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Is it safe to make carpaccio from a whole beef tenderloin from Costco?

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Is it safe to make carpaccio from a whole beef tenderloin from a place like Costco?
post #2 of 35
The bad bugs are on the outside of meat when they're there at all, not deep in the muscle. So you can always just sear the outside very quickly, chill it down fast, partially freeze, and slice as thin as you need to. Anyway, that's what I would do. :lips:
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
post #3 of 35
Suzanne is correct and I would stress buying the whole one still in the cryo-vac. You're less apt to get anything handled more than necessary. But for the record, even though they are one of the "Big Box" outlets, they have a tremendous fresh meats program and one I prefer to get my meats from. That's just a personal observation so take it for what it's worth.:D
post #4 of 35
I wouldn't buy any meat from Costo, Sam's Club, Wal-Mart, or the like.

post #5 of 35
So, tell us about their "fresh meats program." What makes it "tremendous," i.e. what makes Costco meat better than from other sources? Please tell us what you know ...

post #6 of 35
Not really in the mood to deal with you right now Shel. But......For the record I didn't say they had a better program than anyone else I just said they had a tremendous program for being a big box outlet. As I said it was a personal observation so take it for what it is worth.
post #7 of 35
If you feel it's not safe to make carpaccio from Costco beef then state your case. If you feel it's safe then state your case.

I've probably made a thousand pounds of carpaccio from IBP/Exel beef, same stuff Costco uses in the midwest, and have never had problems. Occasionally the meat inspector will have stuck a knife in the tenderloin. It's probably safe, but if you're unsure, use that for something else.
post #8 of 35
I've never had problems with Costco beef. In my experience (West coast), it's about middle-middle USDA Choice graded meat at slightly better than middle-middle prices. Because of that Costco is the one of two big boxes from which we buy beef. The other being Stater Bros.

Their meat handling, which is something you can watch, seems to observe all the proper hygiene standards. I'd use it without hesitation for carpaccio or tartare. In fact, I'm a little more comfortable using their "too fresh" beef as opposed to meat with some age on it.

I'm not sure if you can buy packer tenderloins from them or not. I know they don't sell packer briskets. You can't buy a point there at any price.

If, for some reason, I want better than mid-level Choice I can get better meat for better prices at the cost of about a gallon of gas.

post #9 of 35
Funny you mention that BDL. I just sent Abe a PM telling him to put some age on their beef. :look: Personally I've never used anything under 21 days but closer to 30 for any of my beef dishes including carpaccio and tartare. Maybe now, for many reasons (some valid and some.......), that is unheard of but then again.....Never made anyone sick in the last oh........30 years or so.:roll:
post #10 of 35
What a coincidence!!!!
My brother ask me to prep a beef tenderloin to make carpaccio on Mother's day. I told him to buy it in the sealed bag at Costco not in plastic wrap on a tray in the counter. (told him it should look purple)

I trimmed all the silver skin. Cut out a nice center cut. Submerged it whole in vinegar for 30 sec (in a plastic bag). Rinsed the filet under cold running water. Pat dry on a different cutting board. Wrapped it tight in plastic wrap. Set in the freezer for 2 hours or so.
My brother enjoys the slicing and seasoning part.

It turned out nice.
Luc H.
I eat science everyday, do you?
I eat science everyday, do you?
post #11 of 35
not to sound like a total fool, what is carpaccio just tenderloin sliced thin and seasoned?
Lets cook the night away!
Lets cook the night away!
post #12 of 35
Fool's don't ask.

Carpaccio has become a very elastic term and refers to food which has been sliced very thin, and served raw with a simple dressing. To the extent that it's a classic, it's a mid twentieth-century conceit.

The original is a tender, expensive cut of beef sliced thin, pounded still thinner and served raw with a mustard vinaigrette, and lots of scallion top or chives. Tenderloin is an ideal choice because it's tender without being so fatty it's unpalatable -- like rib might be. Your choice doesn't have to be quite as tender, or as expensive, as tenderloin since you're going to be pounding it anyway. I find top sirloin works as well as better. Similarly, you don't need Prime. In fact, I find that because of the marbling, it can get slightly unpalatable.

