Not a bad bone: Mark Hix cooks with cutlets and ribs - Features - Food + Drink - The Independent

Not a bad bone: Mark Hix cooks with cutlets and ribs

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

If you ignore cutlets and ribs, you'll risk missing out on some delicious and easy meals, says our chef.

Now is the moment to get thrifty – and there's no need to be ashamed about it. Buying meat on the bone can be very economical and some of those cheaper cuts that tend to end up in the stock pot or the dog bowl should actually be landing on our plates.

Modern butchers often disregard really tasty, cheap cuts, but with families looking for good-value meat, British butchers should be a bit more forward thinking, like their continental counterparts, and make good use of secondary cuts such as bellies, ribs and skirts.

Veal cutlets with Treviso

Serves 4

There are some great veal producers now in the UK so we should all be eating more British veal instead of buying the bland white stuff imported from Holland.

Treviso is a member of the radicchio and endive family and looks a bit like a long red chicory and can be bought from good greengrocers. If you can't find it, radicchio will work equally as well.

4 veal cutlets weighing about 250-300g each
2 heads of Treviso
1tsp chopped fresh thyme or oregano leaves
4-5tbsp olive oil
1tbsp vincotto or balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Quarter the Treviso, remove the root and separate the leaves.

Preheat a ribbed griddle pan. Season and lightly oil the cutlets and grill for 4-5 minutes on each side until just pink.

Meanwhile, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan, add the Treviso leaves and thyme, season and cook on a low heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the leaves soften. Add a couple of tablespoons of water if the leaves begin to colour. Add the balsamic vinegar, stir well, then remove from the heat.

To serve, put the cutlets on warmed plates and spoon the Treviso and pan juices over.

Beef ribs

Serves 4-6

It always amazes me how these tasty ribs, which come from above your Sunday roast cut, often just get trimmed and minced – or even simply thrown in the bin.

Ask your butcher for beef ribs that are cut above the rib with the pieces of meat between each bone or, better still, get the ribs they bone out to produce rib-eye steaks.

I'm all for easy barbecue marinades and sometimes throwing some larder ingredients together quite randomly gets you better results than following a long-winded recipe. My rules are just to include ketchup, HP Sauce, Worcestershire sauce, something sweet like honey and a few spices like cumin, chilli or Five Spice.

Really, it's all about getting the ribs sticky and the flavour penetrating into the slow-cooked meat, so as far as I'm concerned you can use whatever your preference is for marinades. Just make sure you add a little water to the pan every so often to compensate for the juices evaporating and to ensure the ribs don't burn.

1.2-1.5kg beef short ribs, cut to about 6-7cm long
6-7tbsp tomato ketchup
6-7tbsp HP Sauce
1tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2tbsp soy sauce
1tsp Chinese Five Spice (optional)
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
100g fresh root ginger, scraped and finely grated
100ml orange juice

Put the beef ribs into a non-reactive tray, mix all of the rest of the ingredients together and pour the marinade over. Cover with clingfilm and leave in the fridge for at least 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 175C/gas mark 4. Transfer the ribs to a roasting or baking tray and cook for 2 hours, basting and turning them every so often. You may need to add a little water if the marinade dries up.

Serve with a salad, coleslaw and maybe some potato wedges cooked in the oven.

Slow-cooked lamb breast ribs

Serves 4

These are the ribs that are attached to the breast bone. They make excellent little snacks to nibble on if you cut through the bones, or you can serve them as slabs like this. Also they are – or should be – extremely cheap and can be perfect for the kids to munch on.

1-1.5kg lamb breast ribs, cut into 5 bone pieces
1 whole bulb of garlic, roughly chopped
A handful of rosemary, roughly chopped
2tbsp vegetable or corn oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 5. Put the ribs in a roasting pan with all of the other ingredients and season. Bake for about an hour in the oven until very tender, basting regularly as they are cooking. Cover with foil if they are beginning to colour too much.

Serve with coleslaw or a simple vegetable salad. You could also try accompanying them with the green sauce recipe that I wrote about in these pages a few weeks ago, using wild garlic, mint, parsley and basil.

Pork knuckles cooked in cider with Tewkesbury mustard

Serves 4

Cooking pork or ham in cider imparts it with a flavour that is both delicious and subtle. What's more, the cooking liquor makes a fantastic sauce.

I recently got sent some mini pork knuckles from Donald Russell, which are perfect one-portion cuts for this dish – otherwise you could use larger pork knuckles and cut them once cooked.

4 mini pork knuckles or 2 larger ones
500ml medium cider
500ml chicken stock
1 bay leaf
10 peppercorns
A few sprigs of thyme
1 large onion, peeled and halved

For the sauce

2 large shallots, peeled, halved and finely chopped
1tbsp Tewkesbury mustard
150ml double cream
1-2tbsp chopped parsley

Put the pork knuckles in a saucepan with the cider, chicken stock, bay leaf, peppercorns, thyme and onion. If the cider and stock isn't sufficient to cover the pork well, add some cold water too.

Bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 1-1½ hours, skimming every so often, or until the meat is just coming away from the bone.

Strain about 250-300ml of the pork cooking liquid into a small saucepan; cover the pan to keep the pork hot. Simmer the stock with the shallots until it's reduced by about half, then add the mustard and continue simmering until it reduces to a couple of tablespoons. Next, add the cream and simmer until it's reduced by about two-thirds and thickened; now add the parsley, simmer for a minute, season to taste and remove from the heat.

To serve, remove the pork knuckles from the pan, dry on some kitchen paper and place on warmed serving plates, then pour the sauce over.

Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape
music
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
filmMatt Damon in talks to return
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Life and Style
Bono and Apple CEO Tim Cook announced U2's surprise new album at the iPhone 6 launch
tech(but you can't escape: Bono is always on your iPhone)
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig is believed to be donning skies as 007 for the first time
Arts and Entertainment
Fringe show: 'Cilla', with Sheridan Smith in the title role and Aneurin Barnard as her future husband Bobby Willis
tvEllen E Jones on ITV's 'Cilla'
News
i100
Sport
Tim Wiese
sport
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week