Filet Mignon from a Whole Tenderloin


Finished product

While in Alaska, I had a chance to spend a few days with my high school friend. She saw an episode of Good Eats called “Tender is the Loin” on Netflix about making your own filet mignon out of a whole beef tenderloin. We had to try it!

It worked out fabulously, and were SO GOOD, and really not difficult at all. All you really need is a very sharp boning or fillet knife, and you’re good to go.

Here is a link to the episode on YouTube. It’s much easier to watch than for me to try to explain.

It’s much cheaper than buying the already formed filets. We found a 7 lb tenderloin at a big box store for around $20, and got 9 filets out of it, along with enough pieces to make a roast and stew meat.


The cut filet ready for the pan.

We followed the recipe to a T, from Good Eats. The filet was just “okay” but not great. It involvs a lot of cracked peppercorns and a brandy-based gravy, and for me the pepper overwhelmed the great taste of the meat. The gravy wasn’t all that good, in my opinion. It was pretty good on the potatoes, but an awesome cut like filet just doesn’t need so much “stuff” on it, in our opinion.


Original recipe from Good Eats

The next day we made another batch, with just a little pepper, salt and onion powder, pan frying it without the brandy-based gravy, and then served with mashed potatoes and a regular beef gravy and salad. That one did it, and it was perfect!

  • 1 Tbls olive oil, 1 Tbls butter, heated to almost smoking.
  • Salt pepper and onion pwder to taste on the meat.
  • Fry till cooked to taste.
  • Remember to keep it on the rarer side for the most tender, deliciousness. About 4 minutes each side.



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