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"whole beef tenderloins" came with required ground beef-did I get ripped off?

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I woke up this morning to check the circulars and found that "choice grade whole beef tenderloin" was 6.99 a pound at my local store as advertised on their website! When I got to the store, the tenderloins were wrapped together with about a pound of ground beef per loin. I was scared to ask the butcher what was up with this at the store(silly, I know), so I bought it. When I got home I ended up calling the meat department and they said that the ground meat was indeed tenderloin. Still, I feel ripped off. The ad says "whole beef tenderloin"-ground tenderloin is not whole beef tenderloin.

Is this common or do I have a legitimate concern? Thanks in advance.

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  1. I don't think I would pay $7 a pound for ground anything. Sounds like a rip off to me.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Eric in NJ

      Yeah. I'm thinking about trying to return it with receipt, I'm kind of angry now that I've thought about it more. It says "whole beef tenderloin." Ground fat trimming of tenderloin are not whole beef tenderloin.

      1. re: tryingthisstuffout

        I believe if you are truly unhappy with your purchase, you should be able to return it, however, it may be against store policy. Crazy as this may seem, the popular and famous Fairway Market in New York has as it's policy, they will only accept returns if the products are defective (see link). Based on your description of details, it is arguable whether you were deceived or not. The package was there for you to purchase or not, but you could have saved yourself some trouble had you brought your concerns up at the store before your decision to purchase.....or requested a whole tenderloin without the ground meat included in the package. Personally, I could go for some Steak Tartare myself. :-)

        http://njmg.typepad.com/foodblog/2009...

        1. re: tryingthisstuffout

          I would be angry too, but not after I have been informed of the contents and still made the purchase. They told you excactly what's in the product. You bought it with that knowledge. They may be deceptive in calling it whole beef tenderloin, but they did not hide the fact that a pound of ground beef was included in the package.

          1. re: tryingthisstuffout

            I'd be surprised if they took it back; while I fully agree with you and think that what they're pulling is pretty low and deceptive, you did know what you were getting when you bought it, and they have no reason to take it back. Additionally, taking back meat products seems risky to me: you'd have to dispose of them, given that you can't guarantee that they were properly maintained while not in the store.

            If I were you, I'd probably go kick up a stink, but I don't think I'd bother trying to return the meat. Just use it and enjoy it the best you can.

        2. You were taken advantage of by the store. This was false advertising, both by the website, and also a sign in the store if the sign said whole tenderloin.
          If you buy a whole tenderloin, you have no way of knowing that the ground meat was exclusively from that piece of tenderloin.

          If you buy a side or quarter of beef, you should choose how it is butchered. You were buying whole, it was not the store's perogative to pregrind 1 lb of the meat.

          You should return tro the store and say you want to return the ground meat and get a refund for that overpriced unwanted pound. If they are not cooperative, a complaint to you government's consumer protection agency is in order.

          10 Replies
          1. re: bagelman01

            Sorry, but before I can accept fault with the store, it has to be proven to me that a whole tenderloin without the ground meat included was not available. It very conceivable to me that the OP simply did not see the individual whole tenderloins in a different part of the meat case, or that the butcher simply had not yet put the individual whole tenderloins out yet.

            Combination of cuts of meat in same packaging are quite common in supermarkets. There is no reason to condemn the store quite so quickly. This could have been a simple mistake or misunderstanding. Even if the whole tenderloins were not available at time of purchase, a simple inquiry would have adverted any later angst. If the OP had asked a question of the butcher first, if there were no whole tenderloins available at the time, he/she could have gone directly to the customer service counter to request a raincheck for the item.....so where's the deception and false advertising on part of the the store. As a buyer or consumer, you have the ability to make choices and decisions, correct. Last, have you considered that all the whole tenderloins were already put out, but that they had all been taken by other buyers before the OP got to the store?

