For the majority of people, meat is an important part of their balanced diet, as it provides lots of protein, vitamins, zinc, iron, and other nutritional benefits. Although it’s easy to go for the cheapest cuts of meat on your food shop to save money, knowing what to look for in high quality meat will help you to make the best choices and become a well informed customer. Here’s what to look for:
- When looking for high quality veal, look for a meat that’s a grayish pink with a firm texture. It should have little fat and no marbling. The bones should be soft and red.
- High quality beef is firm and a bit moist with a fresh red color. It should be well marbled with fat, but don’t judge on the colour of the fat. The beef itself should be a red colour throughout.
- Quality lamb will be a pinkish colour and firm with a small amount of marbling and fat. The colour of the fat will vary. The lighter the colour, the more tender the lamb is.
- Quality cuts of pork should have more lean meat than fat and bone. The flesh will be greyish pink and feel quite firm. It should be well marbled.
- Top quality meat is always well butchered. A skilled butcher who cares about the quality of his or her products will usually have well butchered pieces of meat on display in the shop. The meat should be smooth with no ragged edges, hacked at bits, or uneven sections. Donald Russell solely sells meat that fits these requirements.
- The colour of the meat can differ depending on which animal you’ve got it from. It should be rich, vibrant, and eye catching. Uniformity in the colour is a good indicator of quality.
- Look at the grain of the meat to get an idea for the texture of it. If the fibres of the meat are broken, loose, or uneven, this can be a sign of poor quality handling/meat.
- The best kind of meat is healthy meat. This meat has been fed it’s natural diet, and not supplemented with rubbish. It isn’t fed animal by products, is allowed free access to the outdoors, isn’t supplemented with hormones and antibiotics, is slaughtered humanely at an appropriate time, hasn’t been subjected to any other chemicals, and doesn’t contain nitrates.
Usually, the meat you find in supermarkets and grocery stores breaks a lot of these rules. Animals are usually packed into big barns with hardly any room to move. Organic meat is usually good, and meat found in health food stores. By getting the meat from a specialist source online, a farmer’s market, or directly from a farm, you can find the best cuts of meat. In some cases you can actually speak to the person who raises your meat, which can be reassuring. By asking them questions regarding whether you can look at their farm, and whether their animals have access to the outdoors, you’ll soon know what kind of meat you’re eating!