8) Add the remaining stock, 150ml/¼pint of the reserved marinade and any meat juices from the platter. Adjust the seasoning, if required and simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until reduced to a well-flavoured gravy. Strain before serving.
9) Serve with roast potatoes, seasonal vegetables and the gravy.
Barnsley chops with mustard mash
This is a traditional yet delicious way off cooking Barnsley chops. If you’ve never tried them before, they a type of lamb chop, cut from across the loin, leaving you with two chops, effectively.
1 tbsp olive oil
400ml lamb or beef stock
A sprig of rosemary
700g floury potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 tsp Dijon mustard
A handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
100ml whole milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 Barnsley chops, all visible fat removed
1) Start by making some gravy. Place the oil into a large frying pan over a moderate heat. Add the shallots and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the lamb or beef stock and rosemary. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
2) Preheat your grill to a medium temperature.
3) While the grill is preheating, boil the potatoes in salted water for around 15 minutes. While the potatoes are boiling start to cook the lamb.
4) Season the chops and place under the preheated grill. They should take around 4-5 minutes a side for rare, 7-8 minutes for medium and 10-11 minutes for well done.
5) Once the potatoes are cooked, drain and return to the pan. Add the mustard, parsley, butter and milk, and mash until smooth.
6) Serve the Barnsley chops with mash, gravy and some steamed green vegetables.
Cote de Boeuf with Red Wine Sauce
Cote de Boeuf is one of the best cuts for steak lovers to enjoy.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
15 shallots, thinly sliced
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp caster sugar
2 small glasses red wine
1 small glass port
2 Cote de Boeuf
1) Take the meat out of the fridge at least 2 hours before cooking.
2) Place the oil and butter into a pan over a moderate heat. Melt the butter, then add the shallots and sauté until soft but not browned for around 15 minutes. Add the thyme, sugar, wine and port and cook for a further 15 minutes.
3) Meanwhile, cook the steak on a smoking hot griddle pan for 5-8 minutes per side, depending on your liking. Try not to move the steaks whilst cooking, except for flipping them over.
4) Serve the steak with the sauce, and possibly some sautéed potatoes, chips or a crisp, green salad to go on the side.