|Beef stir fry, made with super cheap meat|
The problem is that with beef, you either get cheap beef that is tough and chewy unless you cook it for a long time, or you can get super expensive meat that cooks up softly. In terms of price different, the cheap, slow cooking meat, can typically be found for 1/3 the price of the more expensive, softer, quicker cooking meat.
Fortunately, I've figured out a trick to get the most for my beef, to be able to buy the cheap meat, and serve it as I would an expensive cut of meat, in stir fries, steak salad, pepper steak, etc...
For this, I buy the cheapest type of meat I can find, the type of meat that is "for stews or pot roast" only. This includes chuck roast, brisket, silver tip roast, shank, shin, neck, and goulash beef chunks.
I then boil them in my pressure cooker in lightly salted water until fully soft. This takes anywhere between an hour and 2.5 hours, depending on the size of the meat. I check it every so often to see what it's like, and take it out when its finished. I know that its finished when the beef is able to come apart in my hands, when i try to pull off a piece. If you don't have a pressure cooker, simmer it on the stove top in a covered pot, but expect it to take at least two to three times as long.
Strain the liquid, and save it!
Let the beef cool off, then slice it, against the grain, into thin pieces. Against the grain means that if the muscle structure going in one direction, cut the meat perpendicular to that.
For beef roasts, or all large pieces of meat, I find a mandolin slicer works well for this. For goulash meat, I slice with a serrated knife.
Now use your beef as you would steak in most recipes, whether steak salad, stir fries, pepper steak, bibimbap, lo mein, etc... I haven't tried grilling meat this way, but intend on trying it at some point. Obviously your meat will take less time to cook up than it would take if you were using raw steak...
And with the liquid? That's beef broth. Use it as the base for so many different types of soup, whether tomato beef soup, Korean beef and seaweed soup, mushroom barley/buckwheat soup, etc...
I hope you enjoyed this money saving tip of the day! I love being able to have soft beef, especially in my homemade mock takeout... without needing to pay exhorbitant amounts!
What is the cheapest type of beef where you live? How often do you serve it? Are slow cooking meats cheaper where you live than faster cooking cuts? How much cheaper? Does this look like a tip you'd try out?
Linking up to Real Food Wednesday and Allergy Free Wednesday.