How To Trim Silver-Skin From Larger Cuts of Meat

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Hi, just a short post today with a few pictures to illustrate.  I have seen some queries about trimming silver-skin.  That portion of the cut of meat that covers the muscle, which if it is cooked becomes gristle. I am not sure if it is a tendon or simply a sheathing that separates the different muscles, but I do know that it is extremely tough.  If your steak or roast has too much of it, you will find it tough and chewy.  As an aside I have also been told that certain American Indian tribes used the silver-skin to make strong threads to sew their leather goods together.

You will find this on all roasts and it must be removed.  The pictures below show the skin on a smaller roast, for tenderloin or “New-York” sirloin roast it is the same and you would use the same process.  You begin by inserting the boning knife about and inch back from the edge or end of the roast. You want to just barely go under the surface and make your cut away from yourself.

Cut away from yourself

Next you grab that end, pull it up and reverse the blade of the knife so that now you are cutting toward yourself.  You want to keep the edge of the blade tilted slightly upward so that it is riding/scraping against the silver-skin leaving a minimum amount of meat on the skin as you peel it off the roast.

Hold the skin up, keep your blade against the silver-skin

The thickness of the silver-skin will generally diminish from one end to the other and may run out about half way through the roast.  This is true here and on a tenderloin, a “New York ” sirloin will have a sliver skin sheathing covering the whole cut.

Pull on the skin as you cut so you can keep the blade just under the surface.

Then finish it up by removing random pieces of fat.  I try to get the whole piece in one stroke continuing to the end of the roast and in this case turning it over to get the skin on the other side.

Keep the silver-skin taught.

I wold suggest removing this from any roast or stew beef  that you buy.  When you make a stew you can buy an inexpensive bottom round, trim it, braise it and you will have  tender pieces of beef for your next stew.


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