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Jul 13, 2006 09:07 PM

Pork shoulder with skin on

Since I'm on a roll today with the burrata, here's another sourcing question - has anyone bought a pork shoulder with skin on in San Francisco? I asked at Andronico's a few months ago and they looked at me like I was crazy. They're normally pretty accommodating/knowledgable there too. I assume a Chinatown butcher would probably be able to do it... any others?

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  1. I have the same problem getting skin-on pork shoulders because I love slow braising or roasting them. Most markets like Andronico do not do their own butchering. At most, they will buy primal cuts and cut them into chops and roasts. You should be able get a butcher in Chinatown to butcher one for you. I personally do not care for the fresh pork from Chinatown/Clement St. etc., because they are too lean. That is how most Chinese like it. If you don't mind splurging, I would call Bryan's on California St. or Niman Ranch and see if it would have one for you to pick up at their Ferry Plaza Market stand. I've also purchase one at a market on 16th St., between Valencia and Mission. The meat department is owned by Chinese but their pork is more of the standard variety. Might also try other markets in the Mission. Good luck.

    1. You might want to look at Mexican "carnecerias" as well. I assume there are some in the Mission.

      1. Hey

        I live in Toronto and we have a large Italian community. I buy my shoulders at a place that supplies the Italians. My place has them "As is". Skin, veins, all the fat, bones, blood, everything left on. At first they couldn't wrap their heads around me not wanting them to trim it or do anything other than weigh it and wrap it.
        Can you not find an Italian butcher?? Do they not have a Little Italy in SF??

        Good luck

        1. Taylor's Sausage in Old Oakland carries skin on, bone in shoulder. Great stuff.

          11 Replies
          1. re: matt c

            That's what you want. People who make sausage make it out of the shoulder.


            1. re: matt c

              Good to know. I hate to drive across a bridge to get a piece of meat, but I will if I have to! I mean, I drove across the bridge just to get Neldmann's rolls for a party, but I distinctly remember feeling like I was probably crazy (and ruining the environment).

              1. re: celeste

                Braised pork shoulder with skin and bone-in is a pretty common Chinese dish from a commonly found cut. I don't think you'll need to leave the City to find it, so no environmental worries!

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  Indeed, I'm heartened to know I have so many options. I have to admit to being intimidated by Chinatown butchers since I don't know who exactly to go to. But I should remedy that and just try!

                  1. re: celeste

                    Rather than Chinatown, you might want to try the Chinese-owned Lucky Pork in the Mission.

                    Lucky Pork Market
                    (415) 648-4805
                    2659 Mission St
                    San Francisco, CA 94110

                    It's been a few years since my last visit, since Chinatown is more convenient for me. The butchers at Lucky Pork deal with more non-Chinese customers and speak more English. Here's a post that mentions it -

                    My British friends who shared their homemade sausage with me on the Fourth of July bought pork shoulder and fatback from Lucky Pork.

                    1. re: celeste

                      Thanks for the Lucky Pork rec. Sounds perfect and less likely to get lost in translation. :-)

                      1. re: celeste

                        Lucky Pork Market's definitely a good bet. You can even buy sausage casings there (if you don't see them, ask--they're prepackaged in salt so you have to soak them).

                        Melanie's definitely right about communication at Lucky Pork--I had much better luck communicating at Lucky Pork Market than I usually do getting pork products at New May Wah supermarket on Clement at 7th Ave.

                        1. re: celeste

                          Try asking some Chinese people you work with or who are in your neighbourhood.


                          1. re: celeste

                            I agree about Lucky Pork but the ownership has changed since years ago, when the butchers all spoke some English, Cantonese, Spanish, and Tagalog; now I find some Spanish is necessary, along with the usual "point-to-it-on-yourself" technique. (When I was looking for fresh hog jowl I tried a Chinatown butcher on Stockton who laughed uproaroriously at my pantomime illustration of "jowl.") "Shoulder" in Spanish is "espalda."

                              1. re: celeste

                                I can't guarantee they'll have what you want (probably will), but the boss at Hing Lung (the butcher shop on Stockton near Broadway, not the restaurant on Broadway near Stockton), is ABC (second generation?) and very helpful. Look for the youngish burly guy; he's around most of the time, at least in the mornings.

                        2. I've purchased a picnic shoulder with skin on from Smart & Final. I usually go to the Daly City location.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Benny Choi

                            I believe there's a 99 Ranch in Daly City as well.

                            The one I shop at in Washington sells a variety of pork cuts with the skin still on, including belly and leg slices. Also pork 'variety' meats that I've seen now where else.