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Old 07-31-2013, 10:50 PM   #1
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Buying beef from Mexican mercados

i have lots of mexican grocery stores all around me and they all have really good prices on beef. i tried it one time, short ribs that i braised for over 6 hours and they never got tender. they were stringy like they were old.

after that trial i was told that the mexican markets buy old milk cows and that made sense, is there any truth to this?

and what about their pork/chicken

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Old 07-31-2013, 11:00 PM   #2
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We go to Mexico a lot. They are not noted for their beef, at least where we go. The better steak places import their beef from Argentina or the States. That said, pork and chicken are very popular, and exceptional. I would ask your store where they get their meat from. They may buy old milk cows, though it would all have to be USD inspected.

Our Mexican restaurants and markets here in the Midwest serve very good beef, pork, and chicken, but that's what we have around here.

I might give them another shot, maybe you got a bad batch.
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Old 08-01-2013, 02:51 PM   #3
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I buy beef from Omaha Steaks. I buy goat from Mexican mercados.
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Old 08-01-2013, 03:47 PM   #4
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First, I wouldn't judge all Mexican markets by one purchase at one market.

Second, six hours is a very long time to cook short ribs.
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:59 PM   #5
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Of all the Mexican/ Latino markets in my area, there are two I frequent. Both have old fashion meat counters/ butchers behind the glass cases. I haven't ever bought meat at either one. No reason. One has really long horizontal thin sliced, looks like flank steak, cut for fajitas or quick fries. How do they even cut it this thin? Both have good turn over, lots customers so the meats are probably fresh. I usually buy produce, like avocados 2/$1 vs $2 each at a regular market or limes 8$1. A regular big box grocery nearby has a huge Latin American section, and all aisles throughtout the store are marked bilingual. Which is where I tend to buy regular Mexican type foods as they are a bit cheaper over-all.

I can't say I order much beefy foods at Mexican restaurants. One I recall in particular, has some kind of hunk of meat roasted & kept in a warmer. They chop chop chop it to smithereens for tacos per order. Take out only. Those have been quite tasty.

I should check out the meats / prices at the mercados sometime.
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Old 10-20-2013, 08:46 PM   #6
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Check out Marina foods/grocery next time your in SJ. It is on Monterey@Capitol. I buy meat,seafood,Mexican deli,produce there all the time. They have beef tenderloin on sale pretty frequent for 5.99 or 6.99lb.Huge turnover so everything is fresh.Sometimes you just get a stringy cow, happens anywhere. The Chili rellenos in the deli are excellent,The golden pampano in the fish section are a fav and they usually have beef cheeks which are awesome if you haven't had them.
I can get goat,octopus,live frogs,lobsters,clams,catfish etc. They will break down the fish the way you want and even fry it for you if you want.

The market is a mix of Mexican and Asian, just like the neighborhood.

It is not the cleanest most updated place but ethnic markets seem to be thay way. They have Christmas ornaments hanging from the ceiling that are probably 6 years old. The neighborhood can be sketchy so go before dark.
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Old 10-21-2013, 12:20 PM   #7
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i have lots of mexican grocery stores all around me and they all have really good prices on beef. i tried it one time, short ribs that i braised for over 6 hours and they never got tender. they were stringy like they were old.

after that trial i was told that the mexican markets buy old milk cows and that made sense, is there any truth to this?

and what about their pork/chicken
I think you may have hit it on the head when you referred to cheap meat. It's a sad fact of life that with meat you usually get what you pay for. I tend to go to the better butcher and buy less meat. If it's good quality it tends to taste better and cook better so you eat less of it. Most of us eat too much meat anyway.

Some years ago I did quite a lot of dinner party catering and made terrines, pates and pies for restaurants and pub. I used to buy the meat I needed from the butcher I use now. Not cheap but I got a 10% discount. One night after the butcher had closed I got an urgent order from one of my regular customers for a consignment of steak pies so I had to go to a supermarket for the meat. I was surprised and pleased at how much less expensive it was than the stuff I usually bought - until I started to prepare it! By the time I'd trimmed off the gristle and fatty bits I had only 2/3rds of the original weight of meat and when I worked it out it was no cheaper than the good stuff from the usual butcher.

