Beef tendon is a popular ingredient in many Asian dishes, known for its unique texture and flavor. However, if you’re new to cooking with this cut of meat, you may be wondering – does beef tendon have hair?
The answer is yes, and it’s important to properly clean and prepare the tendon before cooking to ensure a safe and enjoyable meal.
In this article, we’ll explore the best methods for cleaning and cooking beef tendon, as well as the nutritional benefits of this often-overlooked cut of meat.
So let’s dive in and learn more about this fascinating ingredient!
Does Beef Tendon Have Hair?
As mentioned earlier, beef tendon does have hair. These short black hairs can be seen on the tendon if you look closely. Some are obvious, sticking right out, while others are hidden beneath the loose skin.
It’s important to remove these hairs before cooking to ensure a safe and enjoyable meal. While it may seem unpleasant, it’s a necessary step in the preparation process.
To remove the hairs, you can use tweezers to pluck them out. It’s recommended to use a dedicated pair of kitchen tweezers specifically for this task. Some of the hairs may be embedded deeper into the tissue, so you may need to pull them out firmly.
It’s also recommended to soak the tendon in a solution of salt and distilled white vinegar before cooking to clean and deodorize it. After removing from the packaging, rub the tendon with a generous amount of table salt. Then soak the tendon in distilled white vinegar and let rest for at least 10 minutes. Longer is fine too. Rinse the tendon well to remove the salt and vinegar.
What Is Beef Tendon?
Beef tendon is a fibrous band of tissue that connects muscle to the bone. It is a cut of meat that is widely popular in Asian cuisine and is known for its ability to withstand tension and force, making it ideal for long cooking times. The tendon itself is tough and fibrous when raw, but when cooked properly, it becomes very soft and melts in your mouth.
Beef tendon is often sold ready to cook, but it can also be included in larger cuts of meat. It is very affordable and can be used in stocks and sauces, as well as on its own. Beef tendons are commonly used as an ingredient in some Asian cuisines such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese food. They are appreciated for their soft-tender texture and rich flavors.
Beef tendon contains large amounts of collagen, which is good for skin, joint, and hair health. In fact, by dry weight, tendons are composed of about 85% collagen (mostly type I), 2% elastin and 1-5% proteoglycan. Collagen is fantastic for skin, joint, and digestive health. This makes beef tendon not only a delicious ingredient but also a nutritious one.
The Importance Of Cleaning Beef Tendon
Cleaning beef tendon is an essential step in preparing it for cooking. As mentioned earlier, the tendon often has residual hairs that need to be removed before cooking to ensure a safe and hygienic meal. These hairs can carry bacteria and other contaminants that can cause illness if consumed.
Additionally, cleaning the tendon thoroughly can help to remove any unpleasant odors that may be present. Beef tendon has a strong smell, and soaking it in a solution of salt and distilled white vinegar can help to deodorize it.
It’s also important to note that cleaning the tendon can help to improve its texture and taste. Removing any residual hairs or other impurities can result in a cleaner, more enjoyable eating experience.
To clean beef tendon, it’s recommended to soak it in a solution of salt and distilled white vinegar for at least 10 minutes. After soaking, rinse the tendon well to remove any remaining salt and vinegar. Then, use tweezers to remove any visible hairs or impurities from the tendon.
How To Clean Beef Tendon
To clean the beef tendon, start by sprinkling both sides with salt and then pouring in distilled white vinegar to coat the tendons in the solution. Let the tendons rest for at least 10 minutes. Afterward, rinse the tendons thoroughly with cold water to remove any excess salt and vinegar.
Next, use a pair of kitchen tweezers to remove any remaining hairs from the tendon. Short black hairs can be seen on the tendon if you look closely. Some are obvious, sticking right out, while others are hidden beneath the loose skin. Gently pull out any visible hairs and use a bit more force to remove any hairs that are embedded deeper into the tissue.
Once you have removed all the hairs, rinse the tendon again with cold water to ensure that it is clean and free of any debris. After cleaning and deodorizing the tendon, it is ready to be cooked.
It’s important to note that beef tendon has a strong odor, so it’s essential to rinse it thoroughly before cooking. By following these steps, you can ensure that your beef tendon is clean and safe to eat.
Cooking Beef Tendon
Cooking beef tendon requires a bit of patience and attention to detail. The first step is to blanch the tendon in boiling water for about 2-3 minutes. This will help to remove any impurities and prepare the tendon for cooking.
After blanching, drain and rinse off any scummy residue from the pot. Use a sharp knife to slice the tendon into pieces about 1 inch wide. Return the tendon pieces to a cleaned pot and use enough filtered water to cover them by about 3/4 – 1 inch.
It’s important to watch the pot carefully and bring the water to a gentle simmer. Avoid letting it come to a rolling, strong boil as this may result in additional scummy residue forming. Cover the pot and allow it to simmer for up to 7 hours.
Using a pot with a tight-fitting lid is crucial so that the water does not evaporate. Check on it occasionally to ensure that there is sufficient water in the pot and add more as necessary. If any new scum forms, skim it off.
After simmering, remove the tendon pieces from the broth and reserve them for use in soups or other dishes. The broth can also be used as a soup base or saved for later use.
It’s important to note that beef tendon is difficult to cut right after cooking because the heat makes it slippery like jelly. Refrigerating for 30 minutes will firm up the tendon and make it much easier to cut. Dry the tendon by blotting it with a paper towel so it doesn’t slip or slide around during slicing. Always use a sharp knife and a solid cutting surface when slicing the beef tendon.
Nutritional Benefits Of Beef Tendon
Beef tendon is not only a delicious and versatile ingredient, but it also offers numerous nutritional benefits. It is a collagen-rich protein that can increase skin elasticity, reduce signs of aging, and fortify cell metabolism. In addition, beef tendon is low in fat and contains calcium, phosphorus, iron, and vitamins B1 and B2.
Collagen is a key component of tendons, and it is also beneficial for the health of our joints, skin, and digestive system. The collagen in beef tendon can activate muscles and bones, enrich the skin, and offer anti-aging properties. It is therefore suitable for people who are tired and weak, weak in waist and knees (joints), and with strained muscles and veins.
Beef tendon is also a great source of protein that is low in fat and carbs. It contains glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and elastin, which are nutrients that may have some health benefits for joints, skin, and hair. Additionally, beef tendon contains a number of beneficial antioxidants that may help reduce the risk of some chronic diseases.
Conclusion: Embrace The Versatility Of Beef Tendon
Despite the initial ick factor of removing hairs from beef tendon, it is a versatile and nutritious ingredient that is worth incorporating into your cooking. Beef tendon is rich in collagen, elastin, and proteoglycan, which are all beneficial for joint, skin, and digestive health. It’s also a great source of protein and low in fat, making it an ideal choice for those watching their weight or with sensitive stomachs.
Beef tendon can be used in a variety of dishes, from pho and dim sum to stocks and sauces. It’s also a popular choice for raw pet food feeding, as it can be cooked, dehydrated, or served raw for pets to enjoy. When cooking beef tendon, it’s important to give it enough time to cook and become tender. A quick way to check for doneness is to pierce it with a chopstick or fork – if it goes through smoothly, it’s cooked.