Cheap proteins #5: Less-popular cuts
If you’re trying to find cheap proteins, you’ll need to step away from the rib eyes and tenderloins and train your eyes on cheaper cuts that will take to a slow braise. Chef and TV personality Andrew Zimmern said he visits local Latin and Asian markets to find pork shanks, oxtails and lamb necks. “They’re a readily available option and they’re frequently on sale at those markets,” he said.
Polisei is also a pork shank fan: “Not only do I love to cook them, but when I see them on a menu, I’m almost always going to order them,” he said. “Perfectly cooked pork shank is the most comforting food there is.”
Curtis Stone, chef and owner of Maude and Gwen Butcher Shop and Restaurant in Los Angeles, said beef chuck or pork shoulder are good options. “They’re basically the same cuts from different animals,” he said. “Tougher cuts like these need more time to cook, so they make great weekend cooking projects that will fill your home with gorgeous aromas. Just remember that ‘low and slow’ are the keys to tenderness.”
Warren Seta, chef and co-owner of Minneapolis’ Ono Hawaiian Plates, grew up in Hawaii, where pork was cheap and readily available, and he’s still a fan of pork butt shoulder.
“In Hawaiian-style applications, we use some aggressive seasonings like Hawaiian sea salt, vinegar, shoyu and patis, which is Filipino fish sauce,” Seta said. “To enhance tenderness in my pork teriyaki recipe, I semi-freeze the meat and slice it as thin as I can, then add pureed kiwi fruit to my teriyaki marinade. The kiwi’s enzymes act as a natural meat tenderizer.”
Chef Bishara Sahoury, director of culinary at Saint Paul Brewing and Can Can Wonderland, both in St. Paul, Minnesota, suggested looking for what he called “butcher’s cuts” like chuck eye, also known as Delmonico. Most stores that cut their own steaks will have it, and you can usually find it near the rib eyes.
Rest of the article on Huff Post.