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How To: Butcher a Tenderloin

The tenderest cuts of beef come from the aptly named tenderloin. And, when you look at the price of the most desirable center portions of tenderloin, filet mignon and Chateaubriand, they are also the most expensive cuts of beef.

However, the tenderloin also yields cuts that, by comparison to the filet and Chateau, are less expensive yet have the same tenderness and flavor as the prized center cuts.

TheThe shape of the tenderloin tapers from the head (large end) to the tail (small end). Both ends can be roasted, sliced into small steaks, or cut into cubes or strips for kabobs, stir frys, stroganoff, and so much more.

So, with a couple of sharp knives and a game plan, buying a whole tenderloin is a comparatively economic way to enjoy of range of meals with some simple home butchering skills.

To watch a video of this tutorial, click here.

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The Steps

  • Step 1 The whole tenderloin weighs about 3 ½ lbs. and can be divided into three main sections: The head, the center and the tail.
  • Step 2 As a first step, separate the head from the tenderloin with a single cut.
  • Step 3 Next, separate the tail. Now the tenderloin has been divided into its principle pieces.
  • Step 4 Left whole, the center portion is called Chateaubriand. Cut into steaks, they are filet mignon.
  • Step 5 Filet mignon may be cut to your preferred thickness.
  • Step 6 The tenderloin head can be roasted whole or cut into steaks.
  • Step 7 The tenderloin head can also be cut into cubes for kabobs or stew.
  • Step 8 From the tail, the first couple of cuts are tournedos – or small tail steaks.
  • Step 9 The remainder can be cut into strips or cubes.
  • Step 10 Think of the wide array of meals you can get out of a single whole tenderloin.