5 Cheap Cuts of Meat

Save big at the grocery store by learning to cook these 5 budget-friendly cuts.

  • Santa Maria Smoked Tri-Tip
    Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross

    5 to Try: Cheap Cuts of Meat

    Tri-tip is another name for sirloin tip–a less tender muscle found in the hind leg of beef. Simply rub the meat with a blend of salt, pepper, and garlic powder, then grill over hickory wood chips to infuse the tip with smoky flavor. Fresh Santa Maria Salsa complements the tri-tip well.
  • Achiote-and-Orange Pulled Pork
    Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Dan Becker

    Achiote-and-Orange Pulled Pork

    With a little care and attention, this cheap cut of meat will be worth every penny! Rub with achiote paste, then smoke low and slow while "mopping" the meat with a tangy sauce made from orange juice concentrate, vinegar, butter, and salt.
  • Red Wine-braised Oxtails
    James Carrier

    Red Wine-braised Oxtails

    Don't let the name fool you: Oxtails are simply cow or veal tails and are found in most grocery stores. They're a bony, tough cut of meat that's super easy on the wallet. Brown oxtails in the oven, then braise in red wine, beef broth, balsamic vinegar, and spices. Serve with Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes and Caramelized Root Vegetables for the ultimate comfort food meal.
  • Paprika Short-rib Beef Stew
    Leo Gong

    Paprika Short-rib Beef Stew

    Short ribs are taken from between the neck and shoulder blade, and are typically pretty tough. For a tender rack of ribs, cook in a Dutch oven with bacon, onion, garlic, beer, tomatoes, potatoes, and seasonings. After a couple of hours in the oven, the meat will literally fall off the bone.
  • Osso Buco-Style Chicken Thighs
    Becky Luigart-Stayner; Lydia DeGaris-Pursell

    Osso Buco-Style Chicken Thighs

    Chicken thighs have a higher fat content than more expensive cuts, which makes them a perfect candidate for this dish–usually made with veal shanks. Simmer the thighs in a tomato sauce flavored with dry white wine and fresh herbs and vegetables. Serve over cheesy polenta for a complete meal.
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