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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
News
video
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Extras
indybest
News
Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has been the teaching profession's favourite teacher
education
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
sport
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
News
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sport
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Sport
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
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

    C++ Software Engineer - Hounslow, West London - C++ - to £60K +

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Visitor Experience volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...

    Telesales Manager. Paddington, London

    £45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

    Day In a Page

    Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

    Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

    The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

    Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

    Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
    German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

    Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

    Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
    BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

    BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

    The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
    Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

    Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

    Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
    How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

    Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

    Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
    Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

    Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

    Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
    10 best reed diffusers

    Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

    Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

    Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

    There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
    Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

    Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

    It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
    Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

    Screwing your way to the top?

    Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
    Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

    Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

    Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

    The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

    Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
    US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

    Meet the US Army's shooting star

    Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform