Sunday, 1 July 2012

'think outside the box..' campaign post #1

More and more meat purveyors are relying on boxed meat. Now why is this? It's because every carcass only has a certain amount of rib eye, a certain amount of fillet and sirloin? So for instance if you want a 3 bone rib of beef you can't use the same piece for rib eye steaks. So most butchers top up their carcass meat with boxed beef (shock horror - some don't even get beef in). Boxed beef is cut by giant meat plants that then distribute the loin and rib, or packed fillets, or whole a butcher's butcher. 
Okay, so why not get in extra carcasses? Because the amount of trim/excess fat/gristle/bone would be enormous. The bain of the butcher - waste. However I want to suggest that it is do-able. It has to be. So how do we get around this problem? Right, as the consumer we have to start eating other parts of the beef, is has to be cost effective. And if you know how to cook it - I can assure you - you won't want  fillet ever again.



  1. I worked for a butcher once I wont mention there name.
    they used carcass beef always...whole pigs whole lambs for-quarters hind quarters the lot. premium scotch beef they sold till one day day they got a flyer from a boxed meat specialist..then all of a sudden the carcass beef stopped the whole pigs stopped apart from the obvious cuts from the market..loins neck ends belly`s...and the only bought hind quarters of lamb..or only 5 whole lamb per really took the butchering out of being a butcher..

  2. Carcass balance and waste are the bane of my life. I only deal with pork, which is far easier than whole beef carcasses. However, I'd never turn to boxed meat. I buy direct from the breeder, I know what the pedigree of the animal is, its welfare conditions and its feed regime. How do you get any consistency of product buying boxed items?

  3. I think the worst thing about boxed meat is that some of my competitors around here in the country are selling it and passing it off as "local" produce. I do understand their predicament but this is a massive crime in my view. Even restaurants who buy from these guys know it goes on and now switch their twee menu info to "locally sourced". Somehow their conscience can handle this and they hope their customers don't ask too many questions - if they do they fib - I know because I have asked them! It pisses me off because I sell beef direct from the farm and only deal with whole carcasses - I wouldn't dream of selling boxed meat. My problem is not with the shifting of fore-quarter meat; chuck, brisket, shin etc (this gets made into pies which sell very well!) but persuading people to buy silverside for example (I now make bresaola out of this!). I'm afraid at best it's an inferior roasting joint and you can only really pot roast it and even then its just "ok". If anybody out there has a tip for what else to do with it I'm all ears!?!