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searching for bones

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I'm trying to find a source for bones either in boston or on the north shore. I'm specifically looking for veal bones and chicken backs for making stock. Plenty of beef marrow or "soup" bones around but I'd like to try the real thing if I can find it. Google-ing, I found one place in western MA but it's too far to drive. If anyone knows where to find lamb bones that would be good, too. Thanks.

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  1. Whole Foods sells chicken backs but it's best to call ahead to make sure they have them on hand.

    1. You might call John Dewar (Newton) to see if they have the bones you want in stock. I have gotten veal bones there but never try for lamb. For chicken bones or back you might try Mings or another Chinese grocery. Let us know what you find.

      1. I have bought the marrow bones from Savenor's. They keep them frozen--you won't see them out, just ask. I know they also used to carry chicken necks and backs. I don't know about veal bones.

        1. Have you tried McKinnon's? The original is in Everett, and there's one in Davis Square, too. I have no idea if they'd have any, but it's worth a try. I'd think most places would be more phone accessible - many butchers are old time school.

          Are there any butcher shops in the North End - or are they all gone now? If there's any left there, I'd give them a try - maybe.

          3 Replies
          1. re: threedogs

            Sulmona is still in the North End and is great; worth calling for the veal bones. Aren't there also a couple of butcher shops on Salem street as well? I know there used to be, but I can't recall if they're still there.

            One other suggestion that I just mentioned in the local meat thread which might also be relevant here is Blood Farm in Groton - they do have veal (and lamb, I think) and my price list from them has just about every cut I've ever heard of, and they butcher their meat on-site, so they could probably cut whatever you wanted. Low low prices as well, so you needn't spend a fortune making your demi-glace.

            1. re: MichaelB

              Yes, besides Sulmona there's Abbruzzese and (can't recall - it's two initials, Foo&Bar) on Salem Street.

              While the guys at Sulmona smoke both of those shops as far as artistry with the knife (and I'm very fond of both the other shops, but watching the Sulmona dudes just takes my breath away!), for bones you might do just as well at any of the three and get a better price from the Salem Street shops.

              As mentioned in other posts, you would do well to call ahead and ask if they've got what you want - nothing more frustrating than waiting in line for a long while and then being told they don't have the cut you're looking for. (Who knew that you can't get flank steak from an Italian butcher? But all three shops practically laughed in my face.)

              1. re: Allstonian

                Abbruzzese is currently closed for renovations.

          2. Butcher Boy in No. Andover has bags of beef shin bones, cut into 3inch segments, in the freezer section. cheap too.

            1. Mayflower Poultry in East Cambridge always has chicken backs (as well as necks) in the freezer and in their back stock. (If you wanted that much, I am sure they would order a box of veal shanks for you.)

              Some mostly Cambridge ideas to call around for veal bones : Savenors, McKinnon's, and Huron Market. I have either gotten them or heard of folks ordering them there. Note the Somerville McKinnon's is closed through the 15th for rennovations/restocking.

              DeMoula's in Cambridge and Chelsea (not certain about north shore) always carries Pork necks (I am told for a Salvadoran dish, although also used in Asian cooking. Would love to know the name of the Salvadoran dish), sometimes has veal shanks and some lamb stew pieces with bones (lamb shanks are quite common), but nothing thats specifically bones. Shin Bones are also commonly available, but come with a lot of meat and are excellent for braising.

              1. I feed my dog raw chicken backs every night. We buy three for $1.50 at Super 88.

                2 Replies
                1. re: DotDiner

                  Super 88 or Mings supermarket is where I'd look for bones. I buy chicken backs there for my dog too. I always wonder if they ask themselves whether the old white lady is too poor to buy more meat!

                  1. re: teezeetoo

                    Funny! That happened to me in McKinnen's a couple weeks ago when I was buying marrow bones. The checkout girl said - "Oh, are these for your dog? I always get them for my dog, too". To which I replied: "I don't have a dog." She looked away, and said quietly "Oh, that's all right", feeling bad for the poor guy who had to live on dog bones.

                2. I think if you went to the Newmarket area near Andrew Square (where the legendary Speed Dog wagon occasionally resides), there are many food warehouses that would have this stuff.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Guinness02122

                    I agree about Newmarket Square. Some aren't allowed to sell to the public, but you could ask, anyway. There's one I remember off the top of my head - King something or other, I think - they're a grocery store, mainly meats, & they sell retail. If anyone goes there, make sure you ask even if it's not out front - and if they don't have something, ask who might.

                    1. re: threedogs

                      The Super 88 might be another option. It's right next dooe in the South Bay Plaza.