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Jim Beam Black Bourbon Bargain, Pricey Oxtail

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StriperGuy Oct 27, 2009 01:44 PM

Blanchard's in Allston had 1.75L JB Black for $31.99 and White for $21.99.

Lately I am in a Jim Beam Manhattan rut so this comes in handy.

Hit the Allston Stop and shop and was shocked to see oxtail for $4.99 a pound. Ouch. For what used to be an inexpensive cut...

Was reading somewhere else that chicken wings these days are often pricier then white meat breast. Up is down, down is up the sky is brown and the earth is blue I guess. ;-)

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  1. The Chowhound Team Nov 5, 2009 02:42 PM

    Folks, this thread has drifted far from discussing the availability of various spirits in the Boston area to more general discussion on spirits and mixology. By continuing the spirits discussion here you are limiting participation and visibility of the topic. Please feel free to resume your discussions appreciating spirits on the Spirits board. Let's keep the focus of this board on where to FIND great spirits in the Boston area.

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    1. Alcachofa Oct 30, 2009 11:21 AM

      Yo stripey, what vermouth and what bitters do youz use in a JB Black manhatt'n?

      24 Replies
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      1. re: Alcachofa
        StriperGuy Oct 30, 2009 03:33 PM

        I have been using my homemade bitters, but regular angostura is fine. On the vermouth front I change around from Martini to the french stuff sometimes I even sub a bit of sweet sherry.

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        1. re: StriperGuy
          z
          Zatan Oct 30, 2009 04:30 PM

          Recently had glasses of Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth (introduced to me at Eastern Standard) and what an amazing thing that is! Would love to stock a bottle or two, and though fantastic neat, it would no doubt go well in a manhattan or any other drink requiring sweet vermouth. Fantastic stuff, really.

          -----
          Eastern Standard
          528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

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          1. re: Zatan
            StriperGuy Oct 30, 2009 04:39 PM

            Funny that you two cocktail nerds would mention it, because I have been toying with the idea of trying to make my own vermouth. How tricky can it be. Start with some sweet wine (sherry, marsala, etc) add some herbs, spices, etc. Voila, vermouth.

            I do have to find a bottle of that Carpano Antica Formula regardless...

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            1. re: StriperGuy
              rlh Oct 30, 2009 07:30 PM

              Just picked up a liter of Carpano Antica at Atlas Liquors in Medford last week (thanks to a post somewhere on this site) for around $30 - they had two others on the shelf then and one tin that had a bottle of Pernod in it...it does make awesome Manhattans with Rittenhouse Bonded, Eagle Rare, and Pierre Ferrand Ambre (with a splash of St.Germain and orange bitters) - more tests to come. I also like Vya (pricier per oz - at least from Brix) very much as well, but think there's a lot more depth in the Antica - my new standard.

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              1. re: rlh
                StriperGuy Oct 31, 2009 12:08 AM

                Okay it may very well be a good drink, but you are no longer even close to making a Manhattan.

                Starts to sound a bit busy with all those ingredients. Everyone seems to be adding St. Germain to everything these days. I have tried Manhattans with all sorts of high end Whiskeys but I always seem to come back to Jim Beam White. I find the longer aged stuff tends to overwhelm the integrity of the drink. Most of the longer aged whiskeys and ryes I prefer to drink on the rocks or neat with a splash of water, the classic Bourbon and Branch. Branch just meaning water from the branch of a small mountain spring.

                Where did you pick up the Rittenhouse?

                Heck, give the cocktail a name, and add it to this thread I started on the spirits board a ways back.

                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/607435

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                1. re: StriperGuy
                  rlh Oct 31, 2009 06:37 PM

                  It took a while for them to restock it, but Cambridge Wine and Spirit at Fresh Pond had lot of it on hand as of a couple of weeks ago.

                  To clarify my runon post - those are three separate Manhattans versions I tried with the Antica vermouth - one with Rittenouse, the other with Eagle Rare - both were classic style with only the addition of Angostura bitters and garnish after stirring and straining.

