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Mar 16, 2012 12:09 PM

Pork bones for sale?

Has anyone had any luck finding pork bones for sale to the consumer? I can never find them at my local Whole Foods - they tell me they get most of their pork cuts already boned out - and I've yet to find them elsewhere. I'd be happy even with an online source.

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  1. You might ask one of the butchers at Reading Terminal Market?

      1. re: Philly Ray

        I was in Cappuccio's on 9th St the other day and they were advertising beef bones for sale real cheap. I think they sell pork there, so worth a shot. Cannuli's is a good bet, too.

        1. re: barryg

          I am really curious what you want to do with the pork bones. Definitely not a common item for people to use. Of course, I am familiar with using beef and chicken bones for making stock... are there ragus that call for pork stock or bones?

          1. re: cwdonald

            Traditional south Philly "gravy" is often make with pork neck bones, which I've found in quite a few places. I also use them to make tonkotsu broth.

            I've purchased them at H-Mart in Upper Darby and Supreme in West Philadelphia.

            1. re: Boognish

              I've looked for pork neck bones before and had trouble finding them, though I didn't search very hard. I tried at Cappuccio's, and they stared at me like I had 9 heads. Would love to know if other places in the Italian Market area have them readily available.

              Also +1 on the ragu. That's what I was planning on using the bones for.

              1. re: tzanghi

                It might be a trip, but try Blooming Glen Pork in Blooming Glen.

            2. re: cwdonald

              Pork bones are the preferred meat bones for making all sorts of stocks and soups in East Asian/Chinese/SE Asian (non-Malay/non-Islamic) cuisines. The majority of soups and soupy noodle dishes you would eat in Chinese restaurants, even in the US and Canada, would be based on a pork stock.

              It is relatively rare for beef bones to be used in such cuisines, with Vietnamese phở being one exception. (Of course, the Islamic-type cuisines would shun pork and go for beef, lamb, goat, chicken etc instead)

              1. re: cwdonald

                One can make a very decent stock using pork leg bones. If you go to any Chinese supermarkets that offer a meat counter, you will see various selections of bones (leg, pelvis, neck, spine...) I have tried them all and like leg bones the best. Basically, the more the marrow a piece of bone contains, the better to use for making stock.

                The other way to make a comparable stock is to use roasted veal bones which are more expensive to get.

                Typically, you tell the person behind the counter how many pieces you want and ask him to please saw the bones into smaller pieces. It's OK to simply gesture by pointing and miming. It's OK to reject a piece the person grabs. Most of their Chinese customers dictates which pieces of bones or any other meat they want. They can be very peculiar indeed. I know, I am one of them.

                To make tasty broth Chinese-style: Boil the bones and throw away the water. Rinse the bones. Immerse the bones in fresh water, throw in a few (4-8) thick slices of ginger root, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for a long time. Salt and pepper (white pepper powder) to taste.

                1. re: borntolovefood

                  Thanks for the tips. How long do you boil the bones first time?

                  1. re: barryg

                    The idea is to get rid of some fat and blood. Once the broth is boiling, stuff (skum)will start to float up. Some would simply remove it with a fine mesh strainer. I prefer dumping the first boil when I think the bones are heated through, after a few minutes of boiling.. This does not seem to reduce the flavor of the eventual soup but will afford the soup a "clean" taste.

                    1. re: borntolovefood

                      In fact, I've demonstrated the technique of parboiling the bones first to a friend who had never done it that way before when making stock - whether with beef bones (e.g. for phở) or with pork bones. I fish the bones out from the "parboiling pot" with a sieved ladle and rinse them under a running (hot/warm water) tap, hand-rubbing off congealed blood/scum/excess fat/veins/tissue detritus/etc as needed, then place them in the (second) clean stock pot and fill with water and bring *that* to a boil. After a suitable period (just 1/2 hour will do) I ask them to smell the pot of parboiling "water" with all the crud which I've hung on to, and the pot of simmering cleaned bones, without anything else added yet except salt - the smell is startlingly different.

                      1. re: huiray

                        This kind of experiments is what I enjoy doing, too. Thanks for sharing.

                        The Chinese cooks love the tendons (gristles) and some other tissues that are attached to the bones (or the meat around the bones). When making bone soup, cooking it at low heat seems to be essential to produce a clear broth; but cooking it slow and long (for several hours) will turn the broth "white". Such white broth frequently congeals when cooled, an evidence that more collagen has been released.

                        The Japanese movie "Tempopo" is worth watching for those who want to further study soup making.

                        1. re: borntolovefood


                          As another example, when I do a soup of pork meatballs with Daikon - sort-of Sichuan-style - I boil the cleaned pork bone , with all cartilage available still attached - to get that milky stock, before I carry on with the minced pork seasoned meatballs, sliced Daikon and LOTS of ground white pepper & etc etc...

          2. Perhaps try Haines Pork Shop in Mickleton? It's not far outside of Philly, real old fashioned pork shop.


            My mom's got a pig we're getting ready to butcher in the next month or so...I'll have to tell the butcher I want some bones this time.

            1. Aren't there any "Asian" or Chinese-type grocers/supermarkets around with a meat section? If there are I can't imagine that pork bones couldn't be found at them, or at least at one of them.

              2 Replies
              1. re: huiray

                Spoke to Blooming Glen Pork, and they do have the pork bones you are looking for.

                1. re: teddybare

                  Thanks, I'm not looking for pork bones in Philly but my curiosity was piqued by the thread. However I'm sure the OP will appreciate the info. :-)

              2. i've gone to my local shop rite and gotten pork neck bones with no problems. they usually have them when i go. i agree with a poster below about h-mart or any other asian grocery store; i've definitely gotten them there as well.

                i use the neck bones to make a filipino soup, sinigang.