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Aug 21, 2007 12:26 PM

where to buy bone-in pork shoulder in cambridge

just got this month's gourmet and am going to cook their caribbean themed menu on saturday night. Where's a good place I can get a nice big bone-in pork shoulder?

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  1. Call Savenor's. If they don't have it today, they'll get it for you within a day or two.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Bostonbob3

      just ordered it! thanks. glad i did. it was a special order so it'll take them a day or two

      1. re: cambridgeMike

        Oh jeez, you got hosed. $2.99 a pound? It's usually around $1/lb at Market Basket. They nearly always have it. And it's not a special order. You can also get a deboned one, whole or in strips ("country-style ribs") for a little over a buck a pound.

    2. Pretty much any supermarket should carry Picnic Shoulders. The better shoulder cut to use, Boston Butt is harder to find. I'd check with Mayflower Butcher Shop (fresh killed) on Cambridge St.

      1. A Boston Butt and a Bone-in Shoulder are the same thing, but difft. than picnic shoulder. You want the former. I buy "Bone-in Butt" at Stop and Shop all the time. $1.99/lb.

        They were out on Friday when I went to get 2 for this weekend's pulled pork, but they got a big delivery and had loads on Sat morning.

        BJ's and Costco carry them too.

        IMO no reason to buy this cut from a pricey place.

        13 Replies
        1. re: C. Hamster

          savenor's quoted me 2.99 a pound so a bit pricer but i only need a small one (6 lbs) so not a huge deal

          1. re: cambridgeMike

            I might add that Savenor's meats are typically far superior to 99% of any other local markets.

            You didn't get "hosed." You paid for the highest quality.

            For instance, the taste difference between Savenor's rack of lamb and Whole Foods is so pronounced, I simply never get them at WF anymore. Even though a rack is about 40% more at Savenor's.

            1. re: Bostonbob3

              I completely agree with Bostonbob that you get what you pay for with meat, and the Savenor's price on this is hardly outrageous. I don't really think the cut is relevant - a better hog makes for tastier eating, whether it's from the loin or the butt.

              1. re: Bostonbob3

                High price does not imply high quality. $3/lb for pork shoulder is a joke, unless you require organic or some other kind of value-added feature, like maybe if the meat is from a local farm you trust, or the purveyor can promise you that the price is somehow justified in a tangible way.

                1. re: Bostonbob3

                  Though I agree pretty much (I can be a meat snob), the "quality" issue presented by pork butt compared to rack of lamb are completely different.

                  The lamb's flavor and texture must be top rate. A pork butt is a pork butt. You cook and season it to death, basically, which makes quality differences very hard to discern. Not so for lamb.

                  1. re: C. Hamster

                    But isn't the quality of the original pig important? That's my only point. Yes, a pork butt is a pork butt, and a shoulder is a shoulder, but a farm-raised pig versus a factory pig is different.

                    Breed comes into play, too.

                    Savenor's is known for their quality meats, including buying from local producers.

                    I'd pay a little extra for that, instead of relying on a Stop & Shop coin toss of a pig.

                2. re: cambridgeMike

                  Call Stop and Shop. Seriously. This is a cheapo cut of meat. It's not a special order thing except at a place like Savs. And it won't taste any different.

                  Stop and Shop might have it today.

                  1. re: C. Hamster

                    // won't taste any different.//


                    1. re: Bostonbob3

                      For what you have to do to make a pork butt tasty I would all "butt" guarantee it.

                      Gourmet doesn't have this recipe on line that I can find, but I imagine a lot of big bold flavors are involved, making the flavor of the pork itself more of a palette than the star of the show.

                        1. re: Bostonbob3

                          Have you considered ... the butt?? (Sorry, couldn't resist the SNL reference.) Anyway, not to be ornery, but I would still respectfully disagree with C. Hamster above that long cooking makes quality differences less apparent; I'd argue that they may be *more* apparent, as the long cooking brings out the intrinsic flavor of the meat, however it's seasoned. At least, that's what I've found.

                          1. re: MichaelB

                            Sounds like we need someone to do a taste test so we know for sure ;-)

                            FWIW, I get mine from Walmart (only $1.40/lb IIRC). It gets converted to pulled pork and "char siu".

                3. re: C. Hamster

                  The boston butt is the top portion of a bone-in shoulder, the picnic is the bottom portion.

                  And yes agree, no need at all to spend 2.99 on that cut.

                4. I know you ordered from Savenors, but for general info, last year I got an 8ish pound bone-in pork butt from Whole Foods. Just took them a day or so (I told them I wanted to pick it up on a Thurs, earlier in the week - I don't know how fast it "could" have been). Was quite tasty ... I forget how much it cost, think it was ~2/lb.

                  1. I've cooked both organic and commercial pork butts and the big difference I have noticed between the two is the organic was clearly less fatty, pulled well and had flavor.
                    The commercial butt from Market Basket usually was much more fatty, pulled more chucky, had almost no taste and lots of residual water.
                    I'm usually just rubbing salt, pepper, and garlic powder on them. I still usually get mine from Market Basket because once I sauce up the meat, the sauce dominates all the taste of the pork.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Infomaniac

                      How long do you cook them for? If I am lazy I do an 8 hour bake in the oven at 225 degrees. Of course the real way to go is low and slow over charcoal.

                      I am surprised that you can still taste the dif all those hours later.

                      1. re: StriperGuy

                        Last Butt I did was from Market Basket, about 8 lbs. I put it in the smoker about 7:00am and took it out around 7:00pm and internal temp. was about 195.

                        Smoker was ranging between 200 & 250 degrees.

                        I've never done a side by side taste test, and I haven't done a organic Butt in a year. I do remember the organic have a good pork flavor though.