Lomo Fino – Carne de Res (Beef Tenderloin)

My purchases of Lomo Fino (beef tenderloin) since moving to San Clemente have been of  sporadic quality. It has not been the Lomo Fino that we have come to love…it has been chewy, chewy, chewy. Sort of like a zapatilla (sneaker) instead of a tender piece of steak.  I honestly must tell you that I have actually cut a Lomo Fino up into chucks and stewed it for hours and still did not have what I wanted. To use it as a fine piece of tenderloin has not been an option. I spoke with my traveling butcher on Thursday when he stopped by with only Chancho and requested five pounds of carne de res – lomo fino – but I wanted small filets not something from the oldest cow in the bunch. Early Saturday morning, I mean 6:30am early he was outside my gate with these steaks.

Well they sure looked beautiful but the true test is can I serve them as a suave steak? Both Joe and I have researched at home methods of tenderizing meat after our friend Scott from Las Tunas, down the coast told us about how he puts his beef in a large pot on a wire rack and leaves it in the refrigerator for several days to tenderizer.  We wrapped our steaks in clean dish towels according to the American Test Kitchen you tube video and placed them on a wire rack at the lowest point in our refrigerator, they will stay there for four days.  I have used this process with my last purchase of the larger tenderloins and was disappointed as it did not seem to tenderizer them one little bit.

I will let you know how it turns out, if not I will need to find a butcher in Portoviejo who has aged beef.

15 thoughts on “Lomo Fino – Carne de Res (Beef Tenderloin)

  1. 4 days is not adequate. I put my steaks in the fridge for at least 14 days. For the real fresh meat, i would also baste with italian dressing prior to fridging. Frankly, those steaks even look tough; no marbeling. Ask for rib eye or t-bone. Look up
    the tender cuts of beef on the internet. Otherwise, I don’t think you’ll get a good
    steak in Ecuador. They should always be cut across the grain. Also, when marinating, cut small places in the beef to stuff the marinade in. I don’t even think, from the looks of these, that meat tenderizer would help. The cut is very bad; not done by a butcher. You could also grind them up and have tough hamburger steak.

    • Hi Bill, The issue with leaving it more than four days is the possibility of contamination according to folks like America’s Test Kitchen…The biggest problem here is nothing has any marbling, there is very little fat on anything even pork is very lean so to find a piece of meat with marbling would be great but very hard to find. I have ground the bigger tenderloins up and added 50% ground pork with as much fat as I could find and yes you are correct it was tough and not moist..I use many things to make the chopped meat moist like adding chopped up mushrooms. green peppers and onions ground right into the meat for meat loaf or stuffed cabbage, that adds the moisture and great flavor. I have been told there is a great butcher in Manta who has aged beef and he can cut you American style cuts like rib eye and flank steak…I guess that is my only choice to find a good butcher and pack the freezer with good cuts of meat. Thanks for your comments, N

  2. Hola amiga, We’ve been purchasing our lomo fino at Supermaxi in Poertoviejo for the past 10 months and have never been disappointed in the tenderness. Could be we’ve just been lucky. After defrosting , I do marinate the beef with a mixture of mesquite rub, garlic and a bit of olive oil in the fridge for a couple hours ( italian dressing also works). We then broil / grill for steaks or I’ll slice it and pan fry for other beef dishes. It is not “melt in your mouth” tender but found it a good substitute when we’re craving a US rib eye. I should mention supermaxi is the only store we purchase meat.

    • Hi Mary and John, I guess I will need to do the same because these tenderloins will never be tender no matter how much marinate or how long I leave them to age….there is not one little bit of fat on any of them, I will be making stuffed cabbage with these. ha ha Nancy

      • We tried the butcher in Manta, owned by americanos…and they say its aged, but the steaks we got there ( rib, t-bone) were very tough so that’s why we’ve been sticking to the lomo fino. The breakfast sausage and chix breast was very good.. When we get back to the states for a visit, next year sometime, first thing on our agenda is a steak dinner! And also a subway sandwich..lol
        luego amigo, we’re off to Puertoviejo for a bicycle seat, a stop at the nursery and other odds and ends

        • Hola John and Mary, I guess my next trip to SuperMaxi I will need to buy some lomo fino, I really have not been happy with the tenderness, well lack of tenderness. I also love to have a great steak dinner, when we were in Quito we found a great place near Parke Caroline that served a mean stead along with a wonderful mojito…worth a trip in our book. Yes, I miss the Subway also there regular Italian sub with extra vinegar and oil yum! Enjoy your trip into town today, N

    • 2texasgals, Good morning, no I actually have not tried papaya juice, I felt that it would turn the meat mussy before it became tender…I guess before I make chopped meat from these I will give it a try. I will let you know if it made any difference. Thanks for your comment. Nancy

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  4. Hi Nan
    Have you tried cooking them in a pressure cooker? Since a pressure cooker cooks at a much higher temp (around 240 degrees), it will break down (melt) the cartilage that makes the meat tough. You’re right, with no marbling, no amount of aging will help. When we lived in Quito, we would buy lomo fino and freeze it for a month or so. It helped, but not much. We now have 2 pressure cooker (large and small) and buy cheap cuts of meat (chuck or top round) and when they come out of the PC (after 30 minutes of cooking), they are like butter. Helps to brown them before cooking. We’ll be bringing the small PC with us when we return to EC next year. We also just purchased a pressure fryer that we fry chicken in. Comes out better than KFC. I’ve heard pressure cookers are available in EC.

    • Hi Rick, thanks so much for your comments. Yes, you can get pressure cookers here but one has not been on the top of my list until today…I guess my next trip into Portoviejo will be for one. I have been told that if you freeze the meat, thaw it and refreeze that that also makes it tender. I really think the pressure pot will do a better job with these beauties. I may take two of them and grind them up with some fatty pork and make some hamburgers for Joe he would go wild for that. Thanks again for commenting, where will you be staying when you come back to EC? Nancy

      • Still up in the air on where to locate. Our house is under contract here, so that’s a good first step. We plan on moving sometime in the next year. We will probably start out in Cuenca like everyone else, but the coast is not out of the question. I doubt if we’ll settle in Cuenca, but it will make a good home base. My only hesitation on the coast are the sand fleas. When I worked in the Oriente, we called them “gingo bugs” since they only seemed to like gingos. Bites on the elbows and ankles. Hate DEET but it was necessary. As for pressure cookers, we found the best size to be an 8 quart. A 6 quart works, but it’s good to have the extra room for a big meal. It is amazing how tender everything comes out of a PC.

        • Hi again Rick, Great to have the house under contract, next step closing! We use the local repellent called Detan for the mosquitoes, like I said in my email to you the parts of the coast that we have stayed in have not had and issue with sand fleas. We had no problem in Puerto Lopez, Salinas, Playas and now here in San Clemente we sit in the sand all the time with no issues. My next trip I will be looking for a pressure cooker. N

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