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Traditional food on the cheap

Posted: Thu 05 May 2011 3:16 pm
by Bob Mason
My neighbour has the same attitude to traditional northern food that I have and today brought me two treats from our butcher who is trying to re-introduce folks to what was eaten in the so called bad old days. The first treat is a whole ox tongue (£2.50). OK so you have to put it in the slow cooker overnight with a bit of salt then skin it and press it but the result is well worth the effort because ox tongue was about 75p a slice in Morrison’s when I last looked and I recon to get about 45 slices out of a medium sized tongue.

The second treat was a cow heel which weighs about 3½lbs (£2). I haven’t seen or eaten one of those for at least 30 yrs so I had to wrack my brains to remember what to do with it but it is now cut up in the slow cooker with 2 lbs of brazing steak, several onions and a glass of wine. Tomorrow while I am tucking into stew meat and cowheel with a pile of buttery mash covered in that gorgeous sticky gravy, my lovely wife (a southerner from Lincolnshire) will be eating something like sweet & sour chicken or something else we hadn’t even heard of when I was a child.

My Dad, who was born long before the First World War, was brought up on food like this because his Father died when he was 8 yrs old and there was no pensions in those days so every penny earned had to go a long way. He never lost the taste for traditional food like this and when I was a child tripe, cowheel, pigs cheek, hock and all the other joints that now go into pet food was freely available so crossed our dinner table at regular intervals. Given the price of Supermarket meat and the way folks are having to cut back on the family budget, I suspect many a Granny’s cook book will have the dust blown off them and some of these old ways of using really cheap cuts of high quality protein will again grace our tables.

Are there any traditional dished in your area that you haven't seen for years that would tickle your taste buds if you saw them again?

Re: Traditional food on the cheap

Posted: Thu 05 May 2011 6:05 pm
by Andrew MacLean
Bob, I have moved this topic to non-kc chit chat.

My grandfather was a butcher and we were brought up on traditional food that was going out of fashion. The problem nowadays is that all it takes is one idiot celebrity chef on the television to start using one of my favourite ingredients and the price goes through the roof. I used to get Lamb Shanks for next to nothing, ox tongue is still cheap and I like it. I also rather like bulls gentelman's parts, but these are also increasing in price.

I have never enjoyed tripe.

Lamb's brain used to be a favourite, but since NFCJD, this has become hard to get and I don't think I would buy it now if I saw it.