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Feb 19, 2014 07:00 AM

Cheap cuts at St Lawrence Market? Chinatown?

For logistical reasons, I would like to be able to shop for my crockpot on my lunch hours. I use it for cheap cuts that benefit from a long braise, ie/ bone-in pork shoulders that I pick up for $10-12, which then provide our protein for several meals. Basically, I'm not good at keeping track of per pound prices but I know a deal when I see it.... and I don't need to potentially ruin a $30 hunk of meat in my crockpot.

I'm also looking to expand my horizons with beef tongue, for example. But I don't want to spend trendy prices. Is there any butcher in the St Lawrence market that offers reasonably priced large hunks of meat? Or do I need to go to Chinatown, and if so, where? I don't think I can quite make it to shop Kensington in the hour I have (coming from the financial district).

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  1. Hua Sheng on 301(?) Spadina just north of Dundas, east side.

    2 Replies
    1. re: MissBingBing

      Is it counter service, or prepackaged? Any specific cuts you know they have? I do shop Chinatown but more for produce that I can help myself to... I haven't always had the best customer service experiences when I need more info. Which is what it is, I realize it's not high end, and I'll go take a look, but just wondering what to expect :)

      1. re: julesrules

        Ok I went and checked out Hua Sheng today... it will suit just fine. They have picnic shoulder etc behind the counter and all labelled clearly, plus tons of packaged stuff, at the prices I like. I ended up with pork belly. Now my request to look more closely at the one I chose was either ignored or not understood, but I guess if I need to get all picky I can pay the trendy prices :)
        I also picked up a bag of chicken bones for $1 that should make nice crock pot broth.

    2. I'd check La Boucherie in SLM. I haven't bought any large hunks from there, but the ON leg of lamb (the main meat and cut I tend to pricecheck while browsing) goes for $7.99/lb, when it's selling at $11.99+/lb uptown. When I was at SLM last week, I was turned off by the odor near some of the butcher shops by the late afternoon.

      I'm sure Chinatown or Kensington would be a lot cheaper, but I'm a little wary of the quality that might come with a cheaper price at some cheap butcher shops. I have bought shrimp at a Kensington fish market in the past, and I got what I paid for. :)

      Re: specific cuts to slowcook, I've been happy with beef short ribs, lamb shanks and beef shanks lately.

      1 Reply
      1. re: prima

        Thanks, lamb is a good idea that I always forget about.

      2. Lucky Moose on Dundas at Huron, i find to be the best of the Chinatown butchers, they typically have pork roasts at reasonable prices. However they tend to be smaller roasts with most of the fat trimmed off.

        If you want large chunks of pork I would suggest,

        Still downtown if a bit out of your area, large pork cuts and usually cheaper then Chinatown

        1 Reply
        1. re: blogs

          Lucky Moose is my favourite butcher in Chinatown as well.