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Aug 7, 2011 12:54 PM

string on filet mignon

Am I missing something here...seems many butchers at the big and small chains sell filets that have string or gawd forbid glad wrap around the filet. I don't get the "bacon" thing..other than it tastes better than string or glad wrap. if it is a good filet, no need to "add flavour imho.

Now it appears the string guys are basically trying to put the turnedo ends of the filet towards the centre of the whole loin piece so it all looks uniform and supposedly cooks evenly. I have asked several different butchers for a centre cut..i.e. bring the whole loin out and cut 2 filets. 4 out 5 didn't do it because they didn't have full loins around and that all the ones in the display case were centre cut namely Loblaws Queens Quay, Longo's ACC, Bruno's Delisle and Sobey's St Clair. Oliffe did but under MUCH duress. I asked the Oliffe butcher to take the string off and the meat fell apart. Another "senior" guy came along and did the right thing :-)

I hate being charged serious coin for crap, hence my rant...Sorry but just had to vent..maybe it's the heat..LOL

Y'all have a great day!!!


St Clair Restaurant
69 St Clair St, Chatham, ON N7L3H8, CA

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  1. If they use string, they are probably just tying together some scraps of meat to make that filet. Take your choice, string or meat glue, or go to a real butcher.

    2 Replies
    1. re: foodyDudey

      If it's a whole tenderloin, they're often tied not because they're tying together scraps, but to keep the tenderloin together (and also so that it cooks evenly if you're roasting the whole thing). Often, tenderloin steaks are cut in such a way (when they're cleaned) that they may fall apart. This isn't representative of tying together scraps, but rather so that the tenderloin resembles the shape it should even though it has been cleaned up for sale. Numerous cuts/roasts are tied using string, even at real butcher shops.

      Also, it's fairly easy to identify meats bound with transglutaminase; if the steak is falling apart when it's untied, it obviously hasn't been "glued."

      Bruno's and Oliffe are reputable/real butchers.

      1. re: tjr

        I couldn't agree with tjr more. I employ the same method at home when I handcut steaks. It isn't that the cut is bad. It's that the string 100% ensures that I get a perfectly even finish.

    2. Bacon does serve a purpose. Filet Mignon is very lean. The fat from the bacon helps keep it tender and moist as well as flavour. Although you're right if you have a top grade piece of filet it shouldn't need any help but the majority that you buy from supermarkets aren't dry aged triple A.

      1. I have bought a whole tenderloin with what the called fat removed from Costco. It was significantly more expensive than the regular whole filet they sell. It was cut completely even and then vacuum sealed. Like most of Costco beef it was pretty good and I felt no complaint paying the 80$ for getting the whole filet that was cleaned like that (it had no strings holding it together just Vacuum Seal) I used half of it for beef wellington and other I used to cut huge. steaks :) Sometime I buy the whole filet from from Sobeys when it goes on sale (it is AAA but I guess not as aged but is very good IMO and hasn't fallen apart from both times I bought it)

        1. Well, if you buy a cryovac PISMO, or whole "peeled" filet, you get three pieces on that bad boy: The main filet muscle, that side chain (sp) that runs the length of the roast, and that short, fatter muscle that cooks up nice by itself. I separate them, and cook the main muscle and the other fat one. If you're doing that you do not need to tie anything, cause they are whole muscles. If you have a tied roast that has been deboned, ok, but otherwise, I don't want it on my filet.