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devil duck

food puzzle

Two weeks ago we picked up a beef tenderloin on sale. We cut it into single-serving portions (allegedly mignons), froze most of them, and turned four into single-serving Beef Wellington, a recipe that worked well last year. We cooked two of them for Christmas Eve dinner: mine was reasonably (though not meltingly) tender, but shalmestere's was tough and full of connective tissue. Tonight we cooked the other two, and it was my turn: a third to a half of my chunk of beef was connective tissue, and the rest was chewier than a tenderloin should be. (And no, it wasn't overcooked -- plenty of pink, perhaps red, in the middle).

Did I cut the pieces wrong? Were we sold a "shoulder loin" or something in the guise of a tenderloin? (No, I've never heard of a "shoulder loin"; I'm just thinking of my brother's experience working at a fried-chicken place and being told to sell "wing breasts" when they were out of breasts.) Or are we just being smitten for our manifold sins?


Hrm. I have a working knowledge of human anatomy and some knowledge of how that translates to meat animals, and I can't figure out how that much connective tissue would get into a tenderloin.

I also see most of the "you won't believe this thing the meat industry does" news articles, and haven't heard of fake tenderloins, but they're always coming up with something new...