Raw pieces of oxtail, stacked on top of each other.
The Affordable Substitute For Oxtail
Oxtail is a tender and rich cut of beef like no other, but can be expensive with little actual meat to give. The humble turkey neck is an affordable and tasty alternative.
If you want to enjoy a Jamaican brown stew or Spanish rabo de toro, 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 the store, but at the online order store 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.
Turkey necks have less protein than oxtail (30 grams versus 41 grams for a 135-gram serving), but about half the total fat and fewer calories for a similar taste and texture.
Turkey necks also let you take part in nose-to-tail eating, or eating every part of the animal, including parts that are tasty and nutritious, but thrown away in many cuisines.
Eating cuts of meat like turkey necks will help you participate in more sustainable eating practices, whether you cook them in a stew, a gumbo, or serve them on their own.