Chefs share their favourite underrated cuts of meat (and how to cook them)

Skirt steak with chimichurri.
Skirt steak with chimichurri. Photo: Edwina Pickles

Discover lesser-known cuts of meat from these chefs-turned-meatmasters and up your cooking game while saving some cash.

Skirt steak

Skirt steak is often a really underrated cut of meat that no one really touches. I'd eat that every day of the week, cooked on the grill with some salt, pepper, a bit of oil … it's quite a lean cut of meat so it does need to be treated with a bit more care. Overcooking it can turn it to cardboard, but I think if you've got a moderately hot grill, four or five minutes each side will do the trick with a good 10-minute rest at the end. I'm a real sucker with some charred broccoli alongside it – keep it simple.

George Wintle, Cannings Butcher

Veal brisket

Brisket is a lean cut from the breast. It has so much flavour and so through slow, low cooking it can be used in curries, braises or soup. To slow roast a brisket, brine it overnight with a little salt and brown sugar. Then to cook it, cover it in the marinade of your choice, put a little bit of stock on the bottom of the pan to keep it juicy, cover it in baking paper and foil, and cook it for about four or five hours at about 140 degrees, and it just falls off the bone.

Jemma Whiteman, Feather and Bone

Kidneys

Kidneys are so underrated. Especially in a pie. When prepping a kidney, you'll see a little white part. Just make sure that's trimmed out. For the pie, have your chuck steak and gravy component all cooked and ready to go and just throw the kidneys in (sear them off if you want a little bit of colour – I usually do) and then just pop on your pie lid. I tend to cut them quite finely, as well, so the kidney cooks down.

Kylie Millar, Shane's Quality Butchery

Beef rendang by Tony Tan. To be used for cover story

Beef rendang made with oyster blade. Photo: Kristoffer Paulsen

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Oyster blade

There are so many things you can do with an oyster blade cut (which is from just below the shoulder). You can just roast the whole thing. I take home a whole oyster blade quite often. I would cut steaks at the thinner end and then with the thicker end, which has that heavy sinew through it, you just dice it and turn it into a braise. It's one of the most delicious cuts of meat for that, and you get two meals out of the one piece. And two very different dishes as well, so you get the best of both worlds.

Jerome Hoban, Gamekeepers

Pork collar chops

Pork collar chops are basically a chop cut from the pork neck on the bone. It's definitely one of my favourite cuts – flavoursome and cost-effective due to it being left on the bone. It's best just cooked exactly the same way you'd cook pork scotch fillet: grilled or pan-fried to around medium/medium-well (still nice and pink in the middle). I rub it with adobo (Mexican) paste and grill it over charcoal, let it rest, carve it off the bone into slices and serve it in tortillas with pineapple, chopped onion, coriander, lime and salsa for a homemade version of tacos al pastor.

Chris Watson, Meatsmith

Beef tongue

I know restaurants use tongue but I don't think it's very common at home. It can be a bit pricey but you don't have to go for wagyu – they're so highly marbled anyway. We brine ours, smoke it and then poach it. But you can skip this step altogether and simply poach the tongue in just-below-simmering water until it's tender. Peel off the outside skin, let it cool in the refrigerator so it can be sliced any way you choose, and then grill it with plenty of salt.
It can be shaved in a salad or a substantial slice for a meal. The texture is incredible.

Luke Powell, LP's Quality Meats