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What markets for cheap lamb/mutton/goat?

Luther Oct 8, 2008 04:16 PM

If I want chicken thighs, I know that Market Basket will have them for $0.89 or $0.99 a pound (and sometimes Shaw's might, too, if I'm lucky).

Where do I go for the cheapest lamb, mutton, or goat? What sort of price should I expect to pay for said meat? Assume I'm buying a cheaper cut that needs long cooking, or has bones; not a leg or tender part.

I don't have a good sense of which South Asian and Middle Eastern stores have good quality and affordable meat. I usually just go for the spices.

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  1. e
    eatanddestroy RE: Luther Oct 8, 2008 05:47 PM

    I'm not sure if they are the cheapest, but I've been really happy with the lamb & goat that I've been getting from the Waltham India Market at 327 Moody St. I can't remember the price per pound, but it is somewhere around $4.

    When you enter the store, there isn't a butcher in sight so head to the back of the store, go down the stairs, and that's where you will find the butcher. He'll cut your lamb, goat, chicken, etc. anyway you ask.

    I know that you can get boneless lamb leg for a little cheaper at Costco, but I like cooking with bones.

    1. 9
      9lives RE: Luther Oct 8, 2008 06:05 PM

      There's a Halal market in Haymarket. Don't recall the prices but it's very reasonable and carries goat/lamb.

      3 Replies
      1. re: 9lives
        Bostonbob3 RE: 9lives Oct 9, 2008 09:13 AM

        There's at least two Halal butchers on Blackstone (the street the Haymarket is on). Both have lamb and goat at very cheap prices. Merguez sausages, too.

        1. re: Bostonbob3
          9lives RE: Bostonbob3 Oct 9, 2008 11:40 AM

          Just walked by and the market to the left of the cheese shop was carrying in goat carcasses..lot of them.

          1. re: 9lives
            Bostonbob3 RE: 9lives Oct 9, 2008 11:41 AM

            They were doing that last night, too. Our joke at Pete's Pub is that the van they unload them from has "Wonderland" marked on the side, but I've actually bought goat from there and it's good.

      2. Gio RE: Luther Oct 8, 2008 06:05 PM

        Earlier today Itaunas posted that the Chelsea Market Basket has goat meat. I have yet to get there and I don't know the price but it's next for my shopping trek. The Reading store does not carry it.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Gio
          itaunas RE: Gio Oct 9, 2008 07:24 AM

          As Karl has posted before, the store managers at MB seem to have more say in stocking decisions than most local chains, so there are some local items which other stores will not carry. From MB, I recall thinking that the Burlington/Lexington store always seemed to have more lamb (and greek products) than other nearby stores. Goat I see pretty regularly at Somerville and more so in Chelsea, but its mostly limited to stewing meat except at holidays when they have additional cuts. The only somewhat mainstream supermarket where I have seen a whole goat leg recently was the Malden Super88.

          Haymarket probably isn't all that local to Karl, but if you make the commute you can get validated parking for the Parcel 9 Garage (they have been trying to take this away or limit it, so ask if the store has a petition to sign). I suspect 9lives is talking about Blackstone, but make sure you also take a look at Puritan Beef (they definitely validate) which also has goat and lots of other useful things (for instance turkey drumsticks cut into 1 inch pieces which are great for stewing).

          I don't buy as much lamb as I used to, but mostly get it from the Davis McKinnon's. They seem to have pretty decent prices, some bone in, but more quick cutting cuts and leg. They also usually have bone-in stewing frozen only and I got a frozen saddle of lamb from there, bone in. I used to buy a lot of lamb shanks -- a great long cooking cut, which the Burlington MB and others definitely carry, but I find them pretty expensive per-lb (wild guess 3.99?). For goat itself, the prices seem to be slightly better at Mayflower which usually has inexpensive stew meat, plus some bone-in options in the freezer. I haven't been in a long time and its even further than Haymarket, but Hi-Lo in JP certainly carries some.

          FWIW, there might be better options for goat in Metrowest. For instance I hunted around for a whole cabrito a few years ago, which I was able to order through a Brazilian butcher in Framingham, but between Brazilian butchers in Somerville/Medford and a couple of places in Newmarket I struck out. Not certain about all the Halal places, but with Brazilian specialty butchers goat was definitely more expensive than McKinnons, Mayflower, or Demoulas.

          1. re: itaunas
            Luther RE: itaunas Oct 11, 2008 09:10 AM

            I got some goat shanks for $4/lb at the Somerville MB yesterday. They had a bunch of packages just labeled GOAT MEAT that were mostly shanks, with a few bits of tail and miscellaneous bony pieces mixed in.

