9011 Manchester Road
St. Louis, MO 63144
Ph: 314-862-COOK (2665)
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When preparing meat for cooking, the meat should be trimmed and inedible parts removed. Unfortunately, few butchers adequately trim the meat for cooking; home cooks must complete the trimming. Silverskin is the shiny, fibrous, inedible layer on tenderloins, in-between the meat and fat. Since tenderloin is so tender, the layer of fat is not necessary, but the tenderloin will not taste tender without removing the silverskin. The best way to remove silverskin is to use a thin and flexible fillet knife. Slip the knife between the meat and silverskin and angle the knife towards the skin, then slide the knife to cut off a long swath.

Here are the meat cuts that home cooks needs to trim, since they are sold untrimmed at the grocery stores:

Beef Tenderloin: The silverskin needs to be removed. If the tenderloin is untrimmed, the fat and the long chain next to the tenderloin need to be removed. Although there is some good meat in the chain, it is very time-consuming to separate the meat from the silverskin that is threaded through the chain.

Pork Tenderloin: The silverskin needs to be removed.

Rack of Lamb: A “Frenched” rack of lamb features all of the meat and fat removed from the long part of the bone so that the diner may pick up the chop without getting fingers greasy. There is an undesirable layer of fat and silverskin next to the delectable meat. It may appear that you are losing a large part of the rack of lamb, but you are only throwing out what is not edible.

Baby Back Pork Ribs: The underside of the ribs has a fibrous, chewy skin. Slip a boning knife between the bone and skin and pull. The whole skin will peel off.

Scallops: Both bay and sea scallops feature a fibrous “foot” which is how the scallop is attached to the scallop shell. The foot will easily peel off with your fingers. Sometimes the foot has dropped off before you get the scallops, but each scallop should be examined to remove the foot. Large scallops are easy to de-foot, but the small scallops require more patience.

Shrimp: When presented with shrimp with tails, what does the diner do with the inedible shell? Do the diner a favor and remove the shell and devein the shrimp before serving. To devein, cut a slit along the back of the shrimp and pull out the black and gritty vein. Don’t worry about the underside of the shrimp.