The consensus around here seems to be that it's easiest to slice the beef after partially freezing to firm it up. I don't. I "pull-slice" an extremely sharp 10" slicer; using my off hand to set the initial thickness, and the feel of the meat on the outside face of a flexible blade for the rest of the slice. You need flex if you want to cut thin in soft. Extremely sharp knife? Different choice of knife? Technique? I have no idea. Should you do it like I do it? Whatever works dude. At any rate you're looking for about 8 slices to the inch, then pound to near transparency.

Other "traditional" carpaccios are tuna and veal.

Hope this helps,
post #13 of 35
Thanks for the Info it sounds quite interesting i might try it sometime this summer when im able to get to a good place that sells good cuts of meat and thats not walmart/zhers hehe.
Lets cook the night away!
Lets cook the night away!
post #14 of 35
ive bought my tenderloins at BJs (similar to costco, sams etc....)

Ive never had a problem. I would love to go to a real butcher and get a awesome cut of meat but the pocket can handle it.

I buy it in the cryvaced bag always.

I have never eaten it raw so I cant help with the carpacio aspect of the conversation.
post #15 of 35
I'm assuming that you've addressed this to me as I said that I'd not buy Costco meat. Regardless, my reasons for staying away from such meat is simple: I will not eat meat that has been treated with hormones or antibiotics, and fed grains and other foods from questionable sources. Commercial beef falls into that catagory.

I will only buy meat and poultry from known, local sources that have received quality nutrition from grass or grains (preferably grass for beef), and pretty much stay away from any meat or poultry that comes wrapped in plastic and styrofoam.

I never said that Costo beef is unsafe, although I do believe there may be problems in the long term resulting from eating such meat. That's my belief, although there are a number of people far more educated in this area who are also concerned about the long term effects of eating such meat.

post #16 of 35
I remember when the local sports club (Izack Walton League) would serve "cannibal" ground sirloin with chopped onion and garlic. It was served raw with rye crackers to scoop it with. These days the only raw ground beef I trust is home ground, although the grass fed organic hamburger (precessed by a small local butcher shop) I have I do eat rare. So far so good but I won't do that with commercial beef.
post #17 of 35
Some clarification is in order here:

the type of cow or how it was raised (legally) has nothing to do with the resulting safety of the raw meat.
(Shel alluded to this)
Meat slaughtering, butchering, handling and consumer handling are the only possible cause of contamination.
It is to be considered that whole meat is sterile and only the surface is potentially contaminated.
Ground meat is riskier than a whole muscle like tenderloin because ground meat has no interior (it is basically all surface).

If your meat processor of choice exercises good meat manufacturing practices then that is the only thing that matters in meat safety. The government makes sure the cows are healthy which covers all the bases.

The term <Organic> or lack of, has not weight on meat safety. Not because a farmer is certified organic that his slaughtering practices are better then a another and his meat safer.

Grinding meat at home and using it immediately makes a lot of sense if you know how to handle the meat properly and your equipment is well sanitized.

Luc H.
I eat science everyday, do you?
I eat science everyday, do you?
post #18 of 35
I don't think I did, but if that's how it came across, my apologies. I did say, and I quote, "I never said that Costo beef is unsafe, although I do believe there may be problems in the long term resulting from eating such meat." I am concerned with the hormones and antibiotics that are fed to commercial meat cattle, as well as the often poor quality feed that they are fed. Both the medications and the feed may have adverse effects on those who eat the meat."

I essentially agree with you, although the filthy conditions in commercial feedlots can be a prime cause of contamination, so if the subsequent processes aren't handled well, contamination can result. However, I believe the problems are more likely to be found in commercial ground beef (which can come from many sources world-wide) than in primal cuts.

My concern about commercial meat has little to do with the Organic label per se. It has to do with the way the meat is handled, the injections of antibiotics, hormones, and possibly steroids, that many commercial cattle receive, and the often poor quality food they get in feedlots and elsewhere, plus the generally filthy feedlot conditions. Organicly raised cattle, and cattle that is range pastured and grass fed (whether or not organic), or fed good quality feed, produce a better quality meat, and meat that doesn't pose the potential threat that injected meat may offer.

If people want to eat commercial beef (pork and poultry), that's their business. Some time ago I made a decision that I will not eat such meat, nor will I support such practices with my food dollars.

