How do I trim the filet mignon?

It’s important to remove as much fat from the sirloin as possible without damaging the meat.

To trim filet mignon, there are three steps that can be followed in the desired order. The first step is to remove as much fat from the meat as possible without damaging the loin. The second step is to locate and remove a long, irregular strip of tough meat known as a chain, and optionally remove a small piece of meat known as an ear, which disrupts the filet mignon’s shape. The final step involves removing a very tough sheet of tendon known as silver skin. After that, what remains is the edible portion of the filet mignon.

The last step needed to trim the sirloin is to remove the silver skin, the thick, translucent, smooth white sheet that covers most of one side.

Before starting to cut the beef loin, it is important to have a very sharp knife and towels or napkins to keep the knife handle and hands dry to avoid accidents and leave the meat as intact as possible. The loin has two ends, the larger of which is known as the butt; the thinner end is called the tail. Most cuts should start at the thicker end and work towards the tail, usually in short, controlled slices.

The first step in cutting beef tenderloin is to remove visible surface fat. There will be several areas of fat that can be cut, sometimes taking a small amount of edible meat with it. Most notably, there is a large area of ​​fat just below the end of the loin. Some of the fat cannot be removed from the meat without actually piercing the surface, so it is normal for some areas of fat to remain.

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Then there is an area with a different texture from the rest of the meat; this is known as a chain. The chain is a thin and very resistant muscle that runs down the entire length of the filet mignon. Starting at the end, the top of the chain is firmly attached and can be difficult to separate; once released, the rest of the chain can be pulled with just your hands. At the tail end of the loin, there may be a long piece of meat that appears to be loosely attached; this is called an ear and can be cut from the filet mignon and saved for later use. These steps are not always performed by butchers who cut the filet mignon.

The last step needed to trim the beef tenderloin is to remove the silver skin. This is a thick, translucent, smooth white sheet that covers most of one side of the filet mignon. It is not edible and can contract during cooking, bending the meat. It can be separated at one point with a sharp knife and then possibly pulled out with your fingers. If it is particularly difficult, you can use a knife to gently cut small pieces of the silver skin until it has been completely removed from the filet mignon.

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