With all those rows of delicious-looking natural meat at your local organic meat suppliers, how do you decide exactly what to buy?
Even with the help of your butcher, it can be difficult to determine the quality of a particular piece of meat.
Luckily, there are a few easy cues you can look out for next time you go shopping for that summer barbecue, so you can make sure you’re choosing only the best quality meat.
The colour of the meat is perhaps the first thing you judge when eyeing up a piece of organic beef or lamb.
Obviously it has to be a nice red colour, but make sure it’s the right shade – you don’t want meat that is a deep red.
Instead, go for meat that is a bright, light red, and definitely stay away from anything with a gray or brown hue.
Fat is an important component of any meat, playing a significant role in its flavour and cooking procedure.
You can tell a meat is quality if it has plenty of marbling – small, white flecks of fat dotted throughout the meat, which will imbue it with flavour as you cook it.
Check the colour of the fat too. It should be a healthy, creamy white instead of gray or yellow.
Don’t be shy – ask your butcher if you can have a quick sniff of the meat!
After all, it is fully within your rights to make sure you are getting what you pay for.
Make sure the meat smells nice and fresh. If in doubt, check other pieces from the same cut to make sure they all smell consistent.
After you’ve had a good whiff, don’t be afraid to get hands on with the meat.
Give it a good press to judge its texture – it should be nice and firm, neither too hard nor too soft.