Yes, and that's the direction in which I'm heading, the direction in which I want to go. I feel a better product can result by doing it yourself.

post #19 of 35
My fault Shel,

You did not mix organic with safety but MaryB seemed to have alluded to that... hence my comment above.
I understand your point about meat nutritional and detrimental quality based on raising practices versus a grazing cattle (and I also agree to it).

Luc H.
I eat science everyday, do you?
I eat science everyday, do you?
post #20 of 35
My point was that organic meat is often processed by a small local butcher who may have higher cleanliness standards than the big meat packing plants where the only motivation is profit and how fast can they slaughter.
post #21 of 35
(I am prepared to corrected on this)

According to what I understand about Canadian and Us regulations, a government meat inspector paid by the slaughter house must be present when animals are slaughtered and each and every animal must be inspected.

That has been a problem for organic meat producers that have to ship their animals to <commercial> slaughterhouses to satisfy the regulations because it is too expensive otherwise and inspectors don't work part-time or on call.

If this is true, most organically raised animals end up going into the same processing facilities as regular animals do for slaughtering. Butchering is a different operation later in the stage and can be done on a small local scale.

Luc H.
I eat science everyday, do you?
I eat science everyday, do you?
post #22 of 35
A good idea in theory, unfortunately, that doesn't always happen.
USDA orders major beef recall from California slaughterhouse | Top Stories | FOX11AZ.com | News for Tucson, Arizona

Organic beef must be slaughtered in slaughterhouses which are certified organic. As such, slaughterhouses must slaughter organic animals when all equipment is clean and empty. There must be no chance of commingling organic with non-organic meat, or contaminating organic meat with prohibited materials. Records must be maintained of all organic slaughter activities and steps taken to protect organic integrity. If a plant can prove that it can segregate organic animals and meat products and take all steps necessary to protect organic integrity, then it can be certified. It does not have to be dedicated to slaughtering only organic animals, however.

post #23 of 35
I know the local place slaughters, they gave me a tour when I picked up the 1/4 of beef last fall. It was also a heck of a lot cleaner than a factory slaughter operation (I have been in those, nasty and filthy).
post #24 of 35

To Shel

Hey Shel-

I'm going to go out on a limb here. I would guess that you have read "Omnivores Dilemma" or some other Pollan books. I am 100% with you on the beef. I do not touch the stuff from the store. If you've read OD, you may appreciate this: I live in Virginia and get all my meat products, eggs, pork, and beef from Joel Salatin at Polyface Farm. I will NEVER go back to the grocery store after eating his wonderful meat. The taste, look, and freshness are amazing. I grind my own chuck and you could not believe the burgers I grill up. I've visited Polyface and the butcher as well and the whole operation is just a good, and even better than Pollan writes about.
post #25 of 35
I've not read OD although I may have every article Pollan has written, many of which have been incorporated into OD and the latest book. FWIW, Pollan can sometimes be seen at one of the local Farmer's Markets.

It's great that you do your shopping at Salatin's place - I'm trying to get out to more of the local farmers and ranchers. Thus far I've only met a couple.

I'm starting to prepare my own "ground" meat as well using techniques from three different sources to create my own technique, and you're right, the results are wonderful. I grew up going to the local butcher and getting our meat cut or ground to our specifications. My grandfather was in the produce business in NYC, and I got to know what good produce was - I sometimes went with him to the produce market @ 2:00am to meet the growers and see the good vs average or poor quality produce.

Like you, I no longer buy my meat, poultry, fish, and dairy in conventional supermarkets. Unfortunately, not everyone has the opportunity to bypass the commercial markets, and they are relegated to Safeway and Costco.

Kind regards,

post #26 of 35
Geeeeeeez Abe, I hope you were able to get an answer to the question you originally asked.....That the beef from Costco actually IS safe to use for Carpaccio. :look: The whole topic seems to have taken a different direction in the last few posts. :rolleyes:

And yes there is a certain sarcastic tone to what I have said but so no one goes off the deep end I understand where you are coming from. I just find it mildly amusing to see where the simple question actually led.

Yet I do have an alternative view-point to add to things.

