Beef Chain
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The “Chain,” (Chaînette in French) or side muscle (psoas minor) is a fattier cut of meat attached to the desirable TenderloinSub-Primal Cut. It is most often separated from the more expensive tenderloin cut. If you are purchasing a tenderloin, be sure to check if you are receiving it “Chain On” or “Chain Off.”

Availability

Beef Chain is available all year long.

Production

Because it comes from the Loin and specifically the Tenderloin, The Chain is not scrap. It can be de-skinned of the silverish outer membrane and sold separately as Bavette or cut into Bavette Steaks.

The production of beef is carried about by three primary types of operations: Cow & Calf Operations, Weaner Calf & Yearling Operations, and Dry-Lot Feeding Operations (also known as “Backrounders”) which are the most expensive operations in the Beef Industry. To learn more about Beef Producers just follow the link to Smart Kitchen’s Page on Beef Producers. The Beef Producers are represented by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

American cattle production has remained almost stagnant between 1985 and 2009, growing just 6.4%, while the amount of beef imported has nearly tripled in that time, according to an analysis of USDA figures conducted by R-CALF USA, another the trade group that represents cattle producers.

Once raised, Beef is typically sold to Meat Packers who slaughter, inspect, and butcher the animals to provide Primal Cuts to butchers and portion cuts to consumers.

The Meat Packing Industry is in a period of consolidation. In 1999, the 10 largest beef-packing firms accounted for more than 90 percent of all Steer and Heifer slaughter in the U.S. In 2011, according to the Western Organization of Resources Councils three major companies controlled Beef market. Visit Smart Kitchen’s Meat Packers Resource Page to learn more.

Purchasing

When shopping for Beef Chain, look for Beef Chain that has a clear, red exterior color known as the “Bloom,” that come from exposure to oxygen and not the more normal purplish-red color of vacuum packed beef. Your purchase should be cold, firm to the touch and, if packaged, free of any punctures or rips. Notice the “sell-by” date on the label and make sure you are buying product that is well within its dates of safe use as specified by the sticker.

Storage

Raw Beef Chain should last for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Add an extra day of cold storage time if the Beef Chain is Marinated or oiled. Raw Beef Chain will keep for 2-3 months in the freezer without any appreciable deterioration in quality.

Cooked Beef Chain should be refrigerated for up to 1-3 days.

Culinary Uses

The Chain meat is useful for Beef Stroganoff or other dishes with a requirement for a Julienne of Filet.

Teaching Chef demonstrates how to trim a tenderloin, including removing The Chain in Lesson 7: Basic Proteins, Topic 3: BeefExercise 8: Preparing a Tenderloin.

Beef Chain is a tender Portion Cut of Beef. On Smart Kitchen’s Home Plate it should be Cooked, it is Tender, it can be Thin or Thick depending on how it is cut, it is Moist, and Lean. Using the Home Plate we would call it Cooked, Tender, Thin or Thick, Moist, and Lean or noted in the home plate shorthand Beef Chain would be (C, T2T3-T4, M, L).

Beef Chain is best cooked using the following techniques: GrillingBroilingBaking, Spit RoastingRoastingSautéing,Pan FryingDeep Fat FryingSous-vide and Smoking.

Portion Size

Allow 6 to 9 ounces (170 g to 255 g) per person of Beef Chain as a Serving Size.

Gluten Free

Yes

Low Fat

No

Low Calorie

No