- Posted February 10, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Share your heirloom recipes
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) grades most beef in the U.S. Only meat that has been inspected by the USDA may be marked with the USDA’s shield logo. The grading itself considers the amount of fat marbling, the age of the animal, and other details. The three grades of beef that are found in grocery stores and butcher shops are USDA Prime, Choice, and Select. Select is the lowest grade, being very lean but not tender. It’s also not as flavorful and juicy as higher grades.
Choice grade is higher in quality, with more marbling, more juiciness, and more tenderness. The choicest meat, however, is labeled Prime. It is the most tender, flavorful, and juicy because it has the best level of marbling. Prime beef is difficult to find in grocery stores because it’s typically sold to fine restaurants.
How to select a good quality beef tenderloin and how to trim it and clean it... When selecting a beef tenderloin, always look to get triple A or higher quality beef. Local butcher shops will usually have better quality meat, than large chain grocery stores. You can choose certified Black Angus, US Prime, or Albertan Sterling Silver Beef.
To clean the beef tenderloin, remove from the package, shake off excess blood and place on clean, sanitized cutting board. Start by pulling off excess fat and trim that can be easily removed by hand.
Using a sharp boning knife, trim off all the excess silver skin, being sure not to remove too much quality meat. Remove the chain of meat, running from the side of the tenderloin, from head to tail. Trim off excess fat. At the head of the tenderloin there are two flaps of beef, that have silver skin running to the center of the head of the tenderloin. Start by using your fingers to pull the flaps away and remove silver skin delicately.
Once tenderloin is fully cleaned your options are to remove the head piece and roast whole, commonly known as Château Briand. Cut centre piece into medallions, use the tail for various recipes, including tenderloin tips, beef stroganoff, ginger beef and more!