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Sources of affordable beef bones for stock [DTW]

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Hi 'hounds,

I was reading the Home Cooking board and got a hankering to make a good beef stock for soup. And then, oy vey, I went to E Mart/H Mart (why does it have 2 names?) to look at oxtails. I'd found a Pho recipe that called for 6 lbs of oxtails or bones. The E oxtails were nearly $7 pound - I'm not up for a $40 batch of stock. Especially when pork neck bones to make a good pork stock cost less than $5. Even more shocking - Wholefoods' paltry stock of oxtails was $1/lb cheaper than the ethic market! That is never supposed to happen!

How do all of you get around the (to me) unbelievable current prices for short ribs and oxtails and source stock bones? I'm thinking that Gratiot Central Market's beef vendors are worth a look for pricing on this. Or I just live with chicken and pork and veg stocks.

Thanks!

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  1. Wow. Very expensive and surprising for H-mart (which I would kill to have them expand into my area).

    Find a local Hispanic grocery (I buy my bones at Cermak in Milwaukee) for far less than that. Four months ago I think I was paying close to $3.25 per lb.

    3 Replies
    1. re: exvaxman

      Thank you for confirming that a $20-$40 pot of stock is ridiculous. I ended up getting 1 oxtail and 1 short rib from WF, and combining with a piece of shank in my freezer for onion soup stock. For a small batch (for 2 people) this works, and the short rib and oxtail yielded a teeny bit of meat - nowhere near enough to justify $7/lb and gold plated meat stock.

      I'm going to go see if the (allegedly mobbed up, if you believe the gutter press) wholesalers have better prices. Betcha they do.

      1. re: HillsofBeverly

        Not in your area, but for anyone who is reading this, neesvigs
        http://www.neesvigs.com/
        Is just freaking awesome for customer service and prices.
        I forgive them for Larry the cable guy visiting them. His wife is from the area after all.

        1. re: HillsofBeverly

          I'm sure you can find it at Eastern Market--I also saw beef bones at Meijer the other day and was surprised by the low-ish cost (although I don't remember what it was exactly).

      2. Don't know specifically about prices/availabilty for oxtail, but check Carnival Market in Pontiac...they have had some ridiculously cheap meat prices on things like that in the past.

        But I think you are right about trying Gratiot Central Market or some of the wholesalers around Eastern Market

        1. If you're in the area, you might stop in at the Asian Supermarket on Telegraph at Joy Road (southwest corner).

          When I stopped in there, there had beef bones in plastic bags and oxtails for sale.

          I didn't check the prices so I can't comment on that.

          Here's a previous post of mine on the market:

          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/889520

          Bob

          1. I was just at Hiller's Market (in Commerce) and checked.

            They have beef neck bones for $1.99 / pound.

            Ox tails were $5.99 / pound.

            Bob

            1. One more place to try--I bought oxtails at Meijers that had the discount tag on them...apparently they aren't big sellers so I frequently see them marked down. With the discount, I think they ended up being about $4 a pound.

              I don't buy meat at Meijers very often but this price was too good to pass up.

              1. My local Piggly Wiggly carries frozen slices of beef head that I think would make good stock (though I haven't tried it).

                Not sure if Piggly Wiggly's in your area, though.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Chowbird

                  that would be a "no" :)