It can be a little frightening to cut a whole beef tenderloin. When you take it out of the package, it resembles an alien or something from a strange sci-fi film. Butchering a whole beef tenderloin is not as challenging as you might anticipate. Knowing how to break it down and cut it properly can help you save money because it reduces the amount of work your butcher has to do, which lowers the cost.
Over the past few months, David and I have cut, smoked, and reverse-seared a number of beef tenderloins. During this stage of life we’re in, our neighborhood store has had some pretty amazing sales.
Let us demonstrate how simple it is to cut a whole beef tenderloin into delicious meat that can be cooked for a fraction of the price!
Buying and butchering a whole tenderloin is a great way to make your beef dollars stretch further, especially on this super luxe cut.
The benefit of light butchering a tenderloin at home is the freedom to select the largest and most luxurious steaks for your own consumption. However, there is also satisfaction in making the most of your purchase by using the trim and side muscles.
The tenderloin, as its name implies, is the animal’s most tender muscle. It’s much more tender than muscles that work much harder (like cheeks!) because it’s hidden away in the hindquarter where it doesn’t get much use. Naturally, because it is the most tender cut, it costs the most per pound. especially filet mignon steaks, which are sliced from the muscle’s very center (which is regarded as the best part)
When it comes to flavor, what it lacks in tenderness, the quality of the beef can make up for it. The highest USDA grading, prime beef, is renowned for its abundant marbling. These minute seams of fat running through the meat are known as marbling, and fat is what gives meat its additional tenderness and flavor.
Let’s calculate: if you are taking the highest grade of the most tender muscle, the experience will be very opulent. But luxury doesn’t always have to be expensive: by purchasing the entire muscle, you save money per pound. Your wallet benefits more if the butcher has to do less work. Second, you can choose wisely where to buy your beef. Some grocery stores and bulk clubs have excellent pricing.
Here’s how to butcher a whole tenderloin now that you know what to get and where to get it:
Step 1: start with the whole tenderloin
Ok, this part can be intimidating. Despite how rough and gnarly everything appears to be, it’s simple to navigate Industry slang for this state of the muscle is a PSMO, or “peeled side muscle on.” It is safer to cut the meat when it is not slippery, so begin by patting it dry with a paper towel. Also, make sure your knives are nice and sharp. This makes cutting away all the undesirable parts safer and preserves the meat.
Step 2: identify the different muscles
I removed the silverskin from the image above so that you can clearly see the muscles. This is the same location that these sections are in when compared to the first image. Here, they have just been trimmed (cleaned up) and separated. Due to its silverskin and thick, fat seams, The Chain is not very edible as is. The stew meat pieces you see in the bottom left will need to be cut down from it. The heel is not a true tenderloin but rather a separate muscle. This makes a lovely small roast, so it’s best to cut this off but leave it whole. It could be cut into trim and stew meat if you didn’t want to keep it whole.
The entire tenderloin will be magnificently visible on your board once the side muscles and pieces have been removed, and you will be able to see how much it tapers on each end.
Step 3: Clean up the tenderloin by removing the silverskin.
Silverskin is very tough and doesn’t break down when cooking steaks, making it a pretty unpleasant substance. The tough silverskin must be removed because it serves no purpose to have such incredibly tender beef with it. You’ll need a very sharp boning or filet knife. A small, thin paring knife will also work, but because of their shorter blade, they are more difficult to use. Insert the knife as shown in the illustration above, angle the blade upwards, and then gently pull along the length of the skin. Silverskin is more resistant to cuts than muscle, so it should easily pass through. Continue until every muscle has been trimmed and cleaned, and always cut away from yourself.
Step 4: tie off the chateaubriand
The Chateaubriand is located in the center of the muscle, where it is the thickest. The Chateaubriand is regarded as the more expensive part even though the entire muscle is premium food because it produces the largest medallions. Although tying the Chateaubriand is not required, it can help you cut even steaks and maintain the steaks’ attractive round shape as they cook.
Because the ends of the tenderloin taper, they are not considered true filets. You can cut smaller steaks from the ends (also called tails). Alternatively, you can cut the meat into stew or dice, or use it for some seriously luxe tartare. I use a vacuum sealer to save the steaks and other cuts, and freeze them until I’m ready to use them.
Step 5: cut the filet mignon steaks
You can divide this section into 4 to 8 steaks, which is the part we’ve all been waiting for. Four are going to be nice, thick steakhouse style. You’ll end up with fairly thin filets if you try to cut more than eight or so. If you want to stretch them further, it might be necessary, but you won’t get very generous portions.
After being cut, the steaks can either be cooked right away or vacuum-sealed, kept in the fridge, or frozen for later use.
How To Butcher A Beef Tenderloin
What is the best way to slice beef tenderloin?
Butt, center-cut, and tail are the tenderloin’s three primary cuts. The large end of the tenderloin from a steer or heifer is used to make the filet mignon. In the U. S. supermarkets and eateries frequently sell the tenderloin’s large and central ends as filet mignon.