            1. re: fourunder

              Hi fourunder. To clarify a few things- First, no doubt I should have clarified with the butcher that no tenderloins were available without pre-ground beef. I also shouldn't have purchased something I was unsatisfied with-that was stupid, but I was in a bit of a panic thinking they might be gone quickly, etc. Silly mistake. Alas, I just think it's incorrect to sell "whole tenderloins" that are disassembled and ground. This is giving my butcher a lot of credit and assuming that the ground beef is indeed even tenderloin.

            2. re: bagelman01

              I just got back from the store and the manager denied my request for a refund or an exchange of meat. I argued for ten minutes explaining that "whole beef tenderloin" is just that-whole. He said that the end piece was cut for the "customer's convenience" and ground up-I said that's crap, nobody would want that, and it's also false advertising. Whole means whole. I'm sure they just use ground scrapings and then tell the customer that they ground up the "end pieces" for the "customer convenience."

              I'm going to their corporate office, then to the better business bureau. I'm pissed. BTW, the store is Acme Fresh Market.

              1. re: tryingthisstuffout

                I'm going to their corporate office, then to the better business bureau. I'm pissed. BTW, the store is Acme Fresh Market.
                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                It goes without saying we all know you are angry, and it your prerogative to do whatever you please, but have you considered simply deciding not to shop at the store any longer? It may make you feel better to complain, but you may also put in a lot of effort into action without really receiving any resolution in return.....which was my experience....

                I took a similar route as you are considering with Pathmark stores about five years ago, after my complaint was not taken seriously and in fact I was told not to shop in the store if I didn't like it. My situation was this. I went to the Pathmark store to pick up items after work....this was at 1:30 AM. When I completed selecting my items and proceeded to the cashier.....there were two lines open. A self bag line with roughly 6 or 7 shoppers with full carts and an express line with a 10 item limit, with no one on line. I had exactly 12 items, which had multiples of the same items for purchase. The young cashier on the express line told me I had too many items to processed on the express line. I told him he would process me and he would like it.....after completing my transactions, I sought out the store manager on duty and that's when he told me I was wrong for being on the express line. I told him he was a moron for only having two lines open and if he thought I was going to stand on line and wait for an extended period of time to finalize payment at 1:30 in the morning he was crazy. That's when he told me not to shop in the store.

                Afterwards, I sent corporate Pathmark and it's president my version of events with a copy of the receipt for my purchases. I never received any response or acknowledgment to my dissatisfaction. although this Pathmark Store is two blocks away from my home, I primarily shop at a competing Shop Rite Store three or four towns over for my shopping now.....and I will only purchase from Pathmark if I know there is a very good sale in proceess....biting off my nose, in spite of my face so to speak.

                Truth is, I am slightly inconvenienced, but I justify my position because I believe Shop Rite is a superior store over Pathmark......and I do not want Pathmark store to profit, hence only the sale item purchases.....like when Haagen-Daz icream pints used to go on sale for 10 for 10 bucks.

                1. re: fourunder

                  I don't get it. I don't thing you did anything wrong:
                  a) multiples of the same item should count as one item (eg. 6 apples is one item), and
                  b) why should they pay one cashier to do nothing while the other has 6 or 7 people in line?

                  But why did you seek out the store manager after you had already gone through the express line and paid (at 1:30am!) - or did I miss something?

                  1. re: hsk

                    hsk,

                    I could have chosen to walk out, but I wanted the items for the next days meals. When the young male cashier first gave me his take on store policy is when I told him my position, that he would ring me up. After bagging and payment, I felt I should teach the young lad a lesson that his reluctance to perform his duties....have consequences and I wanted him to feel a little heat for his stupidity. After seeking out the manager, his response was also insulting, so I demanded his name and card so I could write the president and inform him of the actions of his employees, and also put a little heat on the store manager(assistant). To add insult, the president, or corporate management never acknowledged my letter or concerns.

                    As I indicated above, the store is two blocks down from my home....what also annoyed me is the fact I had been shopping in this store for well over 30 years. Given the treatment and the fact Pathmark and it's employees do not appreciate their customers, I have since imposed my limited boycott to sale items only.

                    I would note that anyone unfamiliar with Pathmark stores to know that it has been a troubled supermarket chain for quite sometime and has change ownership a couple of times and has needed to seek bankruptcy protection also in the past. With the way I was treated and the apparent way they run their stores, I am not surprised for their poor financial status.

