The Q Guild’s Top Tips for alternative Meats
- Be adventurous – one of our members sells a ‘Chuckling’ at Christmas, which is a boneless duck stuffed with chicken breast and sausage meat.
- Try a regional delicacy – steak pies for example are a popular alternative to usual Christmas meats in Scotland. Your butcher will be able to advise.
- Game is a nice change for Christmas – pheasants are an excellent choice for smaller families. A brace (pair) of pheasants serves 4-5 people.
- An economical alternative to turkey is shoulder of pork. This is still full of flavour and can serve a big family at Christmas, but is much cheaper.
- For good crackling, ask your butcher to score the rind; stand meat on trivet in roasting tin, rind uppermost. Brush with oil and sprinkle with salt, and do not cover.
- Q Guild butchers are renowned for the quality of their pork sausagemeat. These can make a great base to produce a more exotic stuffing by adding your own ingredients.
- Goose was traditionally the preferred Christmas meat before turkey became popular. Geese are big-boned so you will need to allow 750g per person; however, younger birds are smaller and more tender, so it would be better to buy two small geese instead of one large one.
- A great alternative to turkey is Beef Wellington. Choose topside, sirloin or rib, and wrap the meat in pancakes before adding the pastry – this ensures that the flavours don’t escape and the pastry doesn’t become soggy.
- Another more unusual option is a large cockerel – these are specially reared for Christmas and only available from specialist butchers.
- If you are only catering for a few people at Christmas, don’t be afraid to ask your butcher for a small joint of beef of turkey; they will be more than happy to cut joints to suit your size and budget
The Q Guild is the UK’s top independent butchers’ organisation, representing Britain’s best butchers. It has 140 members UK-wide. To find your local Q Guild butcher, click here.