How to Eat Nose to Tail
By embracing ‘secondary’ cuts of meat we can reduce food waste and discover a whole new
world of delicious flavours that are better for the budget and for the environment.
- Jul 06, 2016
If the idea of eating offal is too much to stomach, a great way to embrace the nose to tail philosophy is to start buying and cooking ‘secondary’ cuts of meats. Consumer demand for prime and easytocook cuts of meat, means that a large part of the animal carcass is thrown away resulting in in an incredible amount of food waste. With a little time and care in the kitchen these cuts can be transformed into meltingly tender and flavoursome meat dishes that are much cheaper to buy than the popular prime cuts.
There’s one general rule to follow when cooking with secondary cuts and that’s to keep things low and slow. Longer marination and slower cooking times will help break down the muscle fibres and leave you with meat that falls off the bone.
Amelia Bright from Amber Creek Farm , produces pasture raised free range pork alongside her husband Dan on their Gippsland property. Amelia says that pork cheeks are a great secondary cut for people to start with because ‘They look and taste like meat, and you get a nice bit of crackle around them too. My favourite part of the pig is the shoulder, which is considered a secondary cut, and my family love my recipe for slow cooked pork shoulder’ (see below.)
When it comes to secondary cuts of beef, bolar blade – a big muscle layered with fat and gelatine is perfect for slow braising. Oxtail, one of the toughest and gristly parts of the whole cow, can make a sublime stew or casserole. When cooked slowly lamb shoulder can be more flavoursome than the leg, and lamb flanks are delicious slow roasted in the oven until the meat falls of the bone.
Amber Creek Farm along with many other ethical and sustainable Farmhouse producers offer customers the chance to purchase whole animals of varying sizes that are then cut to order depending on individual needs. If unsure about what quantity could fit into your freezer, Amelia explains that 10 kg of pork packs down to roughly one ‘green eco’ shopping bag when butchered.
RECIPE - Amelia’s Seasonal Herb Slow Cooked Pork Shoulder
‘This is a great one pot meal that takes about 15 mins to get started and 5 mins to shred the meat at the end. It’s perfect for those days where you have to feed the pigs and move fences and want to come back inside to a hearty warm meal at the end of the day.’ Amelia Bright
1 pasture raised pork shoulder roast on the bone (size to suit family, but you will want leftovers!)
2 onions quartered and skin on
6 cloves garlic squashed
2 large handfuls of herbs on the stalk, like rosemary and sage
Milk to cover roast (approx 4 cups)
Liquid to top up, which can include stock, water, white wine or cream
½ cup of good quality extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1. In an oven proof pot that your roast comfortably fits in, heat oil and then brown each side of the roast
2. On the final side of browning, toss in garlic, onions, herbs and salt and pepper to taste
3. Cook until fragrant
4. Pour in milk and top up with your liquid of choice until the roast is covered
5. Pop a lid on if you like a milky gravy at the end, or if you prefer a more concentrated gravy cook with the lid off
6. Cook in oven at 160°C for anywhere between 2.5 - 4hrs, until the meat falls apart
7. Remove meat from sauce and shred with a fork. Pour the remainder of the liquid (gravy) through a colander to remove onion and herbs
8. Boil the gravy until reduced
9. I like to then pour the gravy over the bowl full of meat and serve the meat on creamy
potato mash with fresh crunchy greens on the side.
Recipe kindly provided by Amber Creek Farm