                    1. re: fourunder

                      You can go back now. Pathmark was taken over by the folks who own Waldbaums around here on Long Island. I think its A&P. They no longer carry low grades of beef, only choice.

                      1. re: phantomdoc

                        oh yes....their infamous, we proudly sell only *Black Angus Select Grade* meats for a dollar more than what our competitors charge for *USDA Choice Grade* campaign......in small print of course.

                2. re: tryingthisstuffout

                  For the record, regardless of the store's policies on returns, I believe the store manager should not have taken the corporate stance and instead should have provided you some relief. I have read some of your replies to others and it seems you have cooled down and accepted lessons learned......

                  FWIW, the mistake I think you made was purchasing the tenderloin cut @ $6.99/lb instead of the Angus Rib Roast @ $3.99. :0)

                  1. re: tryingthisstuffout

                    Maybe I'm missing something, but to complain about not being able to return perfectly good meat seams unfair. They can't resell it at that point.

                    What the store seems to have done wrong was print that bait-and-switch advertisement. That seems worthy of a complaint, but I don't understand why they should take back a product that by all appearances was seen by the customer for what it was. Did I miss something?

                3. http://www.acmestores.com/specials-su...

                  That is a link to the description of the meat in their ad.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: tryingthisstuffout

                    Definitely a deceptive ad. I have never seen a combination of cuts like that in supermarkets in eastern Mass. It was still a good deal, though, and I have to echo the "caveat emptor" sentiment of some other posts. It's not as though they buried the ground meat under the rest so you couldn't see it until you unwrapped it. I'd tell the corporate people that if you ever see such a thing again, you will complain to the BBB. Be sure to save the circular, your receipt, and the package label.

                  2. What was the weight of the tenderloin? If if was, say, 5 pounds, you paid $42 for the whole deal. Think of it as $8.40/ lb for the tenderloin, (not a bad price), plus a free pound of ground something. You bought it with eyes wide open, and the idea of returning meat is not a good one. Sleazy marketing? Yes. Did you get a good deal? Yes. Don't torture yourself with buyer's remorse. Eat and enjoy. If the tenderloin was over 5 pounds, the math works more in your favor.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Veggo

                      Good point veggo. I'm mad at myself more than anything. Indeed, I bought it with my own two eyes, and even though it was deceptive, I had the opportunity to see past it, and didn't. Lesson learned, and regardless, I just got a great deal for some great tenderloin.

                      Now the real question-does one risk tartar with what is supposedly ground tenderloin? hehe.

                      1. re: tryingthisstuffout

                        If the "tail" of the tenderloin was cut off and ground, it's likely to taste quite good. The tail on a whole tenderloin can be a pain to cook right, even if you fold it back and tie it. I usually cut it off mid-way through the cooking of the whole tenderloin. I don't think there is reason to suspect they cheated you with a lesser cut. If I could find the deal you bought, I would buy it.

                        1. re: Veggo

                          I have purchased whole tenderloins at meat markets. The butcher always ask me if I want them to clean it. This involves removing the chain and silver skin. They offer to grind the trimmings for you. I decline since I am pretty good with a knife and I can remove the silver skin and remove any trace of meat off it. Just from the silver skin removal and other connective tissue I can get about a 6 oz mound of chopped loin for a burger or tartar. The chain and tail I cut into appropriate portions for later use.

                          The issue is that you weren't given a choice but you did buy it knowing it included the ground trimmings. That was the most appropriate time to voice a complaint

                        2. re: tryingthisstuffout

                          I grind my own beef and it's just 7-bone chuck. I definitely nibble at it while in the process :)

                      2. I've got a different take on this. You probably wouldn't want to cook a whole tenderloin as-is; it requires a bit of surgery before it's ready for cooking. The side meat and the chain need to come off, and although you can do a number of things with them, grinding is definitely one of the preferred treatments.

