Beef Wellington


"A beef tenderloin, known as an eye fillet in New Zealand and Australia, is cut from the loin of beef. As with all quadrupeds, the tenderloin refers to the psoas major muscle anterior to the transverse processes of the lumbar vertebrae, near the kidneys. This muscle does very little work, so it is the most tender part of the beef. The tenderloin can either be cut for roasts or for steaks. Tenderloins from steers and heifers are most common at retail, but cow tenders are common in foodservice applications, such as less expensive steakhouses.

When left whole, the tenderloin is known as a fillet. A common misconception is that this fillet is also called a Chateaubriand steak, when in fact, the Chateaubriand is a recipe for a particular tenderloin steak which originates from France. When sliced, it forms various steaks. Those toward the loin end of the piece, when cut into slices one to two inches thick, are known as filets. Sometimes, the cuts are called filet mignon, while at other times filet mignon refers to a dish made with a beef tenderloin filet, not the cut itself. Other portions of the tenderloin, when cut into steaks, are typically called tenderloin steaks, not filets.

Whole tenderloins are often sold as PSMOs (pismos), which is short for peeled, silver skin, and side muscle left on. The PSMO is vacuum sealed in plastic, and can be safely refrigerated longer than many other cuts of meat. PSMOs also offer considerable savings over smaller cuts as they require little handling by the butcher, but obviously require more preparation on the part of the chef. Since it is the least stringy part of the animal, most beef dishes requiring high quality meat, such as steak tartare, are ideally made from the tenderloin part. "



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