Mignon Man March

It’s March, a month I’ve decided to dedicate to one thing and one thing only on the 180 Kitchen blog…

Filet Mignon.

Most assume that beef tenderloin, or filet mignon is just not an everyday food.  It’s for a special occasion.  Too damn expensive.

Well, I’ve cut the costs of filet mignon to just $4 per portion, and have been enjoying it several times per week for nearly a month.  Beef tartare, bacon-wrapped tournedos, beef wellington, blackened tenderloin… I’ve been having good food and good fun and don’t plan on quitting my mignon habit any time soon.

Anyway, look for some tasty posts over the next 30 days.  The first step is butchering a whole tenderloin in your home kitchen – the key that makes this doable for the advertised price, and that allows you to do a wide variety of things with tenderloin – from roasts to stews to rendering beef fat into tallow for frying. It’s not as hard as it looks, so don’t be a wuss and try it!!! 

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30 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. matt, this doesn’t have to do with this post, but what happened to your blog? it says the blog has been removed. hopefully you are just doing maintenance or something??

    • It was just temporary. Nothing on my end. Just some Blogger glitch. Scary I know!

  2. okay, so now a question about this post. 🙂 do you freeze most of the tenderloin after you cut it up? certainly it doesn’t last all week.

    • The first tenderloin I did, I didn’t freeze it. We ate it in about 6 days. I froze about 1/3 of the 2nd tenderloin.

  3. Hey Matt, nothing to do with tenderloin, but I wanted to ask you about the T-shirt… have you been to TA uni?

    • Nope. My girlfriend went to Tel Aviv and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.

  4. I never cared for bacon wrapped filets myself. I would think a filet would taste better if you cooked it with it’s fat still on it. Have you tried it Matt? I can’t find the article now but with commercialized meat they remove the “fat cap”, the juiciest tastiest bit of fat on the meat. Grassfed meat has a reputation for not being as tasty, but with the fat cap it would probably be far tastier. It would be economical to eat the meat with the fat as you would be satisfied with smaller portions. People consume too much protein as it is, while they don’t take in enough calories in fat or carbs. It would help with the yoyo diet you speak of. I’ve cooked meat with the full fat on it. It not only tasted better, it took far less prep time.

    • When I cook racks of lamb, I do cook them with the fat cap on. Amazing. Especially the fat in between the rib bones.

  5. Filet Mignon always tasted like it lacked flavor, even the bacon wrapped filet. I know because I used to work at Black Angus. With the fat still on the meat, it cooks into the meat making it far juicer and tasty.

    • Tenderloin is definitely the least flavorful cut of meat, but the most tender.

  6. Good stuff! Same goes for ribeyes and new yorks. It is highway robbery to buy them single.

  7. http://www.texasgrassfedbeef.com/

    It would probably have to be from a 100% grassfed source. The top layer of fat from animals fed grain and hormones may be bad for health. The corn finishing does no good either. Am I wrong?

    The soil quality may be another issue when it comes to flavor. Farmers don’t replenish their soil with the proper amounts of minerals and trace minerals. Sometimes with cows on pastured farms who are only fed grass or hay don’t get the fresh stuff. They’ll get bucks of grass or hay, which loses many nutrients after it’s been seperated from the soil. In the book “Traditional Foods are your Best Medicine” there was a test conducted where animals were found to have less health who ate unfresh grass compared to those who ate fresh grass. I notice that when I add seasalt (full of trace minerals) to cooked meat and butter the flavor is amazing.

  8. Michael,
    your comment implies there’s a name for the bulk sized portion of ribeyes and new yorks?

    • subprimal

    • Dan,

      Same name. Ribeye and new york roast. Or rib roast and new york strip roast. The steaks tend to take on the name of the full roast they came from. So if steak isn’t mentioned it usually means they are talking about the entire roast.

      • I should say ribeye and new york. Roast is a smaller portion and steak is smaller still. If you can afford them upfront it is the only way to buy steaks, imo, if you eat them on a regular basis.

      • How do you cut the pieces individually if you buy rib eye in bulk with the bone in

      • Same way as the tenderloin. Remove the outer fat cap, then shave the ribeye off the bones… Or you can cut monster cowboy steaks – bone-in ribeyes, but slicing in between each bone. That’s a little burly for a wee little man like me. For a big stud though, that might be the right size portion for ya.

  9. what do you use to freeze the portions? saran wrap? tupper ware?

    • Since I was only freezing them for about 1 week, I put them in individual Ziploc bags. For longer freezing you’d want to wrap them in saran wrap AND put them in Ziploc bags. The ultimate would be to use a home vacuum sealer thing. Don’t got me one of those though.

      • A home vacuum sealer is cheap at walmart.

  10. I’m calling around and no hormone rib-eye is still going for $10.50lb. That seems a little high to me or am I off track here?

    • That’s not too bad. Typical supermarket price seems to run around $9.99 per pound for ribeye. This tenderloin is straight Cost-Co action, the cheapest of the cheap. But you know what? It’s good, and if eating filet mignon keeps you from running out to a local restaurant where all the carbs are refined and the cooking oils are from vegetable oil – then it’s healthier to eat cheap meat – hormone-laden or not.

      • If you don’t care about grass-finished or non-hormone beef, then you can get USDA prime ribeye steaks delivered to you from coscto.com for $7.20 a pound.

        Costco rocks when it comes to taste and value in the conventional market world. Their beef is choice or above and is better than what you would find at your local grocery store and most butcher shops.

      • can someone send a link to this cheap beef (ribeye and tenderloin)from costco.com. I checked and everything was over 15/lb

  11. Forget that about prime ribeyes. Miscalculation. LOL!

  12. Winco’s probably even cheaper than Costco. There’s less of a wait there too. They’re usually local. If you get hormone meat it’s probably cheapest there. They’re not necessarily any worse quality there either. Places like Whole Foods, Nugget, Raleys, and Bel-Air can be full of it. They charge more for food that is the same quality. Safeway or Trader Joes can be better quality with their produce, can’t speak for their meat. Otherwise farmers markets, produce boxes, or finding your own preferred farmer are your best choice. For higher quality meat Slankers looks like the best choice. Purely grassfed and pastured. May not be the best tasting meat. That may be remedied if you get it with the fat cap and add sundried seasalt/butter to it when cooking. They’re stuff can be cheaper than Nugget or Wholefoods too, which tend to be the most expensive of places.

  13. Brilliant! I never knew it was so easy to prepare filets from the tenderloin. Their cost has put me off (and general relative tastiness). I wonder if a grassfed tenderloin would be prohibitively expensive…

    Are you going to show how to render tallow too? Is it similar to rendering lard (which I’ve done)?

    • Tallow is coming up later in the month. Rendering of any fat is pretty much the same.

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