Most of us buy meat at our local grocery store. It’s often the most convenient option because we simply add it to the rest of the groceries on our list. But while many people think that supermarket meat is cheaper, you might be missing out on great deals from your local butcher. But before you go, there are a few terms you should know!
If you love to cook with various meat cuts, then the butchery is the best place to shop. Here are a few terms to help you get the right meat cut for your dish.
Don’t worry when you hear the word ‘aged’ associated with your beef. It’s actually a good thing! It does not refer to the age of the cattle, but rather how long the meat has rested in the refrigerator after slaughter. This allows for enzymatic activity to break down some of the proteins, resulting in more tender and flavorful meat.
Wet-ageing, where meat is refrigerated in sealed packaging, is one of the most common ageing methods. The meat becomes more tender, while moisture loss is minimized because of the packaging.
Dry-ageing on the other hand, is a more costly process. The meat is exposed to the refrigerator air, so a lot of the moisture evaporates. This results in a more concentrated flavor, but also more moisture loss. Because of this, dry-aged meat is often more expensive.
This usually refers to a roast that has been deboned, excessive fat trimmed, and tied into a cylindrical shape. Another reason why buying meat at the butcher is a great idea, they can do the prep for you!
This term described pieces of pork meat which is set in gelatin, and is also known by the rather unappealing name of headcheese.
This refers to the process of drawing out moisture by means of adding salt. It’s one of the oldest methods of food preservation for meats and fish.
Giblets are parts of a chicken (liver, heart, gizzard, neck, etc.) that is usually removed before cooking. These can be cooked separately to make gravy, stuffing, or soup.
If you’re after good quality meat, then this is a term you have to know. It refers to the white lines of intramuscular fats that runs through the meat. It adds a lot of flavor to the meat and is tell-tale sign of great quality.
This is the flexible tissue found inside the bones. It’s rich in nutrients and is often used to add extra flavor to a dish.
This term simply refers to a small round of meat, usually beef, pork, or lamb.
This process removes the backbone of the chicken, making it possible to cook the chicken flat instead of whole. It’s often easier to cook and also cuts down on the cooking time.
This involves the process of tying up the legs of a bird (usually turkey, duck, or chicken). It helps to maintain the shape of the bird and prevents it from drying out. If you struggle to truss you bird correctly, why not ask your butcher to do it for you?