                        When I buy a PSMO (peeled side meat on) tenderloin, I trim it, cut the main muscle into fillets and roasts, and grind the trimmings for steak tartare. Although it would be nice if they gave you the choice, I don't see anything deceptive about the meat department doing this work for you.

                        25 Replies
                        1. re: alanbarnes

                          If that was what it is, I'd agree with you. Although it would probably have been better to also have untrimmed tenderloin to give people the choice.

                          I can't imagine using ground trimmings for steak tartare. Don't you have e-coli in the US? Comes from the slaughtering process and is generally found on the outsides of primal cuts. Maybe you don't, I've seen Americans order burgers medium rare.

                          1. re: hsk

                            So where do YOU get the meat for steak tartare?

                            1. re: c oliver

                              Well I've only ever had it in a restaurant and it was served tableside - they brought a cart with a chunk of tenderloin, chopped it up with a knife, added spices and put it on a plate. I like a good flame-broiled steak much better than steak tartare so I've never actually made it myself, but I think that is the way to make it, because using the trimmings would concentrate all of the potentially unsafe-to-eat-raw portions of the tenderloin into one item.

                              1. re: hsk

                                It's always refreshing when someone doesn't need to be burdened by facts to form an opinion.

                                First off, it doesn't matter what part of the tenderloin you're eating - if it's contaminated, there's a risk of infection. And the main muscle has exposed surface area that can be contaminated just as easily as the chain or the side meat. There is absolutely nothing about a tenderloin's trimmings that makes them less safe to eat than the rest of the subprimal.

                                You see, fecal coliform bacteria don't "come from the slaughtering process." They come from shit. If there isn't shit on your meat, you don't need to worry about e. coli.

                                Even if there is, the concentrations found on the outside of muscle cuts tend to be minimal. It's when those few bacteria get ground into the center of a chub of hamburger, and when that hamburger is stored at temperatures that allow them to be fruitful and multiply, that you get widespread illness. That's why I only eat medium-rare burgers when the meat has been freshly ground (usually by me).

                                Yes, eating raw meat (or fish, or vegetables) carries some risk. But if you inform yourself as to what those risks are, how they are created, and how they can be minimized, you can then make informed decisions about food safety.

                                Or you can boil your salad. It's certainly safer.

                                1. re: alanbarnes

                                  I would quibble a bit with you. Just for fun?
                                  Granted, coliform is not very likely on a tenderloin. What about the OTHER bacteria and contaminants?
                                  I was always led to believe that with beef, in particular, if you got past the surface contamination you were pretty safe. Scrape or remove a little meat from the surface and you can eat what is below it, raw. Yes/no?

                                  If you have a tenderloin that should be trimmed before sale by the butcher, it has already, in fact, been trimmed once... off the carcass. There is loose fat and meat here and there. It has been handled, cut and packaged.
                                  You are going to take this trimmed-off periferal fat and meat and eat it as tartare? This will have a high percentage of exposed surface area, that has been exposed to all the previous handling; now, more air and the butcher's block, glove and knife. This is the only part I have an issue with.
                                  I will not eat meat as tartare unless it is from previously unexposed meat or it has had the exterior seared, as in using a piece of rare steak to work from.

                                  1. re: Scargod

                                    >>"There is loose fat and meat here and there. It has been handled, cut and packaged."<<

                                    That's the problem with your quibble. Tartare (my tartare, at least) isn't made from loose fat or meat, and it hasn't been handled any more than any other subprimal.

                                    A PSMO is covered in large part by a layer of fat (which is generally discarded). If you remove that fat and separate the cut along its seams, you'll find three major pieces - the main muscle, the side muscle, and the chain. The side meat is on the small side, and the chain tends to be tough. If you cook the tenderloin with them attached it will detract from its presentation, but they certainly aren't "loose fat and meat."

                                    If you want to be completely safe, definitely heat the outside of the beef. Easy enough to do. But don't delude yourself that eating the main tenderloin muscle raw is any safer than eating the side meat.

