Jan 20
by Doug Piper

Low & Slow

Who loves a “Low and Slow” smoke up over the weekend? I know I do and so do many of you and your customers. All proteins have a place in “low and slow” smoking, even the vegetarians get into it by smoking a cauliflower “roast”, I tried it …once. This summer your customers are going to be out in force looking for something to cook up for their families.

Beef and lamb make a great choice, a point end brisket or juicy shoulder of lamb you cannot beat either of those two. Most butchers will have whole point ends in stock all year round; these are generally a big piece of meat and a bit of an investment for some customers. Why not cut them into smaller and more affordable pieces, vac packed ready for the customer to pick up out of your displays. I wouldn’t portion them any smaller than 1.5 kg due to shrinkage, anyway if there are any leftovers who can go past a bit of brisket a day or two later. My favourite way to eat left over brisket is lay several slices into a fresh bread roll and drowned in a rich gravy or jus, paired with an ice-cold ale.

Since the “Low & Slow” cooking trend has become so popular here in Australia, the demand for briskets has skyrocketed. Briskets are rarely used for mince or sausage trim anymore, instead they are commanding a better price just as they are without any trimming.

If briskets are hard to come by try using chuck. You can separate the chuck eye log from the rib plate. You know chucks are a slow cook meat, so it suits a low & slow smoke. The chuck eye can be trussed to keep a round uniform shape and is easy to portion; the rib plate that covers the chuck eye is flat and will cook the same as brisket. It might be a more economical option; you know the meat will fall apart once cooked properly and pull`s apart for those delicious types of dishes pulled beef is used in.

You could even use a whole piece of shin meat, on or off the bone, check out some of the Butchers Alliance social pages. You need to remove the outer layer of skin and gently truss the shin to keep it together, imagine that sweet juicy, gelatinous beef in a taco, empanada, wrap or a French dipped roll just sitting on your plate making that salad look good. Don’t forget the ribs either, slow cooked shorties are extremely popular with the smoking fraternity.

I’ve even seen people experimenting with topsides, cooking with a water bath and spritzed before wrapping for a few hours, topsides come out just as good as anything else. Maybe look at moisture infusing some topsides or silversides as an option to briskets, the moisture will give more flavour to these two cuts as well as lessen the chances of it drying out when cooked for several hours.

As for lamb, you know it; the shoulders or whole forequarter are a no brainer. Do not bone them out, sell them whole, you see plenty of low and slow posts on the socials where the person loves to show off how the scapular bone pulls out so easily when cooked to perfection, and let them have some fun and save you some time.

Light em up!!

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