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Old 01-15-2012, 02:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg View Post
Cross the grain is correct. Whatever direction you can tear the meat in, that's the grain: cut 90 degres across that, when possible.

You didn't say what your cooking time is. I use filet mignon for my Beef Stroganoff, thinly sliced (about 1/8"). It's fully cooked in about 60-120 seconds.

Some may disagree with my choice of filet mignon. It is the most tender cut or one of the most tender cuts, and thinly sliced it cooks in little more than an instant, as I stated above.

Cooking thin slices longer will make them tough. If you want to tenderize meat with long cooking times you need thick cuts and braising.


My guess is that you're cooking your meat too long.
Are you using the term "filet mignon" to mean specifically the "filet mignon" or generically to mean "beef tenderloin"? That's what most of the grocery stores around here do. Then they sell stuff labelled "chateaubriand" and "tornedos" and it didn't come from anywhere near the tenderloin.
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Old 01-15-2012, 02:06 PM   #12
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Using flank stake sliced against grain would work.
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Old 01-15-2012, 02:11 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
Are you using the term "filet mignon" to mean specifically the "filet mignon" or generically to mean "beef tenderloin"?
Let's say generic. I usually buy a small FM steak because that's about the right amount of meat for cooking for one. Tenderloins are usually too big for my purposes.

In any case I would pick a tender cut for recipes like Beef Stroganoff. It's not the kind of recipe to use tough cuts and expect them to become tender in the pan. But perhaps I'm wrong. All I know is what works for me. I'm no expert.
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Old 01-15-2012, 03:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg View Post
...Some may disagree with my choice of filet mignon. It is the most tender cut or one of the most tender cuts, and thinly sliced it cooks in little more than an instant, as I stated above...

I agree with your choice. Stroganoff is a quick cook dish, not a low and slow dish. As such, you really have to use a tender cut of meat to get it right.

taxlady, tenderloin refers to the entire primal cut. Filet mignon is a steak cut from the tenderloin. Chateaubriand is a roast cut from the center of the tenderloin.
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Old 01-15-2012, 03:21 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
Not in milk - or at least not that I've heard of- but many use a process called "velveting" that involves dredging the meat in corn starch or soaking in soy sauce and corn starch blend that helps keep the meat from toughening when being fried over high heat. I use a lot of cheap cuts of meat (eye of round, for example) when making stir fry and the velveting helps keep it tender.

Here's a good page on Velveting red meats:
Chinese Batter Technique (Velveting)
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Old 01-15-2012, 03:27 PM   #16
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Thanks Andy. And upon further thought, I can't really say I even cut the FM across the grain. I haven't made it for a while and when I do it I cut more for uniform size pieces (something difficult to do unless you find a rectangular steak which of course you don't). FM is so tender that the grain might not even matter. Probably.

In Beef Stroganoff I've selected the meat almost solely based upon its tenderness. IMO filet mignon doesn't have a lot of taste compared to other steaks. If I want a tasty steak I get ribeye. In the Stroganoff the taste of the meat (or lack thereof) is disguised by the relatively strong sauce. The sauce provides the flavor, the FM provides the tenderness. I'd never serve a FM steak with nothing on it. If I'm eating plain steak I'll get ribeye every time.

I think the OP has picked the wrong steak (sirloin, top round, London broil) and is probably overcooking. He says he doesn't want to use ribeye because he can't bear cutting one up since it tastes so good on the grill. I think if he's not willing to buy a filet mignon then he should get some ribeye, trim off all the fat, and then slice it up. I think it's quite possible the ribeye might taste better in Stroganoff because of the additional fat from the marbling. Which is why of course I choose ribeye for grilled steaks.

Try it once as an experiment. Ribeye or filet mignon, cut it up, Stroganoff recipe, stop cooking before all the pink is gone. When it turns brown through and through it's overcooked and it will be tough.

As far as stir fry, pretty much the same thing. One of the biggest reasons people like to stir fry is because of the short cooking time. Long cooking times will result in overcooked vegetables and tough meat.
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Old 01-15-2012, 03:43 PM   #17
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I've used sirloin strip and ribeye in stroganoff. Delicious.

I think you're right about cutting with or against the grain with FM. Doesn't matter. I often cut my FM with a fork. How tough can it get?

On the other hand, I have no issue with eating plain FM seasoned with salt and pepper only. No, it doesn't taste like a ribeye but it still tastes great to me.
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Old 01-15-2012, 03:53 PM   #18
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For me it's mostly that filet mignon is more expensive and ribeye is less expensive and has more marbling. I like lots of horseradish and occasionally steak sauce. The taste of the FM is more delicate. The marbling in the ribeye cuts through the horseradish and steak sauce.

Maybe the OP might succeed with extremely thin slices of a less tender cut, thin like you'd cut for shabu-shabu, like maybe 1/16th inch and across the grain. However for stir fry or Stroganoff I'd rather have more chew feel in the bites, perhaps 1/8" to 1/4". I think each chef has to decide just how they prefer to prepare these dishes. After all, nobody uses a ruler. You cut whatever thickness is right for what you're cooking at the time. If it doesn't come out perfectly you change your technique the next time you cook it.
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Old 01-15-2012, 03:53 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
I agree with your choice. Stroganoff is a quick cook dish, not a low and slow dish. As such, you really have to use a tender cut of meat to get it right.

taxlady, tenderloin refers to the entire primal cut. Filet mignon is a steak cut from the tenderloin. Chateaubriand is a roast cut from the center of the tenderloin.
We use the terms similarly, but not exactly the same. I use the terms the way I learned them from Joy of Cooking. I just wouldn't use the filet mignon (little filet) for Stroganoff.

I would use the funny shaped pieces at either end of tenderloin, the primal cut, for Stroganoff. I'm cheap. A whole tenderloin usually costs about half as much per pound as smaller pieces. I cut it up and freeze it in ready to use pieces. Okay, on those rare occasions I decide to spring for tenderloin.
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Old 01-15-2012, 04:35 PM   #20
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...I would use the funny shaped pieces at either end of tenderloin, the primal cut, for Stroganoff. I'm cheap. A whole tenderloin usually costs about half as much per pound as smaller pieces. I cut it up and freeze it in ready to use pieces. Okay, on those rare occasions I decide to spring for tenderloin.

Yes, if you have a whole tenderloin, those odds and ends are what to use for a strognoff. Greg was buying meat to make the dish for one person so a FM is how you have to go. I haven't seen tenderloin scraps in the supermarket.
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