During the long, and theoretically hot, summer months, we all like to turn to al fresco eating. Something quick and easy over the barbecue, or cold items for a picnic. When we aren’t in holiday mode, we still like to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible with fresh light tastes for the table. Burgers and sausages aside, when it comes to choosing which meat to cook we can be fairly set in ways. Everyone knows that if you want quick cook meat then steak and chicken breast are the way to go. Right?
Well, yes and no. They can both be grilled or pan fried in a matter of minutes, and the boneless aspect means that they can be sliced to go further, but an endless procession of steak fajitas and chicken stir fry can get pretty boring. There are several other cuts that will perform as quickly, and with as much versatility as chicken breast and steak.
Raw beef ham
A Scottish thing, raw beef ham is cut from topside of beef, to the thickness of bacon. Similar to a minute steak it will cook in minutes and can be used in lots of different ways.
- Pan-fry for about a minute on each side and pile into soft white bread with lots of fried onions.
- Slice thinly, and fry in a hot pan with mushrooms. Add fresh garlic, parsley and double cream for a decadent stroganoff style sauce.
- Slice thinly and drop into boiling Asian style soup.
You can buy our raw beef ham online; cut from topside of dry aged Scotch beef it is full of flavour and is an excellent idea for a meal in minutes.
Lamb chump chop
Chump chops are the boneless version of lamb leg steaks and can be dealt with in exactly the same way as steak. Cooked and served whole, they are great just plain with chips or mash, spiced up with a dry rub or draped with a sauce. Again cooked whole, as meat cooks far better of a piece, then thinly sliced, they will stretch a little further and allow a little room for creativity. Try some of our ideas…
- Season with ground cumin and ground coriander then pan fry for about 4 minutes on each side. Rest for a few minutes. Spread hummus over a serving platter, and sprinkle with sliced red onion, olives and gherkins. Slice the lamb and scatter over the top. Dress with fresh parsley and toasted pine-nuts before serving with a salad and plenty of warm pita bread.
- Barbecue whole chump chops and serve with a sharp Chimichurri style dressing. Simply mix three parts oil with one part vinegar and add lots of chopped fresh herbs (mint, parsley, coriander are all good), crushed garlic, chopped chilli, salt and pepper. Mix it up with chopped capers, olives, onion. Use your imagination, once you have the general idea then anything goes.
- Sling the chump chops in the oven with a splash of oil and a pinch of salt. Cook at 180C for about half an hour until really well done and the fat is crisp. Serve in bread buns with a slather of mint jelly. Kids love these. Us too…
You can buy our lamb chump chops online; cut from only the best Scotch lamb they are a great addition to your kitchen arsenal.
Pork loin steak
Another often overlooked boneless option that makes for some versatile cooking, pork loin steak is a really good cut for stretching out, as well as being a great alternative to the more usual steak. One of our favourites is a porcine take on the classic steak Diane. One of the first recipes we ever wrote, it has been a family favourite for decades and now we want to share it with you lovely people. It is an excellent meal for an occasion, yet really easy to prepare.
- Pan fry the loin steaks over a medium heat for about 5 to 7 minutes on either side. Pork doesn’t like to be undercooked, but it gets dry easily too. Once cooked, remove the steaks and leave aside to rest whilst you make the sauce in the same pan. Add a handful of thinly sliced button mushrooms, stir for minute or so until soft, and then add 2 tablespoons of Cointreau or other orange liqueur to the hot pan and set alight with a flame. Don’t be afraid of it, it will burn itself out quickly. Add double cream, season with salt and pepper, and pour over the pork to serve.
- Another idea for pork loin, stretches it out to go a little further. Cook in the same way as above and slice thinly after resting. Fry peppers and onions with a touch of fresh garlic and chilli until soft and slightly browned. Add a tablespoon of paprika, stir and cook for about 30 seconds only (paprika burns easily) before adding a tin of chopped tomatoes. Simmer for about 20 minutes to reduce and then tip in the sliced pork. Add a spoonful of soured cream and a few tablespoons chopped parsley to serve. You can make this dish thicker by cooking for a little longer, or thinner by giving it less. It is great served thick, piled into tacos or wraps; spoon the thinner version over rice or even mash. You could leave out the chilli if you wish.
You can buy our pork loin steaks online; cut from prime Scotch pork, they are economical and great for a quick supper.
We hope that this article shows you that there are several boneless options to choose from when it comes to getting a meal on the table fast. Venison is another great option, but we will revisit that when the nights begin to draw in during autumn and the game season starts.
Don't forget that great meat cookery begins with the right seasoning; find out how in our article.