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Dec 30, 2009 11:45 AM

Who stocks pork bones ?

None of the usual suspects, Berkeley Bowl, Golden Gate Meats, stocks pork bones (ramen stock).
Would 99 Ranch carry these?

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  1. Yes, Ranch 99 has lots of pork bones. Best to get there in the morning. Likewise, all the Chinese butchers in SF or Oakland Chinatown who break down whole pigs every morning. I've also bought pork neck bones from Nob Hill/Raley's markets. They're a common item at carnicerias as well.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong

      I'll just echo that I've bought pork neck bones at Nob Hill, which seems to have a better-than-average selection of non-standard meat offerings.

      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        That would be the Alameda branch of Nob HIll?

        I'll mention that the price at my local Nob Hill is lower than anywhere and the bones are quite meaty and not frozen. I use them for making Chinese stocks.

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          Yeah, the Alameda Nob Hill. I occasionally buy pork neck (or pig's feet, which they also have) for my dog for a special treat. I've never made stock from pig parts -- I guess I should look into it!

        2. re: Ruth Lafler

          Does Nob Hill have actual butchers breaking down whole pigs or sides? Anyplace where they do that has pork bones even if they don't put them out.

      2. Most asian and latino markets (including 99 ranch) will stock several boney cuts for making pork stock. They may not be labelled pork bones per se. Look for cheaper cuts with more bones and connective tissue. I've used neck bones, trotters or pig feet, or tail cuts.

        1. Berkeley Bowl will sell you pork bones, but you have to ask and their supply is limited.

          Ditto the comments on 99 and Chinatown butchers, those are your best bets.

          5 Replies
          1. re: PorkButt

            Yeah, if you call ahead Berkeley Bowl will keep some aside for you.

            1. re: PorkButt

              I mention that when I went into one carniceria asking for beef marrow bones, the butcher said he'd give them to me at no charge if I bought something else. So i bought a couple beef shanks and half a calf foot to get my freebie, which was everything I needed to make beef stock. This might also apply to pork bones.

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                That's a good idea. The competition for pork bones at Chinese butchers can be stiff and the pricing can vary depending on the type of bone. I believe that the neck is the most popular.

                1. re: PorkButt

                  Pork bones are often used in Chinese cuisine for stocks and soups. I wouldn't think Chinese markets would give those out of free. The carniceria option sounds like a good idea; I'll have to try it next time.

                  1. re: PorkButt

                    Pork neck bones are wonderful. Lots of cartilage and connective tissue to add body to your stock, bones for the minerally taste, and there's usually a lot of meat left on them. The meat stays quite succulent and smooth even after long cooking. I can usually get a cup or so of meat off a pound of bones. I use it to make chile verde and the stock gets directed toward a Chinese soup.

                1. re: Stephanie Wong

                  God, I love Ranch 99. Every time I go in there I come out with bags of new and interesting stuff.
                  They had bags and bags of delightful pork bones just waiting for me.
                  Golden,, the, they all said they could order them.
                  Prather did have some lovely Leaf Lard, though.

                  1. re: mendogurl

                    The Bowl doesn't have to order pork bones, they just have to put them aside.

                    No butchering going on at Prather, it's all bagged and frozen. I'm not sure about Golden Gate.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      Well, the man at the Bowl meat counter told me yesterday that I need to order them.
                      I know that Prather only carries bagged meat, but they could have had bagged bones, catering to the foodie crowd that they do. Ya never know. But they are always so lovely to deal with, I had to buy 6 tubs of leaf lard, just because.
                      Golden Gate has to order them as well.
                      But 99 has bags, and bags, and bags

                      I remember as a kid, that you could always get bones of all kinds at the butcher counter. But that it a while ago, and times have changed.

                      I was also surprised that they had to get a manager to talk about pork belly at the Bowl. The guy I talked to first, looked confused and said "pork belly??". I figured that if anyone would stock it, they would.

                      1. re: mendogurl

                        The skill levels of the people who work the butcher counter at the Bowl vary about as widely as possible. Some are great, we wanted some marrow bones and the guy said, why don't you buy a whole shin and I'll saw it up? which saved us a lot. Some pretty obviously have had about 15 minutes of experience.

                2. I saw packages of pork bones while shopping at the orient market a couple days ago in Oakland Chinatown, 410 7th St. in Oakland. They were wrapped in styrofoam meat containers in the meat section.