As we enter into 2019, the newspapers are awash with the latest diets and healthy eating tips. This year though the tone of the debate has changed. The advice about the best way to eat has moved beyond the health and well-being of humans and even of animals as the health of our planet becomes of growing concern.
This week saw the publication of a plan put together by 37 scientists from around the world, as part of the EAT-Lancet commission, designed to feed the world’s ever-growing population in a sustainable way. The plan doesn’t exclude meat from its recommendations but it does suggest cutting the quantity and increasing vegetable intake.
Here at Westmorland, we’ve always believed in a ‘quality over quantity’ approach to eating meat by buying less but buying well. Sourcing our meat from a network of trusted local producers, including our own farm in Cumbria for Tebay Services, ensures we know that the meat we serve in our Butchery has been well looked after and buying locally is better for the environment, cutting down on unnecessary food miles.
Eating high quality meat doesn’t always mean spending more money though. Eating the often less popular and overlooked cuts of meat is a great way to ensure that no cut goes to waste. You can be sure that if you prepare and cook it correctly you can still enjoy a brilliant quality, tasty bit of meat without worrying about cost. By widening the variety of cuts we enjoy, we can prevent waste and ensure quality produce stays on the shelves.
Whether you’re entering 2019 with quality over quantity on your mind, maybe you’re looking for an economical cut, or just something really tasty and hearty to warm you up in the winter weather, our Butchers have chosen their favourite economical cuts and recommended a way to prepare them.
Joe, our apprentice Butcher at Gloucester Services recommended a shin of beef to us. Beef shin comes from the foreshank of the animal. The muscle does a vast amount of work which can make it tough unless you cook it very slowly. Cooking the shin on a low heat over a long period transforms it into a meltingly tender meat, full of rich flavour.
Joe said, “I’d serve it at home by dicing it up myself, throwing a couple of vegetables into a big pot and cooking it slowly for a long time. It’s perfect for stews.”
At Tebay Services, our skilled Butcher, Mark, suggested giving a rolled shoulder of lamb a try. The lamb served at Tebay Services is from our own farm, just 3 miles from Tebay Services.
Mark said, “Shoulder of lamb is definitely overlooked; people tend to go for your lamb legs, your chops which are common joints, whereas your lamb shoulder is ideal for slow cooked meat, especially at this time of year.”
The shoulder is another hard-working part of the animal so the meat is full of flavour. It’s also best for stews or for slow-roasting for a delicious Sunday lunch.
Mark continued, “With the rolled lamb shoulder, I would probably marinade it first in a mint sauce then you can just slow cook that. I have a slow cooker so I’d just do that all day. Leave it in there in the morning and come back from work and it’s just ready to plate up as soon as you get back.”
Our traditional Butchery counters within the Farmshop at both Tebay and Gloucester Services are open every day. Our talented team are always on hand to offer advice and prepare meat just as you’d like it.