At this time of year, there is a lot of talk about introducing a new eating plan or changing our diet, however, the best thing that we can do is to continue to follow a healthy, balanced one.
Packed with protein and essential vitamins and minerals, red meat can play a very important role in this along with eating fruit and vegetables, high-fibre starchy foods, dairy, and fats. In fact, as you will discover, there are numerous benefits to eating red meat, not just from a health perspective.
Last year, the Covid-19 pandemic taught us two very important lessons – considering healthy choices when it comes to food consumption and where our food comes from.
From a health perspective, red meat is a vitamin-rich food group.
Nutritionist Dr Laura Wyness is keen to stress that beef, lamb and pork are good sources of iron which is essential in making the red blood cells that carry oxygen around
Remove “nutrient-dense” meat from your diet and you increase the risk of iron-deficiency anaemia, which causes lack of energy and shortness of breath, says Dr Wyness.
“Meat is naturally low in salt and provides a rich source of high-quality protein which helps maintain normal bones and growth in muscle mass,” she says.
“It also provides essential vitamins and minerals that play important roles in the immune system, the nervous system and in converting food into energy and helping prevent fatigue.”
Shopping locally and supporting local producers is something we are doing more and more, and this is especially true when sourcing meat products.
Meat carrying the Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI and Specially Selected Pork logos all come from trusted, local farms where all cattle, sheep and pigs are born, reared and processed in Scotland. When you see these logos in your supermarket or local butcher, you can buy with confidence knowing the meat in your basket is sourced from quality assured Scottish farms that adopt the best animal welfare and production methods.
Perthshire cattle farmer Tom Clark, who co-runs eighth-generation Pitlandie Farm, says: “If beef is quality assured, it gives consumers who are concerned with animal welfare complete confidence that the animal has had a good life and been well cared for.”
Because Scotland’s quality meats are produced with care for the animal and the environment as well as being having health benefits, consumers can make choices they can feel good about.
Scots food blogger Claire Jessiman writes about the benefits of different food groups on www.foodiequine.co.uk.
Claire says: “For me, and us as a family, red meat Quality assured red meat is a choice you can feel good about is part of our daily or weekly diet.
“It’s all about making choices and being considerate about what we eat. I was brought up on a daily diet of ‘meat and two veg’ but I am more considered in choosing what meat I eat now, for example, last night we had lean 5% Scotch Beef mince. I specifically choose quality-assured red meat.”
For more than three decades, Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI and Specially Selected Pork have adopted a quality assurance scheme which means its supply chain is independently audited to a strict set of guidelines.
Farmer Tom added that with these quality assurances and guidelines in the industry, they make “Scotch Beef the best in the world”.
Remember to look out for the Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI and Specially Selected Pork logos when you are next doing a food shop.
For more information visit www.scotchkitchen.com.
How to make Korean style pork stir fry
Prep time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 40 mins
- 500g Specially Selected Pork medallions, sliced thinly
- 1 tbsp Scottish rapeseed oil
- 3 tbsp gochujang paste
- 100g spring onions, cut into inch-long batons
- 2 x onions, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 x cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- 50g ginger, peeled and grated
- 30g sesame oil
- 30ml reduced salt soy sauce
- 1 x red pepper, deseeded and sliced
- 30ml rice wine
- 30g honey
- 2 x tsp sesame seeds
- 140g basmati rice
- 120g pak choi, washed and sliced lengthways
- 100g baby corn, halved lengthways
- 100g carrot, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
- 100g sugar snap peas
- 1 x red chilli, seeds removed and cut into matchsticks
- Salt and black pepper
- 1 x tbsp rapeseed oil
How to cook:
FOR THE MARINADE:
1. In a large bowl, mix the gochujang, soy, sesame oil, honey and rice wine and whisk together.
2. Add the ginger and garlic.
3. Mix well.
FOR THE STIR FRY:
1. Pour half the marinade over the pork and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
2. Place the pepper, onion, baby corn, pak choi, carrot and sugar snaps in a bowl.
3. Pour over the remaining marinade and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over a high heat and add the oil.
5. Carefully add the pork to the frying pan and fry for four to five minutes until the sauce is sticky and the edges of the meat are crisped up.
6. Remove from the heat and set aside.
7. Heat oil in a separate frying pan and add the vegetables and marinade mix.
8. Stir fry for two to three minutes.
9. Season and remove from the heat, the veg should still have a crunch.
10. Cook the rice as packet instructions
To Serve: Divide the rice and vegetables between four serving bowls and
top with the crispy pork. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve immediately.
Visit www.scotchkitchen.com to discover more recipes.