        2. Food4Thought RE: Luther Oct 9, 2008 03:46 PM

          I've seen goat at Mayflower Poultry (Live Poultry Fresh Killed). On Cambridge St., Cambridge. I don't specifically recall price per pound, but I remember thinking that it was very reasonably priced.

          1. m
            maryv RE: Luther Oct 9, 2008 04:18 PM

            I don't recall the price but we've been quite happy with the goat from Food Land, a Bangladeshi halal market on Mass. Ave. in North Cambridge (near Davis Sq.)

            1. Johnresa RE: Luther Oct 9, 2008 06:56 PM

              I buy lamb from McKinnons in Everett all the time. The lamb I am cooking as I type this is stewing lamb and 1 pound costed me a little under 2 bucks.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Johnresa
                Luther RE: Johnresa Oct 9, 2008 07:09 PM

                Sweet. I don't often go out of the way to shop there for stuff like chicken (same price as MB) and steak (not particularly high grade) but lamb under $2/lb is a good reason to go.

              2. q
                qianning RE: Luther Jan 14, 2010 08:56 AM

                does anyone know if any of these places carry mutton or hoggett (i.e. i'm looking for the meat from an older sheep, not a goat). i am specifically looking for boneless loin and butt cuts that have some fat and can be used to shave into meat for traditional beijing hot pot.

                9 Replies
                1. re: qianning
                  VivreManger RE: qianning Aug 11, 2010 11:25 AM

                  Thie thread seems to have gone unanswered in one respect.

                  Although there was a good deal of info. about goat, mutton got neglected. Is there any meat source that stocks mutton or can order it?

                  For me, the Somerville MB is the most convenient store of all the places mentioned. Does anyone know if the meat shop does special orders? The Brazilian market nearby, Seabra, has a butcher. What about goat and mutton there?

                  What is Portuguese for mutton, btw?

                  Back in October 2008 mention was made of merguez : "There's at least two Halal butchers on Blackstone (the street the Haymarket is on). Both have lamb and goat at very cheap prices. Merguez sausages, too.' Does anyone know their names and the quality of their merguez?

                  Formaggio in Cambridge will make them to order, but I don't know many sources of fresh merguez in the Boston area.

                  PS. Hoggett sounds like something from Lord of the Rings. I have just learned it is the stage between lamb and mutton.

                  1. re: VivreManger
                    itaunas RE: VivreManger Aug 11, 2010 11:46 AM

                    Carneiro is generally the term for a mature male sheep (2 years +) and ovelha the female, whereas cordeiro would be a lamb (and borrego in between) but diminutives are also used (ovelinha) in a descriptive sense. That said if you ask for carne de carneiro you are probably still going to get lamb.

                    Mutton not generally available in the US, just like what is often offered as "cabrito" isn't always cabrito. I believe that Blood Farm offers it from time to time, though. Seabra's butcher is more oriented towards Brazilian products where lamb and goat are less common -- goat being more common in the Northeast and more rural farming regions, but they probably carry some goat (some of the other places mentioned like Mayflower carry it for Portuguese and Caribbean customers). Its not merguez, but the Seabra butcher did have some much more interesting Portuguese chouricos (transmontina, a caseiro offering) and alheiras (from Jewish traditions in Portugal) than other sources in the area (next best being Courthouse and Fernandes Fish Market). Also there is a Halal market which opened on Somerville ave near Seabra since this thread opened (about halfway to Central St.) which might be worth checking out.

                    1. re: VivreManger
                      GretchenS RE: VivreManger Aug 11, 2010 11:51 AM

                      I will be interested to hear any answers about the merguez. I finally started to make my own because could not find any I liked enough (D"Artagnan makes a pretty good one that I occasionally see at John Dewars but I can now make better). I use this recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                      1. re: GretchenS
                        StriperGuy RE: GretchenS Aug 11, 2010 12:27 PM

                        What are you using to grind the meat?

                        1. re: GretchenS
                          itaunas RE: GretchenS Aug 11, 2010 02:00 PM

                          BTW, you can easily find the recipe from Marcel Cottenceau's French charcuterie tome on the Internet, but you will likely have to substitute for the mutton that it calls for. :-) French versions use pork fat, which obviously the halal markets won't use and the halal versions may use beef or in some cases be all beef.

                          1. re: itaunas
                            VivreManger RE: itaunas Aug 11, 2010 06:10 PM

                            I remember that friends of mine in France would prefer their merguez from a kosher or hallal source since they wanted them pig-free. The thought of merguez with pig-fat strikes me as bizarre. I found the D'Art merguez a bit bland.

                            I will check out that new Hallal market in Somerville, but I suspect their merguez will be frozen which is why I am looking for a butcher.