There are problems on both sides of the coin regarding not only beef but the whole food system.

Yet what would things be like if the agriculture industry and the handling practices in general hadn't changed in the last hundred years? How many of us would be here and the flip-side is how many wouldn't? What we have done was figured a way to feed the masses all the while creating masses. The whole topic is a virtual powder keg of what ifs. We want wholesome food but we don't want crop failures and the ensuing issues. Can you imagine the additional wars that may have been fought or the mass extinctions that may have taken place? Heck we're on the verge of that now and only the greed of our business culture is keeping us from performing what this land may have been for in the first place. If you think about it we're no longer a Nation of American Citizens we're and Economy of Consumers.

We want additive free foods but....every action DOES have an equal and opposite reaction. Sure I would love to have not only meats but all types of food that was everything ya'll have expressed but at the same time I don't wish to have to mortgage the house to afford a meal. No one is benefiting from the current thought process except for the owners of the industries in question. Commercial and non-commercial alike. There are examples since not all fall into this category but this post is getting away from my comfort level.

Healthier, organic, additive free food is far from affordable in fact it's down right only available to the wealthy. Regardless of your position, isn't a better answer to just eat more of the fresh, healthy, home prepared foods regardless of the origin and leave the heavy, processed crap on the shelves? Just remember that not only are there months in our hemisphere that certain fresh items are not available but it takes two incomes to just afford a home and the means to provide it. What are we to do then? Civilization has become healthier leaving the city life and and moving to the 'burbs, and although we have done so tending a garden is not an option to many because of surroundings. Heck our lot is full of Oaks, Hickory's, Maples, Dogwoods etc. I can't even trim the tree's to make them healthy without having the busybody tree hugger that lives in the county behind our property call the police and City I live in on me. Let's say we could tend a garden, I do home process but I could never do it to the level that would be needed to provide vegetables and fruits during those months. They may not be as good as they could but not all things commercial are bad. In all honesty there's a host of so many other issues that will lead to my demise long before the beef or foods from a commercial vendor will.

I'm not taking this whole thing personally but survival is and will be the order of business until things get better again. Unfortunately it's hard to see that light at the moment.
post #27 of 35

You have succinctly stated the crux of the problem, this is investigated in depth by Pollan in "The Omnivores Dilemma" the dilemma is how do we feed billions of people in a healthy way that keeps everyone safe, healthy, and maintains the fertility of this wonderful planet for the future? I highly recommend reading this book for anyone interested in the origins of what you find in the grocery store. I think you’d like it and see the issue from many different angles. The book really is based around the role that corn plays as a mono crop in this whole circle of food and how this homogeny affects the ecosystem and our bodies.

I do however have to disagree with you that eating healthy unadulterated animals and veggies is a privilege only accessible to the wealthy, especially as a fellow Virginian. Many people are not so lucky to live in such a fertile part of the country. I don't do organic, but do local. In the summer I have all my seasonal veggies delivered via a CSA to my door step. I get more pesticide and herbicide free veggies than I can handle, nor know what to do with, this costs me less than $40/week (it would be almost half that if I picked up). I also go once a week to pick for free (as part of the CSA) loads of fruits and veggies. I also purchase my grass fed beef, pork, and chicken in bulk once a year. Beef ends up about $4.50/lb and pork just under that. From my calculations, I'm actually spending less than people spend on conventional foods. The only thing I "splurge" on are farm fresh eggs at $3/dz, well worth it when cracked open and the yolks are bright orange and local milk at $5.50/gal for my toddler. I think people, like myself, who consider themselves beyond organic, who eat local are more concerned with being able to sustain themselves regionally and not rely on the murky world of industrial food.

I'm not totally living like a pioneer here...I go to Costco just like everyone else and when entertaining large crowds will at times buy my meat there. I once got from there the most delicious tenderloin and made Beef Wellington for Christmas and I still dream of how good it tasted. So, for the OP, I certainly think the carpaccio will turn out delicious, but I definitely would sear the outside first.
post #28 of 35
Bravo, oldschool, for the "bigger picture" :)

Personally I can't afford to pay 1.5-2x as much for the "better" food right now. I'm unemployed. I also live in the desert, otherwise I'd have at least a small garden, for sure.

