Mystery of the Disappearing Bones

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Mystery of the Disappearing Bones

Postby Karen/NoCA » Sat Jul 27, 2013 2:17 pm

I may have posted about this once before but now this is getting annoying. Twice this week, I visited two different supermarkets that I frequent and stopped by the meat department for a roast, a chuck roast because we both have a craving for an old fashioned pot roast made my way. First stop had one or two roasts but not any for making pot roast. The second one today, on our way home from the Farmer's Market, had the chuck roasts but they were boneless. Both stores had boneless roasts ONLY. I asked the friendly lady in the meat department today where have all the bones gone? She said the only cut they have with bones are short ribs, referring to the type of cooking I wanted to do, and the meats that can be slow, moist cooked. So, I have decided to stop shopping in the meat departments of the two markets where I shop, and reserve my meat purchases to our local meat shop which brings in whole beef, dries it on-site and cuts with the bones in, does custom cuts, and orders.

I've given them my business for 50 years. About six months ago, my driving routes around town changed due to a business I frequent changing location. I got lazy and did not want to take the extra ten minutes to drive into town. That will now change. Are you finding this same boneless issue happening where you live?
Oh, the lady told me today that many customers are complaining about boneless cuts of meat that really should have the bone in for better flavor. What do you suppose is being done with all these bones? :evil:
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Re: Mystery of the Disappearing Bones

Postby Jenise » Sat Jul 27, 2013 4:36 pm

Karen, a post of mine from October 2012 said:

The cut my mother always used was the 7-bone roast and it would be about three inches thick to ensure enough to feed our family of six. I couldn't find a 7-bone this morning but I only went to one store--I so rarely see chuck blades around here that I figured it was futile to even try to find one. But for yucks just now, I decided to call a few stores and see if I'd have lucked into something had I looked. That was a uniform 'no', but Fred Meyer (Kroger chain) did say he'd had some over the weekend and has a standing order for it every Thursday that doesn't always come in. Most importantly, he explained why it's getting harder to find: processors don't like them because they're heavier to ship with the bone in, and any cut bone-in has a shorter shelf life because the bone is where the bacteria lives. Add to that the fact that fewer households these days appreciate or even know what to do with these fatty, long-cooking granny cuts as we here would know, and the 7-Bone is all but doomed unless you happen to live in an area with a strong regional preference for it. Get 'em while you can.

So between the above issue and the fact that it's summer in your hot climate location, bone-in cuts are going to be thin on the ground for you at present, if not always and forever more.

How lucky you are to have a good butcher, though. Cherish him, as you're planning to do, because fewer and fewer have that option and you're definitely fortunate.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Mystery of the Disappearing Bones

Postby Karen/NoCA » Sat Jul 27, 2013 5:51 pm

Jenise, I used to see the 7-bone all the time at our meat shop. I will be sure to look for it next time I go in. It is one of my favories to braise. Last week I cooked a cross-rib roast, dry roasted in the oven with a nice rub. It came out beautifully, just under medium rare, we cut thin slices and it was chewy and had no flavor. I've used this cut of meat many times for the same method and recipe and it came out great. I'm not liking the Sterling Silver brand of meat at all....so, as I said, it is back to our local meat cutter. By the way Jenise, this is not the only one we have in Redding. There is a small grocery store on my side of town, that has great meat from local farms in this area. They are much smaller cuts than I am used to, and I tend to buy more of their burger, and steaks. This grocery store also does their own sausages, bacon, custom cutting, they will do anything for you. They do a great business are are always very busy. They are also pricy. Reddding has so much more to offer now, food wise, especially on the local scene and I love that. I dislike running a lot of errands, especially in summer and our summers can last for 5 months! So, I have told myself to get over it, after all I do have a car with a great a/c! :roll:
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Re: Mystery of the Disappearing Bones

Postby Carl Eppig » Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:17 pm

Most supermarket meat is arriving pre-processed these days. Methinks the processors remove and grind the bones into bone meal for additional profits.
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Re: Mystery of the Disappearing Bones

Postby Karen/NoCA » Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:20 pm

Carl Eppig wrote:Most supermarket meat is arriving pre-processed these days. Methinks the processors remove and grind the bones into bone meal for additional profits.