                            1. re: VivreManger
                              itaunas RE: VivreManger Aug 12, 2010 03:59 AM

                              Some of the supposed history behind Portuguese alheiras I mentioned above is interesting. In a nutshell given the Portuguese love of "pao com linguica" and pork in general, Jewish residents developed alheiras to make people think they were eating pork and thus were able to conceal to an extent that they were Jewish.

                              I agree that pork in mergeuz seems like a quite unusual substitution, but even today cookbook authors and TV shows come up with recipes for traditional foods using techniques they know and common ingredients which often make you scratch their head whether they understood the tradition.

                              1. re: itaunas
                                VivreManger RE: itaunas Aug 12, 2010 03:34 PM

                                Is alheira sausage in fact made without pork? If so, is it beef or lamb or a combination of both? I ask because my wife eats no pork.

                                Of course whatever the tradition as the Marcel Cottenceau merguez recipe demonstrates anything could be put in anything.

                                As far as the halal butchers on Blackstone, I just tried to reach both on the phone:
                                Garden Halal Meat, 96 Blackstone St Boston MA 617-723-0888
                                Boston Halal Meat Market 114 Blackstone St 617-722-9969

                                Garden is definitely still in business, while the phone at Boston is no longer in service, which could mean any number of things.

                                Ramadan is beginning and the store hours over the next month will be irregular. Basically since during daylight no food is consumed, stores tend to close during at least part of the day but stay open very late. Last night Garden Halal was open until 1:00AM. They do carry fresh goat, but the guy who answered the phone had not heard of mutton so he told me to come in and talk to his brother.

                                Bottom line: in the next few weeks, if you need some fresh goat meat at midnight, get thee to Blackstone St.

                                1. re: VivreManger
                                  itaunas RE: VivreManger Aug 13, 2010 07:28 AM

                                  Alheiras are made with a mixture of meats, including some fowl, and often bread. Chicken and beef are common today probably turkey, although traditionally game and more exotic ingredients were used (rabbit, veal, duck, game fowl). I have bought versions of alheiras said to only have chicken and beef, but Christians have always added pork (ham is common with beef or sometimes in place of the beef) and if its natural casings those would be pork too so in the case of your wife its going to be pretty hard to avoid, but you could ask (I might ask the manager at Seabra as opposed to the butcher himself because of language issues).

                                  Puritan Beef at Haymarket isn't Halal, but also carries goat and should keep their regular hours. I thought there were still two operating Halal markets on Blackstone last I went there, but it'll be a couple of weeks until I go by there again.

                    2. s
                      SmartChow RE: Luther Aug 13, 2010 11:11 AM

                      In Somerville/Cambridge you can get mutton/goat at Wellfoods on Somerville Ave. near Union Square or Foodland on MAss. Ave. in Cambridge near Porter Sq. Basically, most Bangladeshi/Pakistani or Brazilian markets will sell fresh goat and cut it up for you. Here;s a nifty list on yelp though:

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: SmartChow
                        qianning RE: SmartChow Aug 14, 2010 06:54 AM

                        mutton as in sheep meat, or mutton as in goat meat? i ask because, although i have a good source for goat, i don't have one for fatty mutton (i.e. older sheep, not goat, not lamb). i am especially looking for a source of boned mutton roast to cut for traditional beijing hot pot.

                        1. re: qianning
                          StriperGuy RE: qianning Aug 14, 2010 07:15 AM

                          Mmmmmmm yum.

                          1. re: StriperGuy
                            qianning RE: StriperGuy Aug 15, 2010 07:24 AM

                            if i could find it and get it sliced thinly enough, it would be :)

                            1. re: qianning
                              VivreManger RE: qianning Aug 15, 2010 12:50 PM

                              I am looking for real mutton, at least one year old lamb.

                              1. re: VivreManger
                                qianning RE: VivreManger Aug 16, 2010 05:09 AM

                                if you find it, let me know!

                          2. re: qianning
                            itaunas RE: qianning Aug 21, 2010 09:26 AM

                            I called Blood Farm to check about mutton, they were obviously busy so I didn't ask 20 questions (hoggett, slicing, etc). They do process older sheep from time to time, but don't stock the meat because of lack of interest so its generally ground after slaughter. A possible option for homemade merguez. patties like GretchenS was doing. If you go out there early in the day on a Saturday they can check what is currently available (in other words go when they aren't _busy_ and going there in person shows you are serious vs another random chowhound calling). They do have goat and always carry lamb. This might be a better option for VivreManger or anyone looking for a larger roast or to stock a freezer as its not sliced to order portion, unless you want to freeze portions and invest in a slicer.

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