                                    1. re: alanbarnes

                                      What hsk said below.... I think of trimmings as mostly waste, not fit for tartare.
                                      I see you're not talking about that, nor did you suggest that anyone use it for tartare. I missed (above), where the manager said they cut off the end piece and ground that. If that's what you're suggesting would be good for tartare, then fine, though I would hesitate to eat the stores ground version whereas I think your ground or chopped end would probably be great....
                                      Perhaps a point I was trying to make is, if it's often trimmed off and discarded, for ground meat, why would you ever consider the store's ground meat version good enough for tartare, even if the end or tail of the tenderloin were included? You wouldn't know exactly what's in it and it's gone through the grinder that everything else has gone through.
                                      As CO has said she does, if I am trimming or cutting up my own steak I would eat the meat raw without a worry. Not so if from the big store. I trust a restaurant to know what they are doing and use freshly trimmed and chopped cuts for tartare.
                                      I just bought a whole rack of pork ribs from my big, area store. It had a freshness date eight days out and was already starting to smell bad.
                                      Pictures from a good tutorial at http://images.google.com/imgres?imgur...

                                       
                                       
                                      1. re: Scargod

                                        "I think of trimmings as mostly waste, not fit for tartare"

                                        Wow can I have your "waste" from your next tenderloin? While I would personally not use the chain for tartare that's a long ways from all "trimmings". When cutting a tenderloin "trimmings" include the tail and often at least some of the head which is perfect for tartare.
                                        Now about that link. I have no idea why any one would run a tenderloin under water. That's about the last thing I want to do with a fine piece of beef.
                                        It's not at all normal to cut off the entire head of the tenderloin.
                                        If you cut the head and tail off you only have a few steaks left. The author cut his "steaks" 1.25" thick which is a paltry 4 ounces or so. That's not a steak it's a scooby snack. If you cut a tenderloin as represented in that article you would be lucky to have more than three good steaks. If you look at the photo of that "choice" tenderloin they used from Costco you will see a chunk cut out of the silver in the photo where they are trimming the fat. That tenderloin should be a "no roll" and not choice. A prime example of how meat grades have fallen. He also states that the chain is used as part of the filet mignon which is not really very accurate. The only hacks I have ever seen do that are the meat cutters at Costco.
                                        Personally I would not eat tartare from meat that was store ground and I don't care what meat they used. I would never trust that their grinders and work surfaces are clean enough. Meat grinders are often the primary culprit of contamination as they are often not cleaned properly or even cleaned at all when they switch from grinding one product to another.
                                        I have no idea what analogy you are trying to make with the pork. Beef is sealed in Cryo. Most steak houses have a standard SOP of letting the meat wet age at least two weeks before cutting.

                                        1. re: Fritter

                                          I believe you know more than I do, and trimmings may be a technical term in the meat industry/butcher's trade that I don't know about. I consider the term to mean something more akin to "junk" or waste, which includes gristle, sinew and fat.

                                          The analogy is that the pork ribs were cryovaced and should have been fine, but they weren't. I've had chickens that were bad, too, that were well within their freshness or sell by date. I'm saying you can't always be sure what you are getting, just as you agreed meat grinders aren't always cleaned properly.
                                          If I had a trusted butcher, like I have a fishmonger, then I might not be so reluctant. Stop n Shop isn't my trusted butcher. One of my irritations with them is they often don't even scrape off the detritus from the sawing.

                                          1. re: Scargod

                                            I always clean my own meat when possible for just that reason. While I don't think the analogy from beef to pork or chicken really works I do understand your point.
                                            Cryo beef is different beast from chicken or pork. Aging beef in cryo up to seven weeks improves it. Yes when you cut the plastic it will smell. Those enzymes in there have been busy! You really have to miss-handle cryo beef for it to spoil.
                                            Dry aged beef smells as well. That doesn't make it rancid. After all it is decaying animal flesh.
                                            There is no gristle to speak of on a tenderloin. The silver should account for no more than a few ounces on a whole PSMO. That and the blood are the only true waste on a tenderloin unless you get a stray fatty. Typically fat is not waste and gets ground with the chain for some killer burger. It seems odd to me that others would buy prime beef or even Kobe for the fat content and then pitch the fat off a tenderloin. If the butcher grinds it you can assume it's in there. The only way you really control that is to grind your own.
                                            In either event the chain remains burger for me. If I want tartare it will be from the head or the tail not because of bacteria but texture.

