Our best budget meat recipes: how to cook with cheaper cuts

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Our best budget meat recipes: how to cook with cheaper cuts

Cheaper cuts of meat are often overlooked, but with these easy recipes you’ll be enjoying hearty stews, meaty pies and more, for a fraction of the cost.

Beef knuckle

Beef knuckle is quite a lean cut, but it works very well in stews. It’s spectacular in Abigail Donnelly’s beef knuckle stew with fresh horseradish. Can’t get your hands on fresh horseradish right now? The unctuous stew will be quite all right without it! Serve with fresh bread and butter.

Get the recipe for beef knuckle stew.

Beef shin

This cut comes from a hard-working muscle and has plenty of fibres. But when you cook it slowly, they break down into wonderful tender meat, and help thicken any sauce it cooks in. We love it in a slow-cooked ragu, like this one, for this reason. Alternatively, try it in a beef-and-beer pie. (Stock up on non-alcoholic beer if you’ve run out of the real stuff!)

Beef brisket

You’ll need to cook this cut slowly to break down the connective tissue, but you’ll be greatly rewarded for doing so! Try Abigail’s slow-roasted brisket with barley – the grains soak up all that glorious flavour and help to bulk up the dish.

Slow-roasted brisket

Get the recipe for slow-roasted brisket.

Lamb knuckles

Lamb knuckles are a comparatively affordable way to enjoy lamb. They work beautifully when cooked low and slow in stews, like in this glorious version with peas, mint and lemon. It’s simple, but the flavours of the herbs with the lemon is so, so good! Get the recipe for lamb knuckle stew. Lamb knuckles are also great in curry, where the longer cooking time gives the meat time to break down.

Lamb curry recipe

Get the recipe for lamb curry.

Lamb neck

Lamb neck is a rich, marbled meat which, when cooked low and slow, becomes beautifully tender. It’s the perfect cut for a potjie. Try it in Siba Mtongana’s genius lamb neck potjie recipe.

Get the lamb neck potjie recipe.

Pork neck

This is a rich cut, with plenty of fat. Abigail serves it with a lemony, garlicky gremolata to cut through the richness.

Lemon-braised pork neck

Get the lemon-braised pork neck recipe.

Pork belly

Pork belly has grown in popularity in recent years, as people discover the benefits of this once avoided cut. Thanks to its many layers of fat, it’s an easy option for roasting, that’s unlikely to dry out – even if you mess up the recipe! Try it with roasted pears.


Get the Italian-style pork belly with pears recipe.

Pork shoulder

Also known as Boston butt, this cut works very well for pulled pork. Try Hannah Lewry’s pulled pork recipe, served on ciabatta rolls with pickles.

Pulled pork

Get the recipe for pulled pork.

TASTE Article by: TASTE

The TASTE team is a happy bunch of keen cooks and writers, always on the look out for the next food trend or the next piece of cake.

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