1. Meat should be marbled. If you’re not quite sure what that means, look for meat with little white flecks of fat through the red muscle, it brings both flavour and succulence.
  2. Unless your meat has been vacuum packed or it’s destined for the freezer, store it in the fridge with the bag removed and on a plate with a bowl on top.
  3. Avoid buying whole chickens with black marks on the underside of the legs.  They’re burns from overly dirty bedding when the chicken was alive. You can avoid it and farmers can too.
  4. Always ask for sausages encased in natural skins. They give better flavour and a much better eating experience.  Look for sausages that are slightly curved and twisted at the ends and you should be on the right path.
  5. If you’re buying a whole joints and there’s a piece you don’t like: it might be too fatty or too dark, ask for it to be trimmed off. Then make sure the butcher reweighs and prices the joint – you shouldn’t be paying for what the next customer will have in their mince.
  6. Beef should be hung! Preferably between 21-28 days.
  7. Buy a boned and rolled shoulder of lamb, it’s much easier to carve and cooks incredibly well. Still ask the butcher for the bones: cook them with the joint for awesome gravy and added depth to your meal.
  8. Avoid pork chops on the bone that have little pools of fluid in the middle or if the circular eye meat is falling away slightly. They’re indicators of pigs that were stressed pre-slaughter and won’t eat as well.
  9. Enquire about chuck steak: its awesome braising beef.
  10. Get your game on! Wild venison is in season all year round and farmed venison is available too.  Venison is very healthy and tastes really good – try it with juniper berries, port or cranberry sauce. 


Got any suggestions that should be added to the list? Comment below and I’ll add them to “10 other things you need to know about meat”!


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