                                        2. re: Scargod

                                          Actually if I have a plain ole store-bought steak, generally rib-eye, I've been known to nibble off that also. But I'm an old parasitologist (operative word "old") and don't have much fear about such things. A lot of people don't eat raw eggs so they're not going to be having tartare anyway. I continue to say how boring the world would be - and even MORE expensive - if we all liked the same things.

                                      2. re: Scargod

                                        So you only have tartare at home then. In a restaurant you couldn't get the assurances you require. When you cut/peel/slice that outer meat off, what do you do with THAT? It sounds to me like tartare just isn't something that would meet your comfort level. And that's cool. I know people who don't eat raw fish so no reason for meat to be any different. I, however, have been known to slice a teeny bit off any piece of steak before cooking and to have a nibble here and there of my ground 7-bone for burgers. But I've never been a real girly-girl. Eyeshadow and curling iron? Yes. Cooked meat and fish? Totally not necessary.

                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          You are making some baseless statements about me. I eat tartare in restaurants. I recently had carpaccio. I make and eat tartare at home.

                                          1. re: Scargod

                                            It appears I made a faulty assumption. The basis, however, was this:

                                            "I will not eat meat as tartare unless it is from previously unexposed meat or it has had the exterior seared, "

                                            My assumption was that you weren't actually going back into the kitchen and demanding that and also that the kitchen isn't doing that. My apologies for a faulty assumption.

                                      3. re: alanbarnes

                                        "You see, fecal coliform bacteria don't "come from the slaughtering process." They come from shit. If there isn't shit on your meat, you don't need to worry about e. coli."

                                        Well I was trying to be delicate. I understood that e-coli comes from the slaughtering process when they take out the guts and then use a hose to clean out what's left - if the guts weren't taken out cleanly and the hose spread it around some more, then the potential for bacteria in your meat is greater. But it still stays on the surface of the various cuts of meat (because it's a contact contamination. This is just what I understood from reading and what I've been told. I've never actually been in a slaughterhouse.

                                        As you say, if the meat was properly butchered (i.e. intestines removed cleanly, contents never touched the meat) there would be no source of contamination. I don't think it happens 100% of the time at every slaughterhouse.

                                    2. re: c oliver

                                      I don't know about others, BUT I hand chop the beef myself for steak tartare. Growing up, my mother taugh me the difference between 'Chop Meat' and ground beef. Ground beef may be OK for burgers and meatballs, but Steak Tartare needs the rough texture and chew of coarsely hand chopped beef. This also allows me to contol the amount of fat and other trimmings in the mix.

                                      Steak Tartare should have a bite/chew it is not a pate. I liken this to my distate of chopped liver that is really a paste like substance. The modern convenience of the food processor has 'ruined' Staek Tartare and chopped liver in most places.
                                      The best tools: A metal half moon shaped stailess chopper and a thick wooden bowl.

                                      1. re: bagelman01

                                        It's called a mezzaluna:

                                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mezzaluna

                                        A FP not carefully used will definitely make a paste --- I just made some tapenade that got away from me :( But I also can use it and get as coarse as I want. So coarse, in fact, that at the end I'll always have a few pieces that I need to hand chop. Like the current MW thread, the results are determined by the skill of the user.

                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          There's also the ulu, which is similar, but has a single, integrated hand-grip. They are used in the Arctic, both for cutting food and ice, and for butchering/skinning. I find it more versatile than a mezzaluna.

                                          1. re: greygarious

                                            Yeah, the mezzaluna is one of those doodads that I wish I hadn't bought. I've had it for years and haven't used it in years. Don't even know where it is; maybe I donated it.

                                          2. re: c oliver

                                            actually, in our family it was called a: HOCHMESSER, but I didn't thisnk the non-English ethnic names were important for this post.