                  The third is a reach and more of just a Manhattan-based inspiration that came from a bar in Austin, TX (Peche) - I will post it as their name Paris Manhattan on the other thread (though they had some really excellent housemade cherry vanilla bitters that I don't have in it ) - I agree St. Germain can be overused and trite, but it works really well in this case and it takes the subtlety of the cognac and the Orange Bitters (vs. bourbon or rye) to make it work.

                  The only combo of rye and cognac that I think works for me is a Vieux Carre (and Misty's at Drink with the huge handmade iceberg is my gold standard) - in fact, now that the trick or treaters have stopped, I am going to try again to make it well at home....

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                  1. re: rlh
                    StriperGuy Nov 1, 2009 01:14 AM

                    Gotcha, I sorta was wondering. I work right near Fresh Pond so will grab a bottle for sure. Thanks.

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                    1. re: rlh
                      StriperGuy Nov 5, 2009 05:27 AM

                      Picked up some of the Rittenhouse. Hmmm certainly a quality product at a reasonable price point. Tried it on the rocks and then in a Manhattan.

                      I tend to make my Manhattan's on the dry side, light on the vermouth. Which is why I guess I don't worry too much about the vermouth. Though all this talk has me thinking I need to try a bottle of Dolin, Vya, or Carpano...

                      I know it sounds funny, but the Rittehouse is a bit rich for my Manhattan. I have recently gone back to Jim Beam White, or Old Overholt for my Manhattans and the thinner style of the less aged whisky suits my liking.

                      Rittenhouse reminds me a bit of Jim Beam Black with the addition of the zing that Rye grain brings. Again a real quality product at the price point but think I may find myself drinking it on the rocks more then in a Manhattan.

                      My current Manhattan recipe:

                      2 oz. Jim Beam White
                      Good dash of my home made bitters
                      2 Tsp of Vermouth (Martini and Rossi)
                      2 Tsp of liquid from my homemade spiced cherries
                      Cherry garnish

                      Slight sacrilege, but I usually drink mine on the rocks.

                      One sad note, I am almost out of house made cherries and the though of going back to crapola supermarket cherries is a drag until next spring when they are back in season. I am not a huge fan of the Luxardo cherries so...

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                      1. re: StriperGuy
                        barleywino Nov 5, 2009 08:38 AM

                        maybe you can "make do" with Amarena Fabbri cherries (amazon.com) until next spring...

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                        1. re: barleywino
                          StriperGuy Nov 5, 2009 09:15 AM

                          hmmm, haven't tried those...

                          Just on Amazon and found this, not a huge fan of Roland products, but a 6 pound tin could probably hold all of Boston chowhounds until spring ;-)

                          http://www.amazon.com/Roland-Amarena-...

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                2. re: StriperGuy
                  jgg13 Nov 5, 2009 08:57 AM

                  They have at Liquor World in Porter. I grabbed a bottle last week, haven't opened it yet though.

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            2. re: Alcachofa
              n
              nickls Oct 30, 2009 05:23 PM

              I made a manhattan the other night with JB Black, Vya sweet vermouth, and Fee's whiskey barrel bitters, and I thought it was pretty excellent.

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              1. re: nickls
                StriperGuy Oct 30, 2009 06:42 PM

                How do you like the VYA vermouth?

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                1. re: StriperGuy
                  barleywino Oct 31, 2009 06:26 AM

                  i'm a big fan of the Vya sweet vermouth over the Antica, which I find more bitter/tannic (ymmv)

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              2. re: Alcachofa
                MC Slim JB Oct 30, 2009 08:20 PM

                I like to mix it up, keep a few bottles of sweet vermouth in my fridge with VacuVin stoppers: Dolin, Antica Formula (which I see everywhere at local retail now, finally -- fantastic stuff), Punt e Mes, Vya.

                For dry vermouth, I keep Vya, Dolin and Noilly Prat (both new and old formulations) around. The Martini bianco is an interesting, sweeter product. Fortified wines like oloroso sherries, late-bottled-vintage and other ports, and non-vermouth aromatized wines like Lillet and Dubonnet make a nice change, too.

