Why You Should Butcher Your Own Beef Tenderloin

Slicing into a large, pricey piece of meat can be intimidating. A whole beef tenderloin is an investment at an average of $13 a pound for untrimmed USDA choice grade (via The Pricer). But butchering your own filet mignon can be surprisingly easy. You can save money on any meat by trimming and cutting it yourself, according to Real Simple. Don't know where to start? If you like knowing where your meat comes from, work with your local butcher. 

You can also buy whole beef tenderloins from supermarket meat counters and even large venues like price mart. The BBQ Host reports that filet mignon steaks cost between $20 and $25 a pound. In contrast, if you buy a five-pound roast for $15 a pound you can cut six to 10 steaks according to your preference, and have a meal or two with the tips. You save at least $5 a pound, which is quite the savings. 

Now let's dive into how to cut that roast up to its best potential. Tenderloin comes trimmed or PSMO (peeled silverskin, side muscle on), according to The 350 Degree Oven. If you have the untrimmed version, first locate the side muscle or chain, and pull it off the main muscle. This little steak is a meal of its own. Remove any tendons or conective tissue, but leaving a little fat on it can help keep it moist. 

Get the most from your tenderloin roast

Next, trim off any large pieces of fat and sinew from the body of the roast. The Spruce Eats suggests you toss beef trim in the beef stock pot. On one end of the roast is a large muscle, the iliacus, referred to as the head. It's also called "chateaubriand" by some. Though The Spruce Eats contests the cut for preparation of chatueabriad is from the center of the tenderloin, not the head. Regardless of what you call it, it's a tender piece of meat that can be roasted whole or sliced into steaks. It also makes terrific tartar.

Now you can attend to the silverskin, the sheath of tendon on top of the muscle. If left on during cooking, it shrinks, disfigures the meat, and it's tough, explains Cuisine at Home. Slide the tip under this tendon and slice it off as close to the meat as possible. It can be tricky, and you may lose a little of your roast the first time. But you'll get the hang of it. 

Once the body of the tenderloin is trimmed, you can cut your steaks. Cut as many at the width you want from the thickest part of the meat. What's left, the tips, are great for stroganoff, kebabs, or stir-fry (via Epicurious). Whether you're a big beef eater or just enjoy a good steak occasionally, butchering tenderloin yourself can save you money and give you a feeling of satisfaction. Not to mention a tasty meal.