                                            1. re: bagelman01

                                              Actually "mezzaluna" is Italian but I figured most CHs are multi-lingual :)

                                          3. re: bagelman01

                                            With all due respect to your mom, Julia Child recommends grinding.

                                            Not saying there's anything wrong with chopped meat. It may even be better than ground. But if you're going to talk about the way a classic French dish **should** be, I think I'll defer to the recognized expert.

                                            1. re: alanbarnes

                                              Julia Child may have mastered the art of French Cooking, BUT Steak Tartare is neither French or cooked.
                                              It is far more likely that the thundering hordes of Tartar horsemen chopped their meat with knives or swords than ground them

                                              1. re: bagelman01

                                                I love this legend:

                                                "The basis of the name is the legend that nomadic Tatar people of the Central Asian steppes did not have time to cook and thus placed meat underneath their horses' saddles. The meat would be tenderised by the end of the journey."

                                                I bet those horses didn't enjoy those knives/swords under their saddles.

                                                1. re: bagelman01

                                                  Cooked, no. French, very much so. Although the myth about barbarian horsemen eating meat that had been under their saddles for a day or three makes for a good story (albeit a disgusting one - have you ever smelled under a horse's saddle after a day on the trail?), it isn't true.

                                                  The raw minced beef served in French (yes, French) restaurants at the turn of the last century was referred to as "steak à l'Américaine." After a while, people figured out that tartar sauce (the traditional stuff, not the mayo/relish glop) was a good accompaniment. Steak à l'Américaine served with tartar sauce became known as - you guessed it - steak tartare. No Mongol hordes required.

                                                  In the 1921 edition of Escoffier, steak tartare is described as a variation on steak à l'Americaine - omit the egg yolk, add tartar sauce on the side. Over time, though, the distinction vanished, and by 1938 Larousse Gastronomique was describing steak tartare as raw ground beef served with a raw egg yolk, without any mention of tartar sauce.

                                      2. Sorry but jfood has to disagree. At one store that advertises "whole BT" you pick your cryovacced choice and then they proceed to trim it up. You pay the price for all the fat they throw away as well as the meat you take home, so for the price per take-away it adds about $5-7 per pound. That $8 whole tenderloin is actually $15 per pound of edible meat..

                                        Plus you saw the ground beef included and still bought it. If you did not like it at the time of purchase make your dissatisfaction known at the time. Do no enter into a social contract to accept it, buy it and then trash it here.

                                        As jfood grandmother told him, if it looks too good to be true it probably is.

                                        12 Replies
                                        1. re: jfood

                                          IMO the add is deceptive Whole is not ground and no where is ground even mentioned. I certainly have never heard of this seemingly random mix and match concept that the store has come up with. Next time best to ask prior to purchasing.

                                          1. re: Withnail42

                                            Correct, neither ground nor trimmed is mentioned. It is a bad advertisement, no doubt. Jfood dislikes watching $*8/lb of fat get cut away and thrown in a pile as well, in his example above and he has only done twice. On the second time he asked the butcher to weigh the meat after trimming and figured the price per pound in his head on the meat-only. He told the butcher no thanks and he does not even consider buying it any longer

                                            In this case, the OP did see the meat both as a roast and ground, yet decided to buy in spite of that. The concern should have been raised at the time as jfood did, not wait to arrive at home with Buyer's Remorse and then call.

                                            1. re: Withnail42

                                              Maybe unclear, but not at all deceptive. The OP paid for a whole tenderloin and got a whole tenderloin. The whole thing. All of it. Unlike jfood, who bought a whole tenderloin and only got part of it.

                                              If you buy a whole steer, do you expect them to deliver it on the hoof? No, it's going to be cut into steaks, roasts, burger, etc. before it's delivered to you. "Whole" does not necessarily mean "intact."

                                              1. re: alanbarnes

                                                Logic can be very entertaining! Alan, Will you share your tartare recipe? I have not had it in years, and never made it myself. But I want to give it a try. Thanks.

                                                1. re: Veggo

                                                  Yes, please, ab. Or just bring some up the hill. I DO like raw egg however.

