One of the few down sides to eating a low-carb diet is that it tends to be expensive. It’s no wonder carbohydrates form the bulk of most diets around the world, for the simple fact that they’re cheap.
So for a low-carb diet to be not only affordable but sustainable too, we need to think outside the box when it comes to our meal choices, and in particular our protein sources. If everyone who ventured into the LCHF world ate chicken breasts and fillet steak it wouldn’t be very sustainable at all, so we all need to come up with ways to try and use all cuts of meats so there is less waste, and to make it more affordable to the average Joe.
Pop in to your butchery counter at your local supermarket and have a chat about the cheaper cuts available. Or better yet, make friends with your local independent butcher. Chances are they have a better relationship with local farmers, and can you give you a better insight into the quality of meat you’re buying and the conditions in which they have been reared, they may even know of some grass-fed sources.
Be on the look out for more reasonable cuts, that might need that little bit more time and consideration put into preparing them. The tougher cuts and meat with the bone on tend to be cheaper. But that doesn’t mean we should turn our noses up at them. Slow cooking and stewing can work wonders on just about anything. Plus the minerals and healthy marrow that comes from cooking meat still on the bone is a fantastic part of your diet, as well as easy on your pocket.
Here’s my favorite way to prepare beef shins. The meat is so melt-in-your-mouth tender and the marrow gives it such a rich creaminess to the whole dish, it’s by far one of my favorites.
Beef Shin Stew
1kg beef shins
1 Tbl butter & dash of olive oil
100g streaky bacon
1 celery rib
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 tsp allspice powder (or 4-6 berries)
2 tsp thyme (dry or fresh, whatever is available)
1 bottle of beer (I use Amstel)
250ml beef stock (ideally homemade)
2 tsp Dijon or English mustard
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper
– Preheat your oven to 160C
– In a large, heavy-based frying pan heat some butter and olive oil and start by browning the shins.
– Using scissors, snip in slithers of the streaky bacon into the pan.
– Roughly chop the onions, carrot, celery and garlic.
– Once the shins are browned well on both sides, season liberally with salt and pepper and transfer to a large casserole or roasting tray along with all the chopped veg. Pour the beer into the pan to deglaze it, and to cook off a bit of the alcohol.
– In your casserole dish arrange the shins and cooked bacon and pour over the stock and beer. Tossing in the bay leaves, allspice, mustard and thyme.
Any lager will do, and remember it’s just for the cooking broth and the alcohol will cook out and the rest will remain in the pot after cooking.
– Cover tightly with tinfoil or a casserole lid and bake in the oven for 3-4 hours at 160C.
– Serve on a bed of cauli mash or gem squash. Or add other additional veg straight into the casserole when there’s 45 minutes left of cooking time, such as baby marrows, brocolli etc. Make sure to scoop out the all-important marrow that may be left behind in the centre of the bones to add to your stew.