Cleaning Beef Tenderloin 101
Cleaning Beef Tenderloin 101. In all the years I have been cooking I have cleaned many a Beef Tenderloin. I think the idea of it intimidates most people but I l also think if they know how simple it is do it a lot more would at least give it a try and it’s really almost full-proof. Yeah, it can be messed up but only by a little and even that can be fixed. Buying your Beef tenderloin is the easy part. There is no rocket science to it. You go into a trusted market and making sure it is a Choice slab of meat-buy it. By the time we are finished we will have eaten everything. The strap or chain meat all the way through the silver-skin which is usually considered unusable scraps and to be thrown away. Well, not this chicky. I use and eat it all-with relish. From time to time you can will see that scrap pile get larger in the pictures.
I didn’t show how to cut the silver-skin but I can only do so many things at once and using a knife and taking a picture is not possible for me. The whole top of the tenderloin is encased in silver-skin which needs to be gotten to to begin your project. It is thin just like fish skin is and it is gotten rid of the same way. The only difference is you can remove a fish skin with one swipe of your trusted flexible filet knife or chef’s knife, and because the tenderloin is rather round it must be done in more that several cuts (passes). Always blade toward the large end of your tenderloin to keep from tearing the delicate flesh. Yep, it may take a little time the first time you do this, but the satisfaction of finishing the job is extremely high. Stick your knife between the silver-skin and the meat and cut upward, following the meat. Make as many passes as it takes but the idea is remove as much as possible and taking as little meat as possible. The pic below has a couple of tiny flecks of silver skin and they will have zero effect. The slimey stuff on the side will come off by pulling it off with your fingers-it is not silver-skin.
To clean the chain side meat. OPPOSITE that little nugget of meat (the wing muscle) at the larger end of the tenderloin there is a natural side of fattty looking stuff. To separate it from the tenderloin follow with your fingers and then carefully following the side of the tenderloin,pull it straight back toward you. At both ends you will need to finish cutting it. Believe it or not, depending how you cut it there are two good sized long rolled steaks and most restaurants (sensibly) use it for Beef Stroganoff. I use them for 2-3 more steaks or cut up for Steak Tartare, or maybe even Grillades for Grillades & Cheesy Cauliflower “Grits”. I often enough cut some for Beef Blue Cheese Parmesan Bake.
Now for the tricky part of that chain and once you have done it you’ll get it. Cut off any fat off and put it in your scrap heap. Now, there is some pretty tough stuff inter-twined in the chain (I just call it more silver-skin) which need to be scraped out. So, you have to find it and…scrape it out. Again, like taking fish skin off. Starting at one end grab the offending skin and start pulling the meat off until you come to the other end. My chain is still intact and ready to be cut any way I want to. In this case I cut it into 2 6 oz. pieces to make 2 steak dinners.
Turn your tenderloin around to the wing muscle. This is a choice little one piece roast and perfect for two people. Again, following the natural shape just gently pull it from the main tenderloin. You will need to cut through that natural line until completely separated.
Whew, an easy cut. Nothing more with that baby. Now you can finish any trimming of silver-skin and you are ready to begin cutting steaks etc. It is difficult for me to tell you how large to make your steaks, I can only tell what I do which is mostly 4 oz. steaks, the two chain pieces, 4-2 oz. pieces Carpaccio twice, 2-4 oz. packs for Tartare, maybe a 4 oz. package for Stroganofff and lastly, that sweet little wing roast. Sometimes, the very ends can have a bit of embedded silver-skin that’s tough to get to so that’s what I may use for the Stroganoff. I couldn’t get all my cuts into the picture but for me, it was 22 total meals. The tenderloin was 6.25 lbs. which means $2.84 per portion. Again, for me and I told you I used everything which you will see below. You will have some people with larger appetites than mine and then again, sometimes 4 oz will feed two people or like that gorgeous wing roast for two. A 5-6 oz filet is a pretty big steak and if you like them cooked any more than medium you may want to butterfly them. That is all up to you. You will not get what I did but it does show one thing, beef tenderloin is not nearly as expensive as you might think.
In the picture above I want you to look at that scrape heap in the back of the pic next to the scale. it’s now time to fix it. The pan is probably 40 years old and has been pretty will dedicated to fat rendering for that long. This is really fun. Put all the scraps into the pan, lightly salt & pepper it, turn your oven to 350° and just put the pan into the cold oven. But wait..there’s more…
Cook for maybe 25-30 min. stir well, turn heat to 400° and cook until they turn into crispy critters. But wait, wait…there’s even more…
Appetizer for two
And then you hit gold-the rendered fat. And there you have it. No wasted tenderloin-at all.
Cleaning Beef Tenderloin 101
- No recipes here-just a basic how to.
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No recipes, just pictures.