As the cost-of-living crisis looks set to continue into autumn and winter, Make It Scotch has been highlighting pork as the savvy shoppers’ choice at mealtimes as consumers seek affordable food switches.
The latest data from Kantar on behalf of Quality Meat Scotland – which is responsible for the Make It Scotch brand – showed that the cost of pork per kg (£4.96) in the UK is lower than chicken (£5.04) and fish (£13.51 ).
Budget-friendly cuts that don’t compromise on nutrition include lean pork chops, which cost around £5.14 per kg and boast 31.6g protein per 100g, and around 6g fat for a 3oz serving, said Make It Scotch.
It has shared a tasty and affordable budget-friendly pork dishes to try at home – and we’ve also added recipes for those who prefer beef and lamb to the mix. Why not have one of each over the coming weeks!
Slow cooked specially Selected Pork chilli
Serves: 4 to 6
Prep time: 10 mins, plus standing
Cooking time: 3 hours 40 mins
• 1kg boneless Specially Selected Pork shoulder
• 7 tsp chilli seasoning mix
• 1 tbsp Scottish rapeseed oil
• 1 large onion, roughly diced
• 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
• 500g passata
• 1 tbsp clear honey
• 400g can of kidney beans, drained
• 325g can of sweetcorn, drained
• Untie the pork, remove all the skin and as much of the visible fat as possible (or you can ask your local butcher to do this for you). Wash and pat dry. Season lightly with salt and pepper then rub the chilli seasoning all over. You can make your own seasoning for this recipe by combining 1 to 1½ tsp dried chilli flakes with 1tbsp ground cumin, 1½ tsp each ground coriander and ground cinnamon, and a little salt and pepper. Alternatively, use 7tsp ready-made chilli, or taco seasoning mix. Leave to stand for 20 mins at room temperature before cooking.
• Meanwhile, preheat a slow cooker to ‘High’ and heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the onion and garlic for 5 mins.
• Pour the passata into the frying pan, add the honey and heat until just beginning to boil.
• Place the pork in the slow cooker and pour the hot passata sauce over the top.
• Cover the slow cooker top with a layer of foil shiny side down (for maximum heat retention) and then place the slow cooker lid on top. Cook on High for 3½ hours (or reduce to ‘Low’ and cook for about 7 hours) until tender and falling apart.
• Remove the pork from the sauce and put on a plate. Cover loosely with foil and leave to stand for 10 mins.
• Skim away any fat from the passata sauce and pour into a saucepan. Stir in the beans and sweetcorn. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes until thoroughly heated. Cover and keep warm.
• To serve, using two forks, pull the pork apart, discarding any fat, and shred into chunky pieces. Pile into warm serving bowls and spoon over the bean and corn sauce. Serve the pork with sweet potato wedges, slaw-style salad and pea guacamole.
• For a crunchy slaw-style salad, mix shredded red cabbage with grated carrot and chopped spring onion, then toss in a dressing made from white wine vinegar and seasoning, sweetened with a little honey.
• For the guacamole, cook and cool 200g frozen peas (190g cooked weight), then pop in a blender with 50g reduced fat soft cheese with garlic and herbs, two trimmed and chopped spring onions (24g), 5g fresh coriander and the juice of one lime (10g). Blitz until smooth.
• You can cook this recipe in a conventional oven if preferred. Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan oven/Gas 3. Follow the recipe but place everything in a deep-lidded casserole dish rather than the slow cooker and pour in 300ml water. Cover the top with foil, then the lid and bake for about 3½-4 hours until tender. Stand, covered, for 10 minutes before pulling aside to serve.
Italian-style Scotch Beef Ragu
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 60 mins
• 450g lean diced Scotch Beef, cut further into 1cm chunks
• 1 x large onion, finely chopped
• 2 x cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
• 2 x sticks celery, washed and chopped
• 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
• 1 x low salt beef stock cube
• 60g tomato puree
• 2 tsp green pesto
• 10ml Worcestershire sauce
• 250ml boiling water
• 30ml Scottish rapeseed oil
• Sea salt and black pepper
• In a large frying pan, or wok, sauté the diced beef and the onions in the oil until lightly browned
• Add the garlic, celery, tinned tomato, tomato puree, pesto, Worcestershire sauce.
• Add the boiling water to the pan and crumble over the stock cube
• Season with salt and black pepper
• Bring to the boil
• Stir well, cover and simmer for 60 minutes, stirring occasionally
• Serve with your favorite pasta and top with grated parmesan cheese
Scotch Lamb flatbreads with rocket, pomegranate and salsa verde
Prep time: 45 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
• Leftover roast Scotch Lamb (or if you don’t have leftovers, just use a small Scotch Lamb leg steak, or fillet, seasoned well, seared to pink and cut into slices)
• Flatbreads (you can use any type: homemade, soft flour tortillas, chapatis, or paratha)
• Rocket leaves
• Extra virgin olive oil
• Fresh lemon juice
• Pomegranate seeds
• Salsa Verde
• Small skewers
For the salsa verde
• 30g parsley
• 30g mint
• 30g basil
• 1 tbsp small capers (well washed if they are brined)
• Zest of one unwaxed lemon
• 1 clove garlic
• 2-3 anchovy fillets (optional)
• 50ml extra virgin olive oil
• Pinch of sea salt to taste
• Combine all of the salsa verde ingredients and blitz in a food processor or with a stick blender. If you don’t like anchovies, just leave them out.
For home-made flatbreads
• 300g plain flour, plus extra for rolling
• Large pinch of sea salt
• 50g of olive oil
• 185ml or milk
• Sunflower or rapeseed oil for cooking
• Combine all and mix until it forms a dough.
• Once the dough has come together you should be able to work it with your hands without it being too sticky. If it sticks add more flour, a small handful at a time.
• Knead briefly, wrap in cling film, and let it rest for 30 mins at room temperature.
• Once prepared the dough will keep like this for up to three days in the fridge.
• Once chilled, cut the dough into eight pieces and roll each into an oval shape.
• In a heavy skillet, or frying pan, heat a teaspoon of oil and griddle the flatbreads until they’re golden, puffed, and slightly charred on each side. Don’t over crowd the pan, do just one or two at a time.
• Set aside the cooked flatbreads on a lightly moistened, tea towel. This will keep them warm and flexible for wrapping the lamb.
• Dress the rocket in olive oil and lemon juice and season with a little sea salt, to your taste.
• Assemble your flatbreads by adding the rocket, lamb, pomegranate seeds and salsa verde to the flatbread pocket and secure with a small skewer.