Thursday, April 22, 2010

My obsession with Beef Tenderloin

If you had asked me 10 or 15 years ago if tenderloin/filet mignon would be something I would serve my family often, I'd have laughed till I peed my pantaloons. I remember days when I sat at the deli agonizing over ham. Damn, I really want the honey ham, but it's 5.99 a pound. Chip chop ham is 1.99.. But I hate chip chop ham, I really want that freaking honey ham. But instead, I went home with the shitty part of the pig instead. So, ask me if I'd be cooking filet mignon for my family on a semi-regular basis and I'd have said you were nuts.

If you buy meat often, or steaks for that matter, think about the price and then calculate just how much of that meat you trim and cut off....bone, fat, gristle....You may pay 3.99 for a cheap cut of meat, but it's cheap and you wind up cutting half of it off before you even cook it. In my neighborhood I can find some really killer deals on tenderloin a few times a year. The cheapest I have found is 3.99 a pound. Yes, 3.99 believe it or not. When they go on sale like this, I run as fast as I can to the store and buy 4 or 5 of them. They may be 15 or 16 dollars each and it seems like a huge investment, however, the payoff in the end is worth it. I generally leave a few of them frozen whole and the rest I chop into filet mignon steaks, shish kebob meat and even stew meat. There are no bones and I've gotten really good at trimming the little bit of fat off of them.

It's the best deal around. There are times I can't get ground round for 3.99 a pound. I once went to a very fancy hotel-opening party and they were serving whole carved beef tenderloins. I never even thought of roasting one until that day, but it was so good that I had to figure out how to cook it at home.

Now I serve one on Christmas every year. It's simple, yet elegant and everybody loves it. I will post the recipe soon and maybe if you make it, you'll understand my obsession with this cut of meat.

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