How to shop for meat at your local butchers

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Fed up of all these supermarket meat scandals? Here's how to go back to counter shopping at your local butchers.

Bacon wrapped kangaroo steaks recipe

© The Exotic Meat Cookbook: From Antelope to Zebra

From the horse meat scandal to that time someone found cat meat in a London takeaway, buying meat has become an issue.

But if you don't fancy going veggie, the key is to avoid processed meats or food that you can not identify it's source. So could it be time to step away from the supermarket & head back to the high street?

We spoke to Dr Carrie Ruxton, dietitian and member of the Meat Advisory Panel (MAP) to ask her tips for shopping at the butchers...

What to look for

When selecting red meat, it is important that the meat is lean with most visible fat removed.

The healthiest ways to cook red meat include grilling, oven baking and stewing but avoid burning it. Keep processed meats, such as bacon, ham and pies, for occasional treats as they can be high in salt or fat. Also the nutrient content won't be as high as for lean red meat.

Tips for going to the butcher

It's all too easy to go to the supermarket to buy your meat. However, going to the butcher is a much better way to know exactly what you are eating.

Tip 1 – Don't be afraid to ask!
Going to the butcher is a great way to learn about different types of meat, where it comes from, the cuts available and even to get cooking tips.

Butchers have a lot of patience so don't be afraid to ask for help as they will be more than happy to share their knowledge and help you get the most for your money.

Tip 2 – How Much To Buy?
It's important to know how much meat you want before ordering. With chops and sausages, it's easy, but with other meat cuts you'll need to order by weight.

Start by estimating around 100g per person as meat loses its natural water content when you cook it. But don't fear, if you tell the butcher how many people you are cooking for they'll help you decide on the right amount.

Tip 3 – Ask for leaner cuts
Always choose lean red meat. Your butcher will be more than happy to help by selecting leaner cuts, and cutting off excess fat where necessary.

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