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This is Eamon Martin's expert opinion on the Irish meat trade, and this page concentrates on getting the best deal at your local butcher's shop:

"So you are standing at the butcher meat counter or display cabinet and can't make up your mind what steak to choose? That's understandable as only a professional butcher or chef can know the answer. In the old days you had no problem as every area had its own butcher shop [or in the country a stall] and was manned by the owner with qualified sales people. How different it is today with just the owner in a shop and a shelf packer doubling up as a meat -hand - outer. Firstly you have to devise the method of cooking you are going to use, not the time to cook. Then consider your budget and the family member [apart from yourself] who will appreciate your creative cooking effort.

So what meat to cook? Remember all beef steak is suitable for cooking in so many ways; it's just your skill in selecting the right one to satisfy all. Choosing steak for frying or grilling still causes great mystery and grief. If it does not satisfy, you may study my advice since I know I can help. Lets discuss Sirloin. Let's imagine the name Sirloin a family name and in this group are the following steaks, from tenderness down to flavour and firmness. Fillet steak, suitable for grilling, barbeque or super quick stir fry. Rib-Eye [part of the centre rib, as in lamb cutlets] This is my favourite steak as it gives both tenderness, and flavour every time. Tee- Bone Steak comprises the fillet steak and the Strip Loin and both are sold separately. Tee-Bone in Ireland is usually sold far too thin [just to keep the unit cost down]. It should be cut thick and always grilled but with the right skill and pan a thin one can be cooked, but why should you waste your money on bone when you can buy two strip loin for virtually the same cost as one Tee-Bone? Now we come for the best value for money steak. The Rump steak is the wide part of the family of Sirloin. Again its usually cut far too thin for what is meant to be; a tender satisfying big steak-meal (dare I say it a real man's dinner!). Always buy it thick for grilling and self-cut to size before cooking. Let's talk about quality - costs cooking pre seasoning, export standards and local sold steaks in butcher shops but only if you think it's worth it.

Finally, remember 'all good things are cheap,all bad things are dear.' " For details of Eamon see the previous page.. All material on this page Eamon Martin 2010-. If you want to contact him, please conplete our Form and we will forward it.



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