First Things First
Before we get into the nitty gritty we must mention why full beef tenderloins get all the jazz. The list of reasons is limitless, however, the first and most talked about would be this: purchasing a full beef tenderloin gives you an at-home butcher experience where you have complete control over the size and cut of your steaks. Secondly, what some people would consider scraps are actually gold. We’ll get more into this as you read-on, but let us be the first to say that the beef tenderloin chain will give you endless stew and stir-fry options. Alright, let’s get to it.
The first question you may be asking yourself is: “Should I cook the tenderloin together, or separate the pieces?”
You can absolutely roast your whole tenderloin. However, you’ll first need to trim it. The center, most substantial portion of a beef tenderloin is called the chateaubriand. With this section you’ll have the option to roast and carve or grill and serve like individual steaks. Either way, it’s important to trim off the chain, which is the thin, fatty section that lies along side of the tenderloin. While smaller, this section contains substantial meat and is perfect for stews, soups or stir-fries as we mentioned earlier.
Steps to Preparing a Full Beef Tenderloin
1. Examine your tenderloin
2. Remove the chain
3. Remove external fat and silverskin
The sections of beef tenderloin that are external fat should be rather obvious to identify. They’re thick and hard to the touch and you can remove the fat sections easily by hand. There is also a tough connective tissue known as the “silverskin” that you need to and must remove. You may also be able to remove the silverskin by hand, but don’t be afraid to use a knife to remove the pieces that remain. To do so, pull up the silverskin at the tip end of your tenderloin. While holding onto that piece pull towards the butt end.
4. Roasting? Here’s your final step.
If you’re roasting your entire tenderloin in the oven, you are now ready to tie it with kitchen twine before adding seasoning. It’s important to tie the tenderloin to create a uniform shape and aid in a more even cook-through temperature. The butt end and tip end will remain in-tact and to avoid overcooking, tuck the tip end underneath the tenderloin. In short - tuck, tie, then season! (Insiders tip - in a pinch, you can use unwaxed, unflavored dental floss for tying.) If you don’t want to roast the entire tenderloin you also have the option of the chateaubriand which is the center-most 4-inch section. Trim off the butt-end and tip-end of the tenderloin (always saving these sections for later) and tie with kitchen twine just like the full tenderloin.
5. Preparing steaks? Here’s your final step.
Following the natural curve of the loin, trim off the protruding parts of meat, including the “wing” which is the separate piece at the butt end that keeps your tenderloin from looking like a smooth, long piece of meat. Save the wing with the chain for other dishes. Next, cut off your tip end. It’s too small for a traditional steak, but deliciously tender, so place it aside with your other scrap pieces. Now, you can cut 1.5-inch or 2-inch filet mignon steaks from your tenderloin. You’re now ready to season your steaks. A steakhouse seasoned salt mix is recommended, or you could try umami sea salt or a grilling spice rub. What we’re really saying here is that regardless of what Market House seasoning you select - you can’t go wrong. After seasoning, your filet mignon steaks are ready for grilling.
As always, it’s important to start with the best ingredients to yield the best result. Market House now offers a USDA-Choice Full Beef Tenderloin ranging between 3.75lb and 4.25lb - enough to feed around 16 people. Enjoy!