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Beef tenderloin

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Good morning, all. Lately my local supermarket has been selling whole organic beef tenderloins at hard-to-resist prices.

I'm a home-cooker, but I have no fear of trimming up such a large (relatively speaking) hunk of meat, and have been rewarded with some amazing filet mignon dinners. I never knew steak could be so darn good with just a pinch of salt and pepper and properly cooked. I brought a few medallions to my in-law's house, made them dinner and was a hero for a night :)

It's also given me the freedom to experiment without worrying about ruining a $12/lb piece of meat.

Anyway, back to the reason for posting. When I trim the loin, there's a "rope" of connective tissue and meat that runs the whole length of the loin (I see this referred to as the "chain"?). There's so much connective tissue running through it that I find it impossible to get much usable meat from that part and end up throwing it away.

Does anyone have creative uses for this piece of the cut? I hate so much to be wasteful.


post #2 of 18
Grind it up and make bolognaise sauce or cut it up and make broth for soup.
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
post #3 of 18
Check out the transcript of Alton Brown's Good Eats episode on using the chain.
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Castironchef, that site is awesome, thanks! I'm a huge AB fan (mostly because I'm easily amused and he makes me laugh ;) ), but I haven't seen this episode.

post #5 of 18
The chain of the beef tenderloin is often used by restaurants to make a dish they call "tips". Basically you take the chunks of meat left after cleaning the chain and cut into bite sized pieces, pan sear and serve over egg noodles with an onion and mushroom gravy similar to what you would use for salisbury steak. And because it is tenderloin you can (in a restaurant) charge an arm and a leg for a dish mode from "leftovers" and scraps.
post #6 of 18
Yeah you don't ever want to throw that away, there is a TON of stuff you can do with it.

You can make tartare or carpaccio, or use it in any number of dishes. Just be sure not to overcook it because it is still the tenderloin and will dry out pretty easy.

In my experience, it's not really much harder to clean than the rest of the tenderloin. Takes a bit of care but it is defiantely worth it.
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
The rope-like strand I removed from the tenderloin (it pulled away easily and was very obvious) was easily 50% tendon and connective tissue. I did my best to clean it but just ended up with small bits of meat.

I've got my computer set to tape the AB shows on it, so it'll be good to see what he does with it.

Thanks again! I'm glad I asked here :)

post #8 of 18
It's been my experience that you really don't need to try and "clean up" the chain. You'll find that if you saute it lightly and add a sauce or something to it and serve immediately it's a good flavorful option. Infact our best selling dishes were versions of Beef Stroghanoff and Bourguinon that utilized the chain. Makes a great Philly style sand too. I would however try to remove some of the fat. Since you're not/shouldn't be cooking it long enough to render out the fat it can be nasty to bite into.
post #9 of 18
OK carpaccio? I'll believe it when I see it.
post #10 of 18
Lol why not?
post #11 of 18
Don't you think there's a little too much connective tissue for carpaccio?
post #12 of 18
Hey Kuan,

Thanks for saying something. I was kinda wondering/curious about that too but I just left it alone:rolleyes:. Too much fat for my liking to be used in/for Tartare too.
post #13 of 18
Raw silverskin is a taste treat the whole family can enjoy, kuan. For hours on end as they chew.
Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
post #14 of 18
Joe, I trim it out as much as I can and freeze it until I have two or three, then grind it for great ground beef. I will also sometime use the muscle at the top of the loin with it.

post #15 of 18
I cut up whole tenderloins all the time. I simply remove the silver skin from the "chain" and the rest of that strip I use to make hamburger. It's very fatty compared to the rest of the tenderloin.

Just as an aside, the butt or filet end, i try to make as nice of filet mignons out of it as possible despite the deep "cleft" in it to take out the cartilage.

The "stroganoff" end i usually cut into chunks to make kabobs.

All the rest is made into filet mignons even the tournedoes which I smash abit using a meat mallet to approximate a "filet mignon".

post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
I did the same thing with the last two. Formed into a round, it's hardly noticeable. Besides, wrap a strip of bacon around it and no one will complain ;)

Thanks again for the great advice, everyone. I save all of the trimmed scraps, so next time I get a loin I'll add them to the chain and make hamburger.

post #17 of 18

ok in defense of someday... years later. Kuan Oldschool and greg, read in between the lines if we are talking about tartar and carpaccio we obviously have cleaned it right we are chefs that is implied, unless you three are that kind of chefs that just dont know... tartar is probaly the best use mind you three it does need to be cleaned, minced, and seasoned but come on can you not see the beauty of it, (inappropriate language deleted)

post #18 of 18

in defense of the three you would have dime size pieces of carpaccio and would lose more than you could slice from chain scrapes but still dont act ignorant unless you are


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