                A lot of Manhattan variants use monastery cordials like Benedictine or Italian amari like Cynar in addition to or in place of vermouth, which add a lot of interest.

                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

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                1. re: MC Slim JB
                  StriperGuy Oct 31, 2009 12:12 AM

                  I occasionally use a very slight amount of Pedro Ximenez sherry in lieu of vermouth. Not sure I'd go for the grapiness of the LBV though I'm a big port fan in general.

                  Not at all a Benedictine fan and I'll sip my Cynar just with an ice cube or two. Not sure I'd want that in my whiskey.

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                  1. re: StriperGuy
                    k
                    kitsune Nov 5, 2009 07:24 AM

                    Glad to hear that there are some other Cynar fans out there. I bought it on a whim because I am both a fan of exotic cocktail ingredients and artichokes, and I've fallen it love with it ever since.

                    I found a great recipe that uses Cynar that's a twist on the negroni: equal parts Cynar, Punt e Mes and gin.

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                    1. re: kitsune
                      Bob Dobalina Nov 5, 2009 09:36 AM

                      As a new devotee of Fernet con coca, can you fill me in on the finer points of Cynar? Also, I periodically look for an arugula-based digestif, but cannot find it stateside. Any thoughts are appreciated.

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                      1. re: Bob Dobalina
                        yumyum Nov 5, 2009 10:15 AM

                        Mr. Dobalina what happened to your avatar? Sad.

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                        1. re: Bob Dobalina
                          k
                          kitsune Nov 5, 2009 10:29 AM

                          I'd say that Cynar can be considered an acquired taste (although in my case, I took to it quite quickly). It's very bitter and strong (and vaguely vegetal), so if you gravitate towards those flavors naturally, you'll probably like it (and since you like Fernet, I'd imagine that you do). I've read that some people find that it has a bit of a metallic aftertaste, but I personally don't notice this.

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                          1. re: kitsune
                            barleywino Nov 5, 2009 10:31 AM

                            Babbo used to make a drink years ago (pre-"cocktail revolution"), called the Thistle (as in artichoke/Cynar), with Cynar, fresh squeezed OJ, Grey Goose orange

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                          2. re: Bob Dobalina
                            barleywino Nov 5, 2009 10:35 AM

                            Franklin Southie is having a Fernet cocktail night tonight 8pm, with various guest bartenders/Fernet recipes supposedly

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                            1. re: barleywino
                              Bob Dobalina Nov 5, 2009 11:52 AM

                              Thanks for the responses and the Franklin tip - if only I could make it....
                              YY, BP has been retired from here, but he's still out there...

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                      2. re: MC Slim JB
                        rlh Oct 31, 2009 06:40 PM

                        On that note, I love John's LIttle Italy version at Drink - bourbon, sweet vermouth, Cynar, and some really great house bitters.

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                    2. t
                      ThePickleHider Oct 30, 2009 06:12 AM

                      Love the Beam Black. Anyone know where to pickup a bottle of Old Fitzgerald 1849 Bourbon in the Boston area? Thanks.

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                      1. StriperGuy Oct 29, 2009 11:14 AM

                        Props to Itaunas as usual, dang that boy is encyclopedic.

                        Hit McKinnon's. They had Oxtail for $4 / lb. I decided to mix it up:

                        2.5 lbs oxtail
                        2.5 pounds meaty beef ribs (not short ribs)
                        1 pound boneless short rib meat

                        Browned.

                        Added 1 bottle Italian red wine (it was good, maybe should have saved it for drinking, oh well better stew.)

                        Bay leaves
                        thyme
                        One toasted guajillo chile (I think that's what it was)
                        A few tiny chiles pequines
                        Black pepper
                        an onion
                        Red and green bell peppers
                        celery
                        carrots
                        salt
                        oregano

                        Made it late last night, simmered for 5+ hours.

