Thursday, 25 January 2007

The scrag end diet

If we’re looking seriously at one-planet living, food leaps up near the top of the agenda. Especially meat. Land which is used to feed animals could produce far more crops (except for unploughable hilly land, of which there’s a lot round here). Plus, animal farts are speeding up global warming. (There must be a way to store this methane for use as fuel...?)
Have you noticed that most meat sold today is the prime cuts? What’s happened to the ends, knuckles, tails, tongues and offal that our grandparents made do with so readily?With the thought of moving towards weaning ourselves off meat, I decided to subject my long-suffering family to a new experiment: the scrag end diet. I was talking about this recently with Derek, the butcher at Boathouse Farm, my favourite organic meat supplier. He recommended I get hold of Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management. Do you know this lady had four children, ran her house like a ship and died in 1854, aged 28? This week I asked Martin of Boathouse what were the most nutritious cuts to feed a family of six for a week for a tenner. He suggested liver…
Hm. I took home a brisket of beef (which I stewed, fatty and thick, with root vegetables and lashings of mash), some chicken carcasses, which I boiled down for stock for two soups, and some sausages which turned into Toad in the Hole with a massive winter salad. Results! No leftovers. Next week, liver..?

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