Mackay butcher Bob Edwards at the Freckle Farm shop.
Mackay butcher Bob Edwards at the Freckle Farm shop. Lauren Connor

Tips to beef up your Christmas table

DECIDING on the best piece of meat to place on the Christmas table can be a challenging task.

Bob Edwards, also known to many as Bob the Butcher, has been carving and slicing his way through the trade for 50 years.

Having sold many people their Christmas roasts in his time, he knowns a thing or two about preparing the best lunch for the festive season.

And about making a little feed a big Christmas crowd.

Mr Edwards and Freckle Farm shop owner Deb McLucas said bone-free cuts were a good way to make a piece of meat go a long way around the table.

Boneless leg, loin or shoulder were small, inexpensive pieces of meat that were good value for money, they said. Adding lots of roast vegetables also helped add to a meal.

While most people think of preparing hot Christmas roasts, barbecuing meat can be an easier option.

"You can have your barbecue shoulder chops, they are very nice, your pork cutlets and your pork loin," Mr Edwards said.

Many other beef cuts such as rib fillet, porterhouse rump and t-bone are also great on a barbecue grill.

If you aren't a fan of cold ham, you could mix it up by serving it as a warm meal. Ms McLucas said people could take the skin off, score the ham, baste it with a favourite glaze and bake it.

"We can tend to leave the ham out (after the meal)," Ms McLucas said.

"When you are finished, if someone can be the designated ham carer, put the ham back in the bag... and back in the fridge."

Storing a ham in a clean pillow case or towel, moistened with vinegar and water, is a great way to keep it fresh in the days following Christmas.

Mr Edwards recommends storing all meat below five degrees to keep it cool, fresh and delicious for Christmas day.

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