Culinary DIY – 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.

Whole Tenderloin

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.

The 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.

Step 1

Lay the whole tenderloin out on a cutting board and have a large, sharp knife handy.

Step 2

Separate the head from the rest of the roast.

Step 3

Separate the tail from the center of the roast.

Step 4

You can now leave the Chateaubriand (center-cut roast) as is, or slice it into filet mignon steaks (as shown here).

Step 5

You can either leave the head whole and roast or grill-roast. Or slice it cubes, strips, steaks, or a combination thereof. Here we show how to slice off a couple of tenderloin steaks.

Step 6

Now cut cubes from the remainder of the head. These are great for kabobs!

Step 7

Similar to the head, the tail can also be cut into steaks, cubes, strips, or a combination. Here we’re showing how to cut tournedo steaks from the tail.

Step 8

Now cutting the remainder of the tail into strips. These are great for stir fry or fajitas.

The Finished Product

Here you can see the myriad cuts that a tenderloin can yield. Cubes, tenderloin steaks, filet mignon, tournedos, and strips. And that’s just one of many variations on how a tenderloin can be butchered!


What is your favorite cut from the tenderloin? Have you ever home-butchered a tenderloin or other large cut?

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