The Affordable Alternative For Oxtail

Oxtail is cut from the tail of cattle and is a beloved component of cuisines around the world including China, Korea, the Caribbean, and the American South. Unfortunately, this delicious cut of meat can be difficult to find, not to mention expensive. What was once available for just a few bucks is now quite pricey as more and more people realize how decadent the meat is and want to try it themselves. If you still want to enjoy a Jamaican brown stew or Spanish rabo de toro without spending all your budget on oxtails, look no further than the humble turkey neck as an affordable and tasty alternative.

Turkey necks give you the same tender, fall-off-the-bone results as oxtail for a fraction of the price. Costs will vary depending on your store and location, but looking at Farmer's Fresh Meat & Grocery, oxtails cost $9.99 per pound, while turkey necks are $2.49 per pound. If you're buying five pounds of meat for a recipe, that means you would only have to spend about $12.50 on turkey necks rather than almost $50 on oxtails. For $50, you could buy enough turkey necks to feed the whole neighborhood.

Turkey necks will give you a tasty and healthy bang for your buck

Along with being incredibly inexpensive, turkey necks are also a great option for individuals who don't eat red meat. Nutrition-wise, the two cuts of meat have a few key differences. Turkey necks have less protein than oxtail (30 grams versus 41 grams for a 135-gram serving), but the necks also have about half the total fat and over 100 fewer calories than oxtail, per Nutrition Value.

Indulging in turkey necks is part of nose-to-tail eating, or eating every part of an animal to ensure nothing goes to waste. Turkey necks and oxtail are in the same vein as things like animal bones, tongues, and feet — parts of the animal that have nutritional value, but are usually thrown away in modern Western cultures. Incorporating foods like turkey necks into your diet will help you participate in more sustainable eating practices. They can also be enjoyed just as you would oxtail, whether that's part of a stew, a gumbo, or simply braised, smothered in sauce, and served over rice. 

There's no denying that oxtail is a delicacy, but if you're not in the mood to fork over your entire wallet, or you're looking for a meat that's more in line with your dietary requirements, turkey necks are the perfect alternative.