Inflation, cuts of meat, and cooking methods
We continue to expand our garden and garden preserving methods. However, we will never be raising our own meat animals, nor will we become vegetarians.
I'm sure some of you are in a similar position.
Given the significant food inflation we are already seeing, I have begun exploring ways to make meat dishes cheaper. I've just ordered a pressure cooker, and bought a couple of inexpensive pressure cooker recipe books at the local library book sale.
One of the benefits that slow cooker and pressure cooker books have always touted is that they let you tenderize tougher cuts of meat, which are supposedly cheaper.
Here's the"meat" of this post: looking at prices at my local grocery store doesn't show a clear pattern of the more muscular, less tender cuts being cheaper. Is this true in your own stores?
Here are a few recent examples.
- beef chuck boneless shoulder roast $4/lb
- beef boneless shoulder steak $4.30/lb
- beef shoulder London broil steak $4.50/lb
- Angus beef sirloin tip roast $5/lb
- boneless stewing beef $5/lb
- whole beef top round $5.50/lb
- beef bottom round pot roast $6/lb
- flat cut beef brisket $13/lb
The exact prices aren't important. They change frequently and will different across regions and countries. It's the pattern that has me puzzled.
Cookbooks describe brisket as though it were a cheaper, tougher cut that needs long, slow cooking or pressure cooking to tenderize it. But it's one of the most expensive meats in my grocery store.
Angus beef sirloin steak is the same price as stewing beef. Isn't stewing beef supposed to be made from cheaper cuts than sirloin or London broil?
One other thing comes through clearly. Pig meats are much cheaper than beef, almost regardless of the cut chosen. A wide range of pork meats are available for $2/lb or less. Maybe this is because there is little waste when processing pugs, "everything but the squeal" is used?
These prices are for conventional grocery store meat. Organic would be higher, if available at all.
What are you seeing in terms of meat prices, and how do you select affordable cuts to purchase?
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