May 23, 2009: Tenderloin part 1: Filet Mignon. After watching an episode of Alton Brown's Good Eats; I decided that I needed to try getting a bulk cut of tenderloin to cut up for various uses. And what better guinea pigs to test this out on than a few of my friends. First off, the meat is removed from the packaging and rinsed to remove the protein/water juice.
Next, the membrane and the chain (side piece of meat attached to the tenderloin)
is removed by hand. Next the silver skin is removed.
The silver skin is utterly unedible, so using a boning knife, the strips of this elastic tissue is removed carefully.
There is another section of the loin that can come off and makes for a separate chunk of meat on it's own. Most of it can be removed by hand, but a little help from the boning knife will quickly separate it from the main strip of meat.
With everything cleaned off the tenderloin, one and a half inch steaks are cut. The first piece being a little narrow is cut at 3 inches then butterflied to make a one and a half inch steak. The rest of the steaks are cut.
Whole peppercorns are smashed for a very corse grinding of the peppercorns. The steaks are covered and placed on the skillet and grill. About 4 minutes on each side will produce a medium rare steak. Once cooked on both sides, they are placed in a dish and covered with foil to rest while I make the sauce.
The sauce starts with some brandy. The pan is heated back up and the grill turned back off once the pan is heated. Carefully pour the brandy in and then the vapor is ignited with a lighter. This will cause a rather large flame; so be very careful. Turn the stove back on and reduce the brandy sauce down. Once the sauce has been reduced, add heavy whipping cream and simmer for another 5 to 6 minutes.
With the sauce finished, the steaks are dipped and covered and the steaks are ready to serve.
Tenderloin part 2: The "Chain". Now the chain part of the tenderloin was removed yesterday and this narrow piece of meat runs along the length of the tenderloin. There is a great deal of fat and connective tissues that need to be removed. The meat in this section is very tender so throwing it out is an utter waste. Best thing to do is to clean it up and find a use. The silver skin and fats are removed from the meat with a boning knife.
With the unedible parts removed, a sheet of plastic, or in this case, the ziplock bag I was using to store the meat is placed over the chunk of meat and with my meat hammer, the meat is flattened. Hitting from the center and applying the force outwards helps keep the meat in one thin sheet. This is done with the rest of the pieces and the pieces are thrown into a mixing bowl with some olive oil, fresh ground pepper, salt, and a spash of port wine.
The grill is heated up to medium high heat. A little bit of butter and some olive oil is placed onto the gril. Then the meat is thrown on to cook for about a minute or so on each side. The meat is very thin and will overcook very quickly, so take care. The meat is removed and placed in some heavy duty foil and wrapped up to rest before being cut up.
An onion is cut up and grilled. Some salt and pepper go to help season the grilled onions.
Once the onions are done, the meat has been given sufficient time to rest and is removed from the foil and cut.
This small piece of chain meat is enough to make 4 large Philly Cheesesteaks; and I still have two major pieces from the tenderloin to use.
Tenderloin part 3: Stuffed center cut tenderloin roast. Using the third piece of the tenderloin, the part is cleaned with excess silver skin and fats trimmed off, then cut down the center to open up a pocket. Then on each side, additional cuts similar to the first are done to future bisect the meat and create a book like piece of meat. Once this is done, set this aside so that the meat will reach room temperature.
Bacon is cooked and some onions are grilled. The bacon is chopped and combined with the onions.
The tenderloin is seared on one side, then allowed to rest for 15 minutes. Once rested some pepper jack is stuffed along with the onion and bacon mixture. More cheese is topped off to sandwich the stuffing.
The meat is rolled up tightly and tied together with string that has been soaked in some water (to prevent burning). The whole assembly is placed into a 450 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.
Once the cooking is done, the meat is taken out and wrapped up in foil to rest for at least 30 minutes.
Once the meat has rested, the foil is unwrapped and the meat is sliced to serve.
May 23, 2009: Tenderloin part one: filet mignon.