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Nov 8, 2010 05:25 AM

Birmingham -- Place to buy Lamb/Good Butcher

I am looking to buy a boneless leg of lamb or a butterflied leg of lamb. Is my best spot whole foods, or are there other butcher shops that I should seek out? Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.


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  1. I've always found that Publix has really good lamb. While they typically don't sell boneless or butterflied, I have successfully gotten them to butterfly a packaged leg for me, at no charge. They are all about keepingtheir customers happy and coming back.

    2 Replies
    1. re: sheilal

      Publix is very accomodating. Also try the Western at Mountain Brook. The butchers there are very helpful, and I hear they still sell Colorado lamb.
      New York Butcher Shop is a new place in Cahaba Heights, and is service oriented. I've seen lamb leg in there, but I sometimes wonder the extent to which they do butchering in-store (a lot of stuff, including lamb, in packages. I just haven't had a chance to ask yet). Fresh Market also has a decent butcher shop.
      Not sure if Mr. P's in Bluff Park does lamb. But they're a good butcher shop. Cajun Cleaver in Hoover does not appear to do lamb legs.

      I've never been to this place, but they advertise in the Birmingham News: Sprouse Butcher Shop Inc
      501 Tarrant Road, Gardendale, AL 35071-2864

      (205) 631-4285

      1. re: Big Daddy

        The Cajun Cleaver has domestic legs of lamb in the store and will bone them for you if needed. They also have racks and sometimes shanks.

    2. Not sure if it's good necessarily, but saw the middle eastern place on greensprings in the same shoppping center as Pho Que Huong is expanding it's offerings. I inquired about the expansion and they said yes they were expanding, particularly in the halal meat dept. I saw a big fresh looking leg of lamb in the cold case. I have never gotten the meat there, but like their reasonably priced olives, the ajvar, and some of the feta.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Dax

        Another market that used to sell halal meat in Hoover sourced their lamb in Alabama. Here's hoping this place will do the same. I can't wait to check it out. I take it this expansion is going on now?

        1. re: Big Daddy

          Yes, the build out seems to have just recently started. They moved the cases off of the wall inside the door to the right which was demolished for the expansion. I am not sure how it will play out but it's a cool little market.

      2. Fresh Market has outstanding lamb.

        Fresh Market @ 4700 Highway 280, Birmingham, AL 205 - 991 - 0294.

        Fresh Market Cafe'
        937A Highway 49, Flora, MS 39071

        1. This is more about butchers in town in general but I was having some trouble with the search function on the Central South board. Saw V Richard's has prime cowboy bone-in ribeyes for $7.99/lb vs usual $12+ but yes that is spendy if you think about the bone cost. Also have short-ribs for $5.99/lb. I haven't bought short ribs in ages, is that reasonable? If not, where do you buy them? Seems they should be cheaper for a braising meat.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Dax

            I had one of those cowboy ribeyes the other day. While the bone does increase the price/lb. as far as the meat goes, $7.99 for organic, name brand farm raised beef goes is still quite a deal.

            $5.99 for short ribs is better than what I paid at Whole Foods a couple of weeks ago ($7.99) but is $1-$2/lb. more than what one might find.

            1. re: mahalan

              I've had the Meyer (?) cowboy ribeye from vr and thought they were great too. It's almost short rib weather too.

            2. re: Dax

              For butcher shops, $5.99 is a decent short-rib price. They get down as low as $2.99 in grocery stores, but the quality is not as nice. Most butchers should have short ribs, but it's worth calling ahead.
              Of course, about half of what you're paying for with short ribs is bone. But they are sooooooo good when done right.
              You'll find short ribs cut a couple of different ways -- basically thick and thin. The thick ones (which I prefer) are about 2 inches tall. The others are about 1/3 inch (if that). That's a popular cut in Mexico, and you can throw in carnecerias like Gordo's, El Mercado and Mi Pueblo on Green Springs to the list of places to buy that style.

              1. re: Big Daddy

                Big Daddy,

                I'd normally agree that you get what you pay for with regards to meat but my experience with Whole Foods' short ribs a couple weeks ago went counter to that. $7.99/lb. and despite not being well marbled, they did have a single, thick layer of fat between the layers of meat (not a problem for me but it was for my girlfriend).

                Then again, any day I get to cook short ribs sous vide is a good day.

                1. re: mahalan

                  Short rib is one of my favorite cuts of beef, especially since slow cooking adds so much flavor (I'd love to try it sous vide; how long did you cook it and at what temperature?) Although I like steak, it's never been a big part of my diet. Tougher cuts cooked slow is my preference.
                  My comment about the bones was in reaction to the reference about "bone cost" on a bone-in ribeye. Short rib may be half bone, but in my opinion it delivers more flavor (and satisfaction) than an equivalent steak like ribeye or NY strip.

                  1. re: Big Daddy

                    For those short ribs, I cooked them at 137 (my girlfriend likes her beef much more well done than I do) for about 40 hours. The collagen and other tough fibers had broken down but the thick fat layer hadn't dissolved at that temperature.

                    I agree that short ribs offer a ton of flavor relative to any steak. Can see their cost skyrocketing as a result of braising/sous vide. Sort of like what happened to flank steak after fajitas became popular.