I'm from Mexico, and a very popular dish over there is "Caldo de Res" (Beef broth), and it's made with beef shanks, but I haven't been able to get it where I live, not even in local butcheries.

I have been wondering if there's a good substitue for shanks? I've also tried to look for cow's tail but still no luck.

Some people have recommended prime rib, but the taste and the texture is not the same.

Any help will be greatly appreciated!!

  • 2
    Did you ask for 'soup bones'? Most places cut up the shank but where there's beef, there's bone.
    – MandoMando
    Jul 22, 2013 at 1:24
  • you didn't mention where you live, but I find that if I go to 'ethnic' groceries (latin, asian, african, middle eastern), rather than the larger supermarkets, I can find more varied products.
    – Joe
    Jul 6, 2014 at 18:22

2 Answers 2


Oxtail would be your most likely substitute, but you have indicated you cannot obtain it.

The next best choice (of those widely available) is probably chuck, which is the shoulder muscle, and is well worked and flavored. It requires low and slow cooking for best results, much like shanks and tail do.

Some stores—even the chain grocery stores—will special order for you if you ask them to, so you might be able to get shank. Depending on where you live, you may also try butchers at farmers' markets, Dutch markets, or similar.


Jarrete, right? I have used beef short ribs as a substitute.

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