You mean the bone meal that is used to amend soil?
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Re: Mystery of the Disappearing Bones

Postby Carl Eppig » Sun Jul 28, 2013 10:17 pm

Karen/NoCA wrote:
Carl Eppig wrote:Most supermarket meat is arriving pre-processed these days. Methinks the processors remove and grind the bones into bone meal for additional profits.

You mean the bone meal that is used to amend soil?


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Re: Mystery of the Disappearing Bones

Postby Jo Ann Henderson » Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:41 pm

I hate that the bones are removed on most cuts of premium meats, especially prime rib. I have to special order mine each holiday season, then in most cases the bone is just tied back onto the roast! :evil:
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Re: Mystery of the Disappearing Bones

Postby Fred Sipe » Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:52 pm

I commiserate and agree with you, but I did find this interesting:

http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/03/ask- ... ref=search

I'm fortunate that I can get my 7-bone roasts rather easily from an honest-to-goodness real butcher shop relatively nearby. But local "supermarkets," ha!

And have you ever asked your supermarket's specialty meat counter for a hanger steak? I've seen more blank expressions...
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Re: Mystery of the Disappearing Bones

Postby David M. Bueker » Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:53 pm

One of the notable benefits of the local farm that sells retail style cuts of beef and pork is that they do all of the old, bone-in cuts. Bone in roasts and chops with the actual flavors of beef and pork, versus the bland, tasteless stuff at the grocery store! The only meat I still buy at the local market is chicken because I have been unable to find a farm that does anything but whole chickens so far.
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Re: Mystery of the Disappearing Bones

Postby Karen/NoCA » Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:33 pm

Fred Sipe wrote:I commiserate and agree with you, but I did find this interesting:

http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/03/ask- ... ref=search

I'm fortunate that I can get my 7-bone roasts rather easily from an honest-to-goodness real butcher shop relatively nearby. But local "supermarkets," ha!

And have you ever asked your supermarket's specialty meat counter for a hanger steak? I've seen more blank expressions...

Interesting reading. I still want my bones, I keep them for making stock for one reason, just like I save chicken and turkey carcasses. The other reason is that I am a bone chewer. I love the marrow, and the bits of meat still on the bone. I think that roasting the bones from both animals makes for a richer stock.
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Re: Mystery of the Disappearing Bones

Postby Jo Ann Henderson » Tue Jul 30, 2013 3:10 pm

The person writing that article has probably never roasted, then boiled bones with vegetables to make stock. Where does that hearty, meaty flavor come from if not from the bones? Keep the scientists out of the kitchen! :evil:
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Re: Mystery of the Disappearing Bones

Postby Jenise » Tue Jul 30, 2013 5:48 pm

Jo Ann Henderson wrote:The person writing that article has probably never roasted, then boiled bones with vegetables to make stock. Where does that hearty, meaty flavor come from if not from the bones? Keep the scientists out of the kitchen! :evil:


Although he did claim that uncracked bones impart little if not flavor, and I disagree with that too, I'm not in disagreement with him about flavor circulation emanating from the bones in a lot of bone-in roasts. Sure the meat next to the bone is amazing, but I doubt that the meat four to six inches away is much affected by the bone's presence especially in cuts that aren't a single muscle but which have little pockets of fat and gristle separating them.
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Re: Mystery of the Disappearing Bones

Postby Bill Spohn » Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:55 pm

Sort of like boneless chicken? I want bones for sauces and such, and because the old saw about the meat being tastiest the closer to the bone happens to be true!

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Re: Mystery of the Disappearing Bones

Postby Carrie L. » Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:22 am

I think it has to do with generations raised after 1985-ish growing up on nothing but chicken fingers and mac and cheese!
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Re: Mystery of the Disappearing Bones

Postby Karen/NoCA » Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:21 pm

Carrie L. wrote:I think it has to do with generations raised after 1985-ish growing up on nothing but chicken fingers and mac and cheese!

Well, it must be a regional preference up here because the good meat shops all have roasts with bones in them. Thanks to the cowboys up here!
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