There are few things in British cuisine as sacred as the classic roast dinner, but is there still room for innovation in the meat selections we make? We spoke to an artisan butcher to get their point of view.
We all know that the traditional roast dinner features a roast joint or bird as its centrepiece. With beef it’s a rib roast or topside, for pork we might go for a loin joint, and for lamb a leg joint is commonly used.
But we wanted to know which lesser chosen (and often better value) cuts could be used in order to shake up tradition. We spoke to a butcher with over 20 years of experience, Ian Meakin of Staffordshire Moorlands butchers H Meakin & Sons, to get his perspective.
Is it best to go traditional when preparing a roast?
People tend to stick to what they know when it comes to a roast. But for those who are a little bit more adventurous, there are some other great, and cheaper, options.
Okay, let’s start with beef. What alternative cut would you suggest?
With beef, there is obviously brisket. It requires a good slow cook, but it’s full of flavour.
What are your thoughts on lamb cuts?
With lamb, a good rolled shoulder is every bit as good as a leg joint. Again, it’ll need slow cooking to release those flavours.
And what about pork? Where can you go apart from a leg or shoulder joint?
A lot of people turn their nose up at belly pork, especially when it comes to roasting as a joint. But if it’s cut from quality stock and cooked slowly, you’ll find it’s a lovely joint to serve up.
So there you go. If you’ve got the time to let your joints cook slowly, there’s a whole range of choices to help you change up your roast dinner meat offerings. Which will you try first?