                        We'll see what it tastes like for dinner tonight ;-)

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                        1. re: StriperGuy
                          yumyum Oct 29, 2009 12:02 PM

                          We're on the same wavelength .. I made Beef Braised in Barolo last weekend and used a much too nice bottle of wine for it but boy it was tasty. And better the second day fo sho.

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                          1. re: yumyum
                            StriperGuy Oct 29, 2009 12:31 PM

                            It's beef with Barolo time of year. But dang, seriously, Barolo. I would happily help you drink that and save it from the stew pot.

                            One of the best bottles of wine I ever had was a 20+ year old bottle of Barolo...

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                        2. z
                          Zatan Oct 27, 2009 06:35 PM

                          Damn, happened to shanks of all kinds too, especially lamb, which was a throw-away until someone made it famous and not it's almost as expensive as the chops!

                          Good bourbon, hit up Deep Ellum, I was amazed at their listing of bottles and Max the owner is obsessed with the stuff. I am with him on that now, a new found love for it to substitute for the more common desire for good scotch.....American whiskey, yeah.

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                          1. re: Zatan
                            h
                            hyde Oct 28, 2009 06:27 AM

                            flank steak, too. didnt it used to be a cheap cut? maybe its my old brain but it seems to me we used to grill this up for sandwiches, etc. precisely because it was cheap. am i mis remembering?

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                            1. re: hyde
                              yumyum Oct 28, 2009 07:54 AM

                              Yes. I could go on and on about flank steak and yes it used to be cheap.

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                              1. re: yumyum
                                cassoulady Oct 28, 2009 08:14 AM

                                hanger steak used to be cheap as well.

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                            2. re: Zatan
                              Bob Dobalina Oct 28, 2009 06:49 AM

                              Zatan, you might be interested to know that there was a recent tasting of Four Roses bourbon - this stuff I guess is real old school and prohibition-era had been a big brand, but got dumbed down when it was acquired by Seagram's - was mostly bottom rail and exported to Europe thereafter - now they are controlled by a Japanese company and they are trying to come back into the premium bourbon market - I thought it was middling, but I am not a connoisseur. You might chat up the Deep Ellum folks about it next time -

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                              1. re: Bob Dobalina
                                nsenada Oct 29, 2009 06:33 AM

                                I had meant to go to that tasting - was that at Federal Wines?

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                                1. re: Bob Dobalina
                                  MC Slim JB Oct 29, 2009 06:54 AM

                                  Misty Kalkofen at Drink recently Tweeted about accidentally breaking a bottle of Four Roses, and I thought, "Did the customers a favor", but now I'm not so sure. They apparently have a fancier ($40+) single-barrel version on the market now, too, so it sounds like they're trying to reposition the brand.

                                  If it hasn't been reformulated recently, the yellow label (cheaper version, around $20 retail) is pretty rough stuff. On the other hand, Old Overholt rye is still about $12 retail, and its harder-edged character actually makes it work better in certain cocktails than more expensive, smoother ryes, so I always keep it around. Hopefully its appearance as a Don Draper tipple on Mad Men won't make another Plymouth Gin out of it.

                                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

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                                  1. re: MC Slim JB
                                    Bob Dobalina Oct 29, 2009 07:06 AM

                                    It was at Federal Wine and Spirits.
                                    We tried the single barrel, the small batch and the yellow label in that order and in that order of preference - I cut the single barrel with a tiny bit of water like a single malt scotch and it smoothed out all the edges - really smooth, silky even - nice bourbon - the yellow label was pretty rough to my tastes - there was also a limited edition that I was too bourboned up to try at that point. *hic* The single barrel was 100 proof and it was a lot smoother than the 80 proof cheap stuff.

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                                    1. re: Bob Dobalina
                                      joypirate Oct 29, 2009 08:43 AM

                                      yeah, when I told my father-in-law about Four Roses he replied, "Four Roses! That's rotgut!" but it appears those days are past (or maybe their low-end is still rotgut, not sure) their small batch/single barrel are both really solid.

                                      tried a bunch a few months ago:
                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/663026

                                      and re:formerly cheap meats that are now expensive; shhh, don't tell anyone but featherbones are still dirt cheap if you can find them.

