Monday, July 20

Tenderloin Beef

At an Asian grocery store, I asked the deli what cut of meat they used in their things w/ chopped-up pieces of meat. They said to ask the butcher in the meat department. The meat department said "tenderloin." I don't know if it's true, but I ended up on a tenderloin hunt and cut-of-meat price comparisons, trying to get a good deal on meat for stir-frying.

Recently I saw tenderloin come in both "tenderloin filet" as "choice" beef for about $7/lb, and "tenderloin filet mignon" as "angus" beef for about $14/lb.

The butcher at this grocery store told me that "choice" = "plain old cow," but that a tenderloin is equally tender on a "plain old cow" as an "angus." It's just got less flavor.

But if you're doing a lot of seasoning, it's a discounted way to get super-tender chunks in fast cooking like stir-frying. Hopefully this will get me eating more greens from markets (which save me money if I actually eat them instead of letting them rot and buying a burrito).


Anonymous said...

Real Asians (well, at least the Chinese) tend to use poultry and pork much more frequently than beef. The widespread use of beef in Asian cuisine is a relatively new development. In the West, this is the result of trying to cater to Western markets (where beef consumption is markedly higher than in Asia), and in Asia, this is the result of them acquiring a new taste in this new interconnected world.

In any case, when I saw "beef" in the title of your post, my first reaction was that this was going to be some sort of rant against the harms of eating beef (e.g., how it takes 2x as much grain to produce beef as it does to produce the equivalent amount of pork and how the growing interest in beef in Asia is a significant contributor to the tightening of food markets and the rise in grain prices).

Personally, I mostly stopped eating beef years ago, and it had nothing to do with health or the environment. Beef is simply too difficult to prepare right and it's all too easy for one to end up with something that is too tough. Whereas dark poultry meat usually costs less than $2/lb, is (IMHO) tastier than beef, and it takes extraordinary effort to *not* make it tender. (I never understood why you Americans love poultry breast so much; it's got less flavor and it's much tougher than the extremely tender dark meat, and as more stores sell de-boned thighs, the I-don't-want-to-deal-with-bones argument falls apart, too.) And poultry is great in just about any Asian dish. And as a bonus, dark poultry is healthier than beef and pork, and its environment footprint is significantly less than that of beef (though there still is a footprint, of course).

Katie said...


Recent headlines from the blog "Black and Missing but Not Forgotten:"