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Hands-On: Off-cuts

Written by Vermont Life on . Posted in Taste of the Landscape, Web Exclusives

Slow-Cooked Oxtail With Yogurt and Sweet Potatoes, photographed by Andrew Wellman. For this recipe, see the Winter 2013-14 edition of Vermont Life.

Chicken Liver Ragu With Cider, Apples and Squash, photographed by Andrew Wellman. For this recipe, see the Winter 2013-14 edition of Vermont Life.

In our Winter 2013-14 issue, our Cooking in Season department featured off-cuts of meat as the star ingredient. Chicken livers are pretty widely stocked at good butcher shops and the meat counters of larger food markets, but things like oxtail may be harder to come by and might require planning ahead. Here are some tips to help you find oxtail and other less common cuts:

  • A good independent butcher who works directly with local farmers can usually get less common cuts with a little bit of notice. Try Guild Fine Meats in Burlington, Brault’s Meat Market and Slaughterhouse in Troy, Vermont Quality Meats in Rutland or a trusted butcher near you.
  • Talk directly with livestock farmers at your local farmers markets. They may have less common cuts available in their farm freezer.
  • If you buy a whole or part animal directly from a farmer, make sure to specifically request the less common cuts if you want them. Often they are left out or processed into ground meat under the assumption that people don’t know what to do with them.
  • The largest supermarkets in urban areas of Vermont do sometimes stock items like oxtail for ethnic populations, although in general, these items are not locally sourced.

Good luck, and let us know if you have success with our recipes!

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