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                                      1. re: joypirate
                                        yumyum Oct 29, 2009 10:47 AM

                                        Hey, you made me google. I never heard of featherbones, but that is right up my alley.

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                                        1. re: yumyum
                                          Gio Oct 29, 2009 11:04 AM

                                          Gosh me too.. now I'm on a mission... Crispy Mandarin Riblets here I come:
                                          http://www.chicagomeat.com/recipe_det...

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                                        2. re: joypirate
                                          z
                                          Zatan Oct 29, 2009 01:22 PM

                                          aren't these the cut used in Chinese restaurants for "ribs" such as those in dim sum steamed w/black bean sauce? I always called them riblets, think it's the same cut....if so, usually available at Asian markets?

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                                      2. re: MC Slim JB
                                        StriperGuy Oct 29, 2009 07:08 AM

                                        Old Overcoat is a classic.

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                                        1. re: MC Slim JB
                                          nsenada Oct 29, 2009 08:00 AM

                                          Uh-oh - I better stock up on the Old Overholt. I actually prefer it in a Manhattan to the fancier brands as well, and can't believe it's remained so cheap.

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                                        2. re: Bob Dobalina
                                          z
                                          Zatan Oct 29, 2009 08:26 AM

                                          Really just very happy to see a bourbon/American whisky revival going on, always thought it's been underappreciated and soo many sad stories like the four roses one. I haven't tried that one in ages and did not know about its new iteration.

                                          Old Overholt was for the longest time the only rye I could find around here. Anytime I saw it in a bar I'd get my manhattan made with it.....

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                                          1. re: Zatan
                                            MC Slim JB Oct 29, 2009 09:36 AM

                                            There's a huge number of otherwise well-stocked bars in Boston that still don't carry a single American straight rye, especially irksome to me if they have three yards of flavored and super-premium vodkas. That's slowly changing, but there are plenty that still think a bottle or two of Canadian whisky covers them on the rye front. (It doesn't: calling that stuff "rye" is a holdover from Prohibition.)

                                            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

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                                        3. re: Zatan
                                          h
                                          hckybg Nov 5, 2009 01:23 PM

                                          I am increasingly interested in bourbon too, though still a definite novice. Have you found any good retailers where you can find smaller batch bourbons or some of the less frequently seen labels (Bulleit)? Especially a place where they can talk me through it a bit? In Cambridge is a plus. I haven't looked at Wine and Cheese Cask yet, which is usually my standby for alcohol.

                                          By the way, I had Four Roses for the first time at the Old Brown Hotel in Louisville a few weeks ago and it was wonderful. I am not sure which label it was, they didn't say, but perhaps that means it was not the 40/bottle variety...

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                                          1. re: hckybg
                                            StriperGuy Nov 5, 2009 01:36 PM

                                            Take a look at the Spirits board, lots of discussion on this. Most of the big liquor stores have good selections. Fresh Pond, Blanchards, Martignettis, Martys.

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                                            1. re: StriperGuy
                                              h
                                              hckybg Nov 5, 2009 02:32 PM

                                              Thank you! I suspect the Liquor World variety of stores will neither have much selection nor know anything about what they sell. I will poke around these, which I have never visited.

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                                        4. digga Oct 27, 2009 05:28 PM

                                          That is crazy about oxtail and I love that you are shopping for it. My (Korean) mom has told me about the days when she could get oxtail for free from the "regular" (read: Western) supermarket meat counter...they were going to just chuck it anyway. She would appreciatively take it and make some damned amazing soup.

                                          Maybe you could find them for free-to-really cheap still in the 'burbs?

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                                          1. re: digga
                                            StriperGuy Oct 28, 2009 07:10 AM

                                            Oxtail is awesome. Nothing makes a better beef stew/soup.