I'm living paycheck to paycheck and I can't see buying more expensive food of questionable value. I do appreciate more knowledge as to what's what as far as what I'm buying. When I get employment again (which I think will be within a week), I will make maybe a few food choices differently. More knowledge makes for getting more of your money's worth. And perhaps getting better stuff for the same money.
post #29 of 35
Better quality food doesn't always cost more. In fact, around here, if one shops smart, better quality food can be had for less - sometimes substantially less - than lesser quality supermarket products.

Fresher and better quality produce can be purchased at the farmers' market than what is available at Safeway and other supermarkets. Fresh picked lettuce and greens are about 1/2 the price of lesser quality supermarket items. Likewise for top quality poultry - for example, fresh ground turkey (white and dark mix) runs $2.99 lb at one of the better poultry stores while plastic packed, watery ground turkey costs more than that at Trader Joe's and the Safeway is selling 20-oz packages of previously frozen, and watery, ground turkey for almost $6.00 per package.

High quality organic cereal grains (oats and barley for example) costs less than Quaker oats, a decidedly inferior product. Organic canned beans and soups cost less than Campbells and Progresso and some store brands.

Prime quality, artisan bread can be had for the same or less than commercial breads and rolls, and the goods are fresher - still warm right out of the oven.

The list goes on ... your mileage may vary, but by looking around and making careful choices and purchases, one can eat very well for less than
you think.

post #30 of 35
Melis, I had never heard the name Pollan before today so I'd never read the book nor any of the articles that have been mentioned. Also I forgot to mention that through several discussions over the years I've learned that the beef at Costco is Range beef. I couldn't find any other information but we have also discussed the fact that their beef is also minimally messed with. They also are a huge provider of beef/meats to countries like Japan and my understanding is that they are the ones that helped to re establish our quality standing in that country with their records keeping and processing facilities. It's getting better.

Yeti, Thank you very much and......that was my point. Typically at the markets here (and I mean local where I don't have to spend a bags worth of groceries to get to....) the better choices are not the 1.5-2 but in some cases 3x the cost. So it's the standard grown/produced stuff. Luckily we do have a chain in town called Ukrop's and I have to say they are reminiscent of the Wegman's chain we knew (and loved) in Western NY state. Trouble is the Ukrop's market in the town we live is old Virginia so there is not much of a selection and again what they have is $$$$$. Typivally most of their stuff is a bit more pricey than the Kroger but it is changing but ever so slowly. Unfortunately I don't see prices doing anything but what they are doing already and that's climbing at any place. I just mentioed Kroger and we have a one relatively close and they have the only milk we drink, (the kind in the glass bottle) but again it's a 20 mile drive (round trip) versus less than one mile of a drive to the Ukrop's. Any other places that I would consider to be worth shopping at (Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Fresh Market, Joe's Market) are that bags worth of groceries or more to get to so it just doesn't fall in place with logic to shop there.
It is a dilemma no matter how you slice it. Most of what I mentioned above is just hot air since our grocery budget is shrinking on a weekly and daily basis as long as things keep going the way they are. I'm not near old enough to have lived during the depression and I doubt very few here were even alive as well. Yet I did have Grandparents that were very thorough at explaining things and I also was the Director of Food and Beverage Services (aka glorified Exec/F&B Director) for a retirement community and they were just as thorough in explaining things. From those explanations I'd have to say we're closer than anyone realizes. So as I said it's soon going to be just food for survival. Guess it's a good thing I like beans and rice.:rolleyes:

Shel, There is exactly 2902.96 miles that separate your city hall in SFO from ours here. We don't have the market for things nor the population even close to your area. DC is with-in "commuting distance" but not living distance. But it's all relative I guess. Unfortunately our market here is far different from the one Melis lives in as well as the one just over in Williamsburg and they're only 30 miles. No Artisan Bakers, no butcher shops, very few farm stands or markets. Not allot of choice to do what you say. And believe me I've done my fair share of competitive shopping and given the budget I have to work with being slashed 50 bucks just today...... Searching is the only way I can get it done. Plus I can bake bread a great deal cheaper than I can buy it.....if only I could get my body to co-operate on a consistent basis...... We wouldn't be in this budget predicament
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