Photo by Jun Pang
Secondary cuts of meat are trendy these days. Whether it be lamb, pork or beef, secondaries have come around from the past to be trendy once again. In the past, it was almost a necessity to use secondary cuts of meat and offal for survival. The harsh financial times of the past forced a lot of people to be creative with cheaper cuts of meat. Stories told by grandmothers, telling us about cooking pigs head, ox tails and trotters; ribs, shins and belly seemed so unreal when we were younger. We could never imagine eating such things because our generation is so used to juicy, primal cuts of meat. These days, chefs have trended towards creating dishes with secondaries more and more not to make more money (because they are cheaper) but because punters are taking to liking the wonderful creations that chefs come up with using bits of meat that would other wise be used for mince perhaps. The cooking methods for these secondary cuts is usually long, this is to extract as much flavour from the cut and to break down the tougher muscles. Cooking methods like braising, slow roasting, confit and these days, sous vide (where it is becoming a regular cooking method for chefs). As a result of slow cooking, I believe that it produces a tender, tastier, juicier end product.