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                                            1. re: StriperGuy
                                              itaunas Oct 28, 2009 02:42 PM

                                              That is not an uncommon price for Oxtail in supermarkets, going back at least a couple of years. I have commented in the past that even though for instance DeMoula's is less expensive overall, things like Oxtail are slightly more pricey there. And Super88 also never sold it cheap either. As some folks mentioned on a thread a week ago, McKinnon's was selling it for significantly less (I think $2.79 and they had some packages with only meaty large pieces). That said, the cryovac "never frozen" Latino brand that some Demoula's carry is pretty good stuff. When I can, I prefer to buy at Lord Jeff's because you can have it cut to order (frozen) the thickness you desire and they sell a lot. But more often I tend to get it from Puritan Beef at Haymarket (I prefer buying during the week and getting stuff from the walk-in, but oxtail is pretty safe) and sometimes Mayflower Poultry (frozen). Hilltop is another place that has it cheap, but can be pretty mixed.

                                              If you want a stew meat which is uncommon and also excellent, check out turkey necks. They have a lot of gelatin (give a body in between short ribs and oxtail), but unlike chicken necks have enough meat that you end up with something you can eat. And pork neck bones, beef shin (Asian and Brazilian markets will sell just the muscle alone for pot roast)... and many other things are still inexpensive, but make a great soup base.

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                                              1. re: itaunas
                                                StriperGuy Oct 28, 2009 03:16 PM

                                                Hmmmm, never seen shin meat, but will definitely look for it now.

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                                                1. re: StriperGuy
                                                  yumyum Oct 29, 2009 10:45 AM

                                                  They often have shins at Market Basket too.

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                                                  1. re: yumyum
                                                    itaunas Oct 29, 2009 11:06 AM

                                                    Market Basket, McKinnon's, and Johnnie's sell beef shin, cross-cut (with the bone). At a Chinese market or from a Brazilian butcher as "musculo" you can buy the whole shin muscle (boneless) from one side which makes a really nice pot roast/stew. I generally like having the bones, but the whole cut is nice from time to time. If you look around you can usually find it somewhere for $2.99/lb, but can be more (particularly at Johnnie's when not on sale). The meat doesn't get that silky texture of nicely braised oxtail or short ribs, but I do recommend it.

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                                                  2. re: StriperGuy
                                                    PinchOfSalt Oct 30, 2009 07:06 AM

                                                    Lots of shin meat at H-Mart, including off the bone. I got some there for $2.99.

                                                    H-Mart is also a good source for oxtail. If you get it frozen, it is $1 less per pound.

                                                    -----
                                                    H-Mart
                                                    3 Old Concord Rd, Burlington, MA 01803

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                                                  3. re: itaunas
                                                    StriperGuy Oct 28, 2009 03:46 PM

                                                    And thanks for reminding me of McKinnon's.

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                                                  4. re: StriperGuy
                                                    kobuta Oct 29, 2009 07:51 AM

                                                    Agreed, but aside from a rare sale, I've never seen oxtail for less than 4.99/lb - even in Chinatown where you can have savings on the less popular cuts of meat. The one advantage in Chinatown is you sometimes get better cuts of tail (whether you want the giant meat parts, or the smaller parts that are fun to gnaw on).

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                                                2. n
                                                  nickls Oct 27, 2009 04:48 PM

                                                  Last time I went to Liquor World in Somerville they had Jim Beam Black 750ml for $18 which was the same price they were charging for the white. I thought that was a good deal as I like the smaller bottles so I can try more different brands.

                                                  2 Replies
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                                                  1. re: nickls
                                                    StriperGuy Oct 28, 2009 07:09 AM

                                                    That is a bit pricey for Beam White, which usually goes for about $14 for 750. Not a bad price for the Black. My standard fall end of day libation is a Manhattan so I do go through a bit of Beam. 1.75L of Black is often over $40 so...

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                                                    1. re: nickls
                                                      phipsi102 Nov 1, 2009 06:43 AM

                                                      I went the day before yesterday to try to pick up a bottle of the Black at Liquor World- None in stock. Bummer.

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                                                    2. MC Slim JB Oct 27, 2009 03:14 PM

                                                      That is true about wings being costlier than breast meat, which explains why your local pub might be pushing the chicken tenders.

                                                      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

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