Words by: The Chef Photographs by: The Nutrition Guru
As Australians, we love our meat. Not only do we eat a lot of it as a nation, but we also produce a lot of fine quality meat of which we export overseas.
Unfortunately, Australians tend to shy away from cheaper (or secondary) cuts such as blade, oyster, and chuck. I think it has a lot to do with the rise of well known cooking shows, top notch restaurants and celebrity chefs who always like to use the expensive prime cuts such as scotch fillet, rib eye or rump.
But the everyday cook at home, doesn’t have to use these fancy cuts as they are not necessarily ‘the best’, nor superior. You can create a delicious meal at home using a secondary cut.
The trick is all in the way in which you cook it.
Cook them at a lower heat for a longer time. The result – a succulent, juicy, flavoursome piece of meat.
I also like using secondary cuts as an ethical decision, out of respect for the animal. I don’t like to see any part go to waste so using these cuts ensures that the whole animal is being utilised.
Bonnie Beef – A local beef farm.
When we read a story by local beef farmers ‘Bonnie Beef’ about chef’s often not wanting to use secondary cuts of meat, we contacted them and asked if we could try their product. Bonnie Beef are a family owned and operated business producing humanely cared for beef. The welfare of their animals is paramount and they travel Queensland supplying their beef at farmers markets, where you can talk directly to them about their products and all aspects of their farm, a wonderful way to get in touch with the food you are eating. Their beef is all grass fed, which really is hard to come by now. The Nutrition Guru and I always shake our head in annoyance when we read ‘grain fed angus rump’ on the menu at restaurants and how this has become such a ‘swanky’ term, with the hospitality industry obviously not recognising the link between ‘grain fed’ and the fact that animals raised on this feed are not allowed to wander on grass. You can read more about Bonnie Beef here
With the wagyu chuck steak (a secondary cut,) from Bonnie Beef, I cooked a Beef bourguignon, and I am pleased to say that it was a delight.
The most amazing thing about their meat was the flavour, it was exactly what beef should taste like – beefy!
It was strong, grassy and earthy
The Nutrition Guru kept saying ‘it actually tastes like beef’ which may sound like a strange expression, but let me tell you Bonnie Beef is far superior to any bland beef you all too often find in the supermarket. The Nutrition Guru even refuses now to buy supermarket or ‘cardboard beef’ as she now calls it.
Bonnie Beef has converted the both of us, and from now on we look forward to heading to see them at Noosa Farmers Market for our supply of delicious local meat. If you live in the area, be sure to have a chat with them. If you don’t, be sure to start looking around for local grass fed beef in your region.
Recipe Beef Bourguignon
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 1 hour 45 mins
3 tbsp olive oil
2 onions chopped finely
1 carrot chopped
1 stick celery chopped
1 head garlic, chopped
1/2 cup plain flour (or rice flour for gluten free option)
300ml red wine (optional)
300 ml water
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp pepper
50ml soy sauce
30ml (2 tbsp) Worcestershire sauce
2 cups button mushrooms or sliced field mushrooms
1 bunch thyme
Sautee onions, garlic, carrot and celery in olive oil on medium heat until light brown.
Cut the meat into cubes.
Lightly dust the meat with the flour (you will probably not need 1/2 cup).
Remove the onions, garlic, carrot and celery from the pan and set aside.
Cook the meat in the pan until golden brown.
When meat is golden, return the onions, garlic, carrot and celery back into the pan with the meat.
Add the vegemite, red wine, tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, soy and Worcestershire sauce.
Bring to the boil then reduce heat to a very low simmer – bubbles should break the surface only very slowly.
Cook for 1 hour 45 minutes, until meat is succulent and tender.
Add button mushrooms in the final 30 minutes of cooking
Add thyme in final 5 minutes of cooking.
Add frozen peas in the last 2 minutes of cooking.
Add 3 cups of cooked lentils, kidney beans or other legumes/pulses.
Add cubed pumpkin in the last 30 minutes of cooking.
Meat for the recipe was supplied by Bonnie Beef, however our opinions are our own.