101 Cooking For Two - Everyday Recipes for Two: Beef Tenderloin- Part one- Cut it up

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Beef Tenderloin- Part one- Cut it up

 A good place to start a new adventure…..the beef tenderloin.

Our local small supermarket always has tenderloin pismos (the whole loin vacuumed sealed) for $5.99/lb. I’m sure it is not prime, probably choice but for that price with very little waste, a good “hunk of cow” to experiment with.

Good Eats (Food Network-Alton Brown) reran “Tender is the Loin” pt1 and 2 before Christmas and I caught them on the DVR. Watch it if you can find it. The Good Eats Fan Pages has transcripts of the show. I haven’t found the episode on Food Network but I hear they are on YouTube. I found it reassuring to learn that I was doing it right (well almost) all these years.

My method of cleaning and cutting the loin
Tools: Large cutting board, paper towels, large hollow edge knife SHARP, boning knife SHARP, saran wrap, food storage bags, bag for waste
1.    Open, drain and wash off with clear water. Pat dry.
2.    Place on large cutting board and large end away from you. Side with the “silver skin” up.
3.    Dig in with our hands. You should be able to remove a lot of this by hand. There is a thin membrane under the fat. Get your finger in there and strip it out.
4.    The “silver skin” needs to be completely stripped out also. Get under it at the fat end and pull towards you. You may need the boning knife to help but remove it all.
5.    You will find areas that are part fat and part meat, get rid of it. You don’t want to eat that anyways.
6.    You may remove is the side muscles, also called the chain. This is on the thick end and can make a nice little roast but I leave it on and deal with the little trimming that isn’t done as I eat.
7.    Flip over and repeat stripping as much of the fat as possible.
8.    Get that big knife-it’s time to do some cutting.

Our goal is 1 ½ inch filets of good diameter. My knife is right at 1 ½ inch width. How convenient is that?
1.    Remove the skinny tail. I cut at the point where the diameter is about 1 ½ inches. This was about 4-5 inches for the end.
2.    The next cut is 3 inches past the first cut. Now on the piece you just removed, cut across grain at the half way point and go about 80% through. Fold it over on itself and you now have a nice diameter piece.
3.    Now cut 1 ½ inch fillets. You can cut to the end or leave the last 4-5 inches with the chain for a small roast.
4.    Wrap what you aren’t using immediately in saran wrap then in food storage bags and freeze or refrigerate.
5.    I use the skinny tail as another fillet. I “pinwheel” it upon itself and its fine.

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