We have two butchers in the village and with the one I use you can point at a chop and ask where it came from and they will tell you the name of the farm.
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Old 10-23-2013, 11:11 AM   #8
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One of the things I like about England, is that you still have your village stores with someone behind the counter to help you. They know your name and what you like. We have a few of those stores, but they are far and few between. You really have to go rural to find one.
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Old 10-24-2013, 07:23 PM   #9
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One of the things I like about England, is that you still have your village stores with someone behind the counter to help you. They know your name and what you like. We have a few of those stores, but they are far and few between. You really have to go rural to find one.
We have to work hard to keep them. The village recently fought off an attempt by ASDA (owned by Walmart) to build a supermarket in a residential area away from the centre. It would have killed the small shops within a few months and with night-time deliveries would have been a nightmare for the householders near the store and it wouldn't have done much for property values either.
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Old 10-24-2013, 08:00 PM   #10
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We have to work hard to keep them. The village recently fought off an attempt by ASDA (owned by Walmart) to build a supermarket in a residential area away from the centre. It would have killed the small shops within a few months and with night-time deliveries would have been a nightmare for the householders near the store and it wouldn't have done much for property values either.
It is too late for the States. But don't ever give up the fight. Vermont has been fighting all big box companies. So far they have been successful. I hate Walmart for what it has done to small towns wherever they build. They destroy. They pay their workers minimum and keep their hours just below enough for them to qualify for benefits. I have yet to step foot in one and they are all around me.
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Old 10-24-2013, 08:07 PM   #11
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There is a marvelous little family butcher shop in the next county. They deliver to our town. They butcher local hogs and beef. Their meat is excellent, but I always have to request special cuts as they cut a chuck roast about1 1/2" thick (technically that's a steak). I request 4" chuck roasts. They have wonderful ground beef, stew meat (as tender as tips!) and great beef short ribs. I'm calling in an order tomorrow. There is another butcher that I go to for marvelous bacon and sausage. It's one of the few perks of living in a very rural area. We eats lots of meat, as my hubby is a meat and potatoes man. I also go to a little green grocer for fresh produce. Got 2 beautiful little sugar pumpkins and some parsnips today. I do shop grocery stores, but not for the fresh stuff! I hate the huge supermarkets, but there are no ethnic markets within 80 miles for things like sesame oil, and such.
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Old 10-24-2013, 08:14 PM   #12
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There is a marvelous little family butcher shop in the next county. They deliver to our town. They butcher local hogs and beef. Their meat is excellent, but I always have to request special cuts as they cut a chuck roast about1 1/2" thick (technically that's a steak). I request 4" chuck roasts. They have wonderful ground beef, stew meat (as tender as tips!) and great beef short ribs. I'm calling in an order tomorrow. There is another butcher that I go to for marvelous bacon and sausage. It's one of the few perks of living in a very rural area. We eats lots of meat, as my hubby is a meat and potatoes man. I also go to a little green grocer for fresh produce. Got 2 beautiful little sugar pumpkins and some parsnips today. I do shop grocery stores, but not for the fresh stuff! I hate the huge supermarkets, but there are no ethnic markets within 80 miles for things like sesame oil, and such.
My MIL grew up in Pike County, KY. As a child she remembered going with her mother to get freshly butchered meat. Her father owned a coal mine and she was the oldest of 14 kids.
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Old 10-25-2013, 12:01 PM   #13
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It is too late for the States. But don't ever give up the fight. Vermont has been fighting all big box companies. So far they have been successful. I hate Walmart for what it has done to small towns wherever they build. They destroy. They pay their workers minimum and keep their hours just below enough for them to qualify for benefits. I have yet to step foot in one and they are all around me.
Fortunately, Walmart in it's guise as ASDA can't get away with that sort of thing here, much as I expect it would like to. We have a legal minimum wage (not a lot but better than some people would get if it wasn't in place) and part-time workers are eligible for the same rights to sick pay, paid maternity leave etc., as full-timers.

Tesco, which is another big supermarket chain in the UK, is another set of sharks. Their main game play is to quietly buy up out of town sites and sit on them, sometimes for years, and then sneak in planning applications for huge stores when they think no-one is looking. In one case some years ago Tesco obtained planning permission for a site on the outskirts of Stockport (our nearest large-ish town) and when they had finished the building they said "Oops, it's 20% bigger than it should be. Sorry" And Stockport council's Planning Department let them get away with it on payment of a fine which probably didn't exceed a month's profits for the store!!

There was such an out-cry about it that, when it came to our little set-to with ASDA, the Planning Dept decided to support our campaign and refuse PP, added to which our local Member of Parliament had got involved at quite an early stage. ASDA could have appealed to a higher authority but backed down. It would have been very expensive for ASDA and would have created a lot more ill-feeling against them than there already was.
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Old 10-26-2013, 12:23 AM   #14
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When we lived in Taxes, we bought a three week old Herford calf from the culled herd. It went into a large pasture all by himself. He was strictly grass fed. Animals will not eat in the area where they poop. So about once a week I would go out to the pasture with a wheelbarrow and shovel and scoop up the poop. It went to the pile near the fence. What was left would deteriorate quickly and the area around it had beautiful tall grass for the animal. When we had it slaughtered, we had some beautiful tender meat. We had the slaughter truck come to where we lived, brought in the calf and he did the slaughtering and all the butchering. As part of the payment we allowed him to keep the heart, tongue and other parts we would not be using. He sold them to a Mexican store and made a pretty profit for it. Fine by me. At least nothing went to waste.
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