BBQTalk shows how to properly portion a whole beef tenderloin. Your beef tenderloin may come already trimmed, but you may have to trim away most of the sinewy silver skin and outside fat yourself. After cutting away the fat and silver skin, a lengthwise natural cut called the cap will be revealed. This cut should come away by hand easily with minimal cutting. This cut is ideal for beef tips and stir frying after trimming. Turn the tenderloin over and trim away any extra fat or silver skin on the underside of the meat. Another natural cut called the head can be found at one end of the tenderloin. This is a bit harder to remove by hand than the cap cut, and is perfect for Chateaubriand steaks. After removing the cap and head cuts, slice the middle section of the remaining tenderloin into about ten 1"-thick steaks. Try to carve the slices against the grain of the meat in two smooth down-and-back motions, as sawing the meat will cause cross-hatching. Finally, carve the two remaining tips at either end of the tenderloin into thinner slices. If you follow these steps and portion your own beef tenderloins, you can save up to 30% more than buying pre-portioned cuts at the butcher's or grocery store.
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