The price difference between an untrimmed beef tenderloin and butchered, ready-to-cook beef tenderloin can be well over fifty dollars. Learning how to butcher your own meat is not difficult and the significant amount of money saved is a great incentive to learn to be your own butcher on large cuts of meat like a beef tenderloin.
Remove the Chain Muscle from the Beef Tenderloin
On one side of the beef tenderloin is a narrow, ragged muscle called the chain muscle and it runs the entire length of the meat. Start the butchering process by removing the chain muscle first. Grasp the chain muscle at the narrowest end with one hand and gently pull it away from the beef tenderloin, and with the other hand, use a sharp boning knife to cut off the muscle fibers as you are pulling. Reserve the chain muscle for later use in fajitas or stir fry.
On the opposite side of the beef tenderloin is a shorter, smoother muscle, leave it in place.
Trim the Fat Off the Beef Tenderloin
There will be two large fat deposits between the shorter, smooth muscle and the loin that need to be trimmed off. Use the boning knife to slice the fat off, being careful not to detach the smooth muscle from the loin. Pick off the small bits of fat with fingers, discard the beef fat.
Slice Off the Silver Skin from the Beef Tenderloin
Silver skin is a thin, silvery membrane of connective tissue that covers one side of the beef tenderloin. Remove the silver skin by sliding the boning knife just under the silver skin near the narrow end of the meat. Angle the knife towards the top of the loin and use a sawing motion to separate one side of the silver skin from the tenderloin. Hold the loose silver skin taunt and turn the knife around and finish slicing off the silver skin and discard.
Tuck and Tie the Beef Tenderloin
The butchering is completed and it’s time to prepare the beef tenderloin for cooking with a tuck and a tie. The narrowest end of the beef tenderloin will be about two inches long, fold this narrow section of meat under the beef tenderloin. Using butcher’s string or kitchen twine, tie the tenderloin at 1 ½ inch intervals. Tie firmly but not so tight that the string or twine cuts into the beef tenderloin. Cook as desired.
Learning how to butcher untrimmed beef tenderloin will save money in upfront cost and provide two meals from one beef tenderloin.