                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                    Not much of a recipe; just rid the meat of silverskin, gristle, and chunks of fat, then run it through the grinder (or find your mezzaluna and mince the meat using that). Half a pound is plenty for three or four people.

                                                    Mix with a raw egg yolk, a tablespoon or so of Dijon mustard, and a couple of smashed anchovies if you have good ones. Toss in capers and minced shallots to taste and season with salt and black pepper. Voila, steak tartare.

                                                    Optional additions include Worcestershire sauce (mandatory if you didn't use anchovies), prepared horseradish, Tabasco, whatever. I like a bunch of chopped parsley added at the end to brighten things up.

                                                    Serve with rye bread and french fries.

                                                    1. re: alanbarnes

                                                      steak tartare...well done

                                                      1. re: alanbarnes

                                                        "just rid the meat of silverskin, gristle, and chunks of fat, then run it through the grinder"
                                                        That's what I consider the trimmings, which is why I said I can't imagine using ground trimmings for steak tartare. Your recipe for steak tartare is exactly how I've seen it made. Sorry for the misunderstanding above ;-)

                                                  2. re: alanbarnes

                                                    "The OP paid for a whole tenderloin and got a whole tenderloin. The whole thing. All of it. Unlike jfood, who bought a whole tenderloin and only got part of it."

                                                    Exactly! When you buy a whole tenderloin you buy the whole thing. All they did was clean the chain and grind it and give the op the ground meat from his loin. A whole loin is a lot less $ per pound than a cleaned one so a service was performed essentially for free. I can't see any thing to be upset about. This an issue where the consumer failed to under stand what they were buying and not an issue of deception. All the OP had to do if they did not want a cleaned tender loin was ask for one in the cryovac. I'm sure the butcher would have been pleased to fork one over. Same price for them, less work.
                                                    This is not that far from buying a whole fish. Most markets will fillet them but you pay the pound price for the whole fish not just the fillets. If you want the head or bones then speak up and ask for them.

                                                2. re: jfood

                                                  " the price per take-away it adds about $5-7 per pound. That $8 whole tenderloin is actually $15 per pound of edible meat"

                                                  Those numbers are a little off in my experience. A whole PSMO on average is roughly 6 pounds or $48 at $8 per pound which is about the average price for choice tenderloins here this summer. When you open the cryo you lose about 2 ounces of blood. Remove the chain, clean the loin and you lose approximatly another 18 ounces. A total loss of 20 ounces assuming the loin is indeed left whole and not cut into steaks. 6 - 1.25# = a net weight of 4.75#. $48 divided by your net of 4.75 pounds = $10.11 for the cleaned steak or a gain of roughly $2.11 per pound. Weights vary a bit from loin to loin.
                                                  I'm at a total loss as to why any one would not want the pound of ground tenderloin that they have paid for any how. If you buy individual cut tenderloins at the meat counter they will indeed be around $15 a pound for choice. This is the savings in buying a whole loin.
                                                  Since others have mentioned grinding their own burger I have found this saves a bit of time at home. After I have cleaned a tenderloin the only real loss I have is blood weight and the silver skin. This should not total more than a few ounces. Scape the chain with a boning knife to pull the majority of meat off. Grind the meat first. Instead of spending a bunch of time trying to hand clean the rest of the chain cut it into strips length wise and then put it through the grinder as well. Any thing that is too tough to grind will wrap around the blade on most home grinders. This saves a lot of time and does not impact your end product if you grind the chain last.
                                                  My KA grinder attachment does this with ease.
                                                  There is nothing like burgers on the grill from a fresh ground tenderloin chain.

                                                  1. re: Fritter

                                                    F

                                                    Probably a different distributor because the whole loins sold at Stew Leonards in CT have pounds, not ounces, of fat trimmed prior to approaching the silver skin.

                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                      A PSMO tender will never ever have pounds of fat irrespective of the distrubutor or the packing house (IBP, Excel, National etc) as long as it's in the US.
                                                      You are talking about unpeeled loins which are not nearly as common and cost far less than $8 per pound for choice.
                                                      I would walk away from them at that price as well.