Here’s How to Make Cheap Meat Taste like an Expensive Cut

I'm not a particularly picky eater. If you were to go to dinner with me, you could suggest Italian, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Chinese or Mediterranean, and I would probably agree each time with a thumbs-up and a smile. My favourite food, however, has to be the noble steak; it's simple, it's classy, and most importantly, it's delicious when done well.

My one problem with eating steak on a regular basis is the trade-off you often have to make in terms of quality or price. If you want a steak dinner, you can either take out a second mortgage in order to pay for a high-quality steak, or skimp on the expensive stuff and spend several hours attempting to swallow a tasteless lump of flesh, somewhat unbefitting of the term "meat", or even "food".

Cheap cuts of steak have plagued me throughout my existence; countless delicious dinners diminished by tasteless meat, many a romantic rendezvous ruined by spending literal minutes between exchanges attempting to masticate the chewy meat in our mouths. I would be exaggerating if I said that cheap meats have destroyed my social life, but only slightly.

Fortunately for the wallet-watchers out there who also like the finer meats once in a while, there's an ingenious way to make your half-price grocery store steak taste like it came from a cow who lived a better life than you. Cooktop Cove has got your back; they've devised a few clever techniques that'll have you enjoying champagne-quality meat on a tap-water budget.

The first thing you've got to remember is that all meats are created equal, and with enough patience and skill, a tough steak can be coaxed into a tender slab of deliciousness. To help your cheap meat meet its delicious potential, it's a great idea to place the meat in a slow cooker beforehand. This will allow your meat to cook evenly while maintaining all its juices and moisture, and it's sure to result in some delightfully chewable cuts.

However, if you don't have the time (or patience) for wait for your meat to prepare in a slow cooker, you could also try submerging your meat in a quick acidic marinade. If you have some natural acidic products in your kitchen cupboards such as yogurt, lemon juice or vinegar, feel free to put your meat in there for around half an hour to release the sinews of your steak, and make a meal to remember.

So now you should have a nice, tender piece of meat that's chewable enough for human consumption. How, though, do you make sure the endless result isn't a tasteless slab of disappointment? The YouTube channel Cooking With Jack has a solution: cover your uncooked meat in coarse salt, also known as a salt rub. Leave it there an hour for every inch your steak is thick; so an inch-thick steak sits for one hour, while 12-inches would necessitate half a day.

There you have it! If you've used these techniques correctly, you should now be staring at an immaculately cooked piece of meat, soft to the touch and chock full of flavour. If you're like me and you struggle to find good quality meat on a budget, why not adopt these tactics and see how you fare?