fishfood

Chateaubriand

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Throwing two dinner parties towards the end of this month.   One is with my buddies, where I'm getting dry-aged prime NY strips to sous-vide and quick sear outside over charcoal.   The weekend prior to that it's with my wife's friends, and