Bargains at the butcher

Author: Anthony Puharich

Are there any bargains left in the butcher's window?

Absolutely! While pork belly has been celebrated on Australian restaurant menus for the better part of the last decade (its price, of course, rising with its renown), many diners are unaware that the same cut from lamb or beef offers equally brilliant results for the patient cook. Lamb belly or breast has many of the same attributes as pork; it's fatty, unctuous and has a deep, rich flavour. The riblets, with the bones still buried within, are great for sticky slow cooking, just like pork ribs. As for beef, this lower mid-section offers a lot of different cuts, including the flank and inside skirt steaks as well as the brisket. Beef brisket, with its combination of meat, fat and dense muscle fibres, is an awesome cut, as many of our top chefs have been discovering lately. The point-end, which runs up to the front of the beast, is more sought-after and brilliant rolled, tied and slowly braised in stock to release flavour from the meat and break down the connective fibres. These cuts are about a quarter of the price of a primary cut, but they reward much more than your wallet with their deep flavour and great texture.

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