Meat: Doing More With Less

Pinching pennies? Cut your food costs by learning how to stretch the rich flavors of meat.
By Tabitha Alterman
February/March 2011
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Slow-cooked stews are inexpensive and full of rich, meaty flavor. 
PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO


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Slow Down. Slow cooking with low heat (in the oven or crock pot) helps concentrate flavors, and leads to deeply flavorful sauces and tender, juicy meat.

Don’t Skip the Stock. You can create delicious dishes with hearty meat flavors by using nutritious stocks and broths in place of water. And you’ll save even more cash if you make your own stocks, which will freeze beautifully.

Bring In the Grain. Grains are highly absorbent and have a toothsome texture. They’re practically begging to be combined with meats! They’ll suck up yummy juices like a sponge, and support the meaty textures you’re aiming for.

Save the Grease. Reserve the fat from cooked meats to be used in sautés and stir-fries. If you eat a healthy and moderate diet, you can afford to cook a few veggies and grains in real fat. Or use it half-and-half with vegetable oil.

Buy Whole. One straightforward way to save money on meat is to buy less-broken-down portions of it. Buy whole chickens and cut them up yourself, to end up with breasts to grill, thighs to braise, legs and wings to fry, livers to transform into pâté, and plenty of bits to cook down into stock. For larger animals, you can save big bucks by purchasing a quarter or half animal, and often the butcher will cut it up for you.

Cut Cost, Not Quality. Learn how to turn less expensive cuts of meat (short ribs, shoulders, etc.) into fabulous dishes.

Check out Flex Cooking: Flexitarian Cookbooks for more information on making meals with less meat. 








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