Posts tagged "meat"

How can I reuse or recycle lamb bones?

We’ve had an email from Riann:

I’ve seen you’ve got suggestions for ham bones but what about lamb ones? I can’t think of anything I’d use a lamb stock for! Could I give them to my friend’s dog?

Our dog Lily got rather poorly sick from eating a raw lamb bone last December – but other people seem to feed their dogs all sorts of raw bones without any problems — your friend will probably know how their dog reacts to raw bones. Most people say not to give dogs (or cats) cooked bones though, as they are more likely to splinter.

Lamb stock isn’t as commonly called for as chicken or beef stock as it has such a striking flavour but you could use it in Shepherd’s pies or lamb stews/casseroles or tagines, or to make a gravy for with your next roast lamb joint/chops. (Don’t forget you can freeze stock – condense it first so it doesn’t take up as much space.)

Anyone else got any other suggestions for things to do with lamb stock? Or any other reuses for lamb bones?

How can I reuse or recycle old kitchen fat?

Since we do what we’re told by our water company, we don’t pour meat fat from cooking down the sink – we scrape/pour it into an old plastic container instead. The gross pot full in the picture is a combination of lots of fat from lots of different meals for the last couple of months, ick.

When we started our collection, we thought we’d use it to make bird feeders this winter – the fat is solid at room temperature, let alone at the minus-something temperatures we’ve got at the moment, so we were going to fill it with nuts and seeds to make fat balls for the local wildlife. But then I read that you shouldn’t use reused meat fat to make fat balls – because it’s prone to smearing and can cause them problems when cleaning their feathers. Does anyone know if this is true?

If it is, shucks, there goes our reuse idea. Is there anything else we can do with it instead? Are any particular fats (eg, bacon fat) more reusable?

(Incidentally, the bird feeding stuff fits into something I wrote about on The Really Good Life yesterday – asking about alternatives to shop-bought bird feed for wild birds — do pop over and read it if you feed birds!)

How can I reuse or recycle overcooked barbeque meat?

Inspired by thinking about barbeque-related food packaging on Monday, we’re having a bit of an impromptu bbq themed week here on Recycle This. This is a less a “reuse or recycle” and more a “how do you use it up?” question…

There always seems to be a few burgers or sausages leftover at barbecues – left on the grill or the keep-warm grill even though no one wants them and they go dry or turn to indiscernible black lumps.

Of course this situation could be avoided all together but only cooking the correct meat (hard to judge) and obviously it’s better to take them off before they reach that point when they’re still edible and have them as leftovers at some point but does anyone have any recipes for dried out meat? Our fussy-when-she-wants-to-be dog turned her nose up at dry-but-still-edible burger the other week but I suspect the cats would have gone for it if we’d been at home.

And what about when they’ve gone beyond that and are, essentially, greasy charcoal? Can they be crushed/ground up and used as a soil fertiliser like other charcoal?

(Photo by DeusXFlorida

How can I reuse or recycle meat that’s gone off?

We’ve had an email from Amy:

Hi. Is there ANYTHING I can do with expired meat? I’ve read you can’t compost it but it’s such a waste to throw it away?

Yes, it is a waste! As I’m sure you know, it takes a whole lot of energy to produce a kilogram of meat, to ship it to your local supermarket and refrigerate it there & at your home – so it really would be better to reduce the amount of meat you buy or which goes off on your watch. One thing to remember is that just because the date on the packaging says it’s off, it doesn’t mean it’s actually off – learn what it should smell & look like (in terms of colour/texture) and judge it yourself each time. Don’t take any undue risks but don’t be a slave to the label either.

Of course even the most organised of us make mistakes and things expire from time to time, and Amy is right, it shouldn’t be composted in most compost bins/heaps in case it attracts vermin. (Some sealed units and wormeries advertise that they can compost it though.)

I suspect this might be one that stumps us but any ideas?

I’ve heard some people using little bits of bait to attract fish or animals – but I neither hunt or fish so don’t know if expired meat would be good for that. Anyone know?

How can I reuse or recycle pre-packed sliced meat packaging?

After writing Wednesday’s post about deli counter plastic wrapping, I got thinking about pre-packaged cooked meat packaging and what a pain they are to reuse or recycle.

The ones I’m thinking of are used in the UK for sliced meats such as ham or roast beef/chicken, “continental sausages” (ie chorizo, salami etc), or wafer thin water-injected animal shavings (mmm!). The packaging has a semi-rigid shallow plastic tray and is covered with heat sealed plastic film. According to the misc pack of salami we have the in the fridge, the packing “currently isn’t recyclable (but because we care about the environment, we’re working on it)”. (Uh huh).

There is obviously a reduce option – although depending on the alternative provision, you might end up with as much plastic anyway.

Most packs only contain a single layer or a few slices max so the plastic tray is a little too shallow to use in the usual plastic tray ways – a saucer under plant pots, a paint palette for budding Monets – so are there any other ways they could be reused instead?