Friday, 25 January 2013

Keep your butcher going

Went down to the butcher's today to get some meat. We probably only go now, around once every two months. Total spend came to £17.63 and this is what we got:

One 2kg chicken, 100g bacon, 500g oxtail liver, 600g diced pork shoulder (these last 3 ingredients are towards making some faggots), 500g stewing steak. Just shows you how much meat has gone up but we like to use our butcher as they are great fun to visit and will help you out if you want to make something but are not sure of what you need regarding cut of meat. Also, with eating such little meat, we want good quality well reared meat that comes from somewhere reasonably local. For that I am happy to pay the extra, plus it keeps the butchers going in this economic climate.

Finally they come in very handy for these:


One FREE large beef marrow shin bone, weighing 2.7kg and measuring some 46cm long. I had to get him to saw it up as we don't have a pan big enough for it.

I am currently making some granola and once that is finished am planning to turn up the oven temperature and roast this big boy until golden brown. Then once cooled, the 2 big bits will be frozen for making soup later in the month and the smaller one will form the basis of some stock for soup later today.

This is our meat for the month. I still have enough odds and sods from last month plus fish and this new meat will make faggots, pies, stews etc for this month. Also I want to make as many extra meals as I can in an endeavour to cut the grocery bill for March.

I'm trying a new challenge of my own making, of cooking enough extra meals over two months to give us one free month of meals. This is for no reason as such but being careful what we spend means I can continue to pay for remedial massages and chiropractic treatment and we can eat a meal after our walks without any worry.

Just because we live on DB's pension, doesn't mean we can't have treats. Planning and problem solving are part and parcel of our lives. We choose to stay debt free but still intend to live life and enjoy ourselves as much as possible, by careful planning.

12 comments:

  1. One of the worst things about living in my part of the world is not having small shops like a butcher or bread store. Unless you are in large cities, it is pretty much chain grocery stores or big box stores (like Walmart).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True but if you have the space (and are in the right area) you might be able to do a special shop to a place that sells in bulk, good quality (and often organic) meat and bones. You can only do what you can do really.

      Delete
  2. Oxtail is very expensive where we live but a whole one makes a lot of stew. I buy tubs of chicken livers for less than a dollar here (apparently they are considered a waste product) I flour them and saute them gently for half an hour with a little olive oil and a tablespoon of brandy at the end and serve with english mustard. Enough for lunch the next day also.
    We do exactly the same for meat - I go to The Butcher and Larder in Chicago about every three months - I must ask them for beef bones but I am sure they will be expensive. I refuse to buy cheap chicken but the free range organic are between $13 and $14 dollars, are nice and big and we get lots of meals out of them. I also am very happy to make stock from the carcasses knowing there are no hormones or antibiotics in them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Was in the supermarket today topping up on what hadn't been delivered. Our butcher didn't have any kidney so bought two for 70p. They had tubs of chicken livers for around £1.20 but haven't used them before, must give them a go. Hoping to make faggots tomorrow, really enjoyed the last lot (like a meat ball but softer and with loads more flavour). Our son has just discovered a good organic butcher where you can buy in bulk. Might order some in advance and collect it next time we are over there.Would probably last us a year!

      Delete
  3. We have a number od Muslim butchers here and they charge about £1.50 for a whole lambs liver. It is really good value and fresh every day. Mor.....s supermarket charges about that for a few slices. Would love toty faggots but due to pork allergy I can't.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I reckon you could substitute the pork for a mixture of two other meats. You could try chicken and lamb or chicken and beef maybe a little less chicken than half and half. I don't know but am hoping the addition of the chicken would help lighten the taste. I also think the chicken would need to be finely diced rather than minced. The other meat you choose to go with it though would need fat on it otherwise it would all be too dry. Then use lambs liver as well.

      Delete
  4. I don`t have a good local english butcher where I live anymore, but our local mediterranean shop, run by an Arab, has a Halal butchery department within. Their meats are always superior to any supermarket produce, so I now buy from them all the time. I actually pay less for far better quality meats there, so I`m happy to keep them going with my purchases. We like to use alot of lamb and lambs livers, occasional chickens, kidneys and some lambs hearts. Livers, hearts and kidneys are cheap products that make nutritious meals for you when you are on a low budget. I seldom have to buy in large bulks as this supplier has a great choice for me every week. Sometimes it pays to think outside the box when constructing meals and also to be adventurous in what meat supplier you use. I always get treated with respect and I`m now a very valued customer at this mediterranean store. Their staff are all very friendly and chatty, also very happy to advice on the uses of their products, which I find truely helpful. I buy herbs and spices there far cheaper and in larger quantaties than I ever could from other shops. All this helps to save pennies in the long run. Fruit and veg I now get from Aldi, as once again that`s were I can buy cheaper than in other supermarkets. It`s a good idea to shop around to get the best quality for fair prices.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm with you on this Sarina and also find our butchers meat is better than the supermarkets. I'm hoping to have a little liver left over to make liver and mushroom risotto!

      Delete
  5. Chicken livers are so easy and quick, I flour them and saute in a small amount of butter and oil then add a splash of sherry or wine, a little chicken stock and they are ready in minutes with diced mushrooms added after the livers have their initial sizzle and a splash of cream at the end they make a very tasty addition to pasta or rice or a jacket potato. Would you share your recipe for Faggots please, along with Haslet they are something i have never tried making.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That does sound nice, really must give them a go. Pam, you can search top left on my blog for faggots and that will take you to an entry where I show how I make them. I originally got the recipe from Frugal Queen who has 3 different ones on her blog.

      Delete
  6. I used to use a local butcher when we ate meat. I got a discount for buying in bulk, and 10% off on every 6th visit( I had a little card that got stamped each time I made a purchase which I passed onto Mum when we stopped eating meat). I've had a big cooking session this afternoon - vegetable stew and dumplings for me and J, pizza and garlic bread for KL and her J, and 2 varieties of scones. I'm aiming to cut the food budget for February right back to the bone and just buy the very barest of essentials.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. KL and J eh! I wish more butcher's and local shops could afford to do a discount card, that would be a great incentive. I'm sure you will find your budget trim successful as I know you, like me, can make something out of nothing!

      Delete

I love hearing from you, will read all your comments and try and answer any questions you leave. Don't forget to come back and read my reply! All comments are moderated so if you try to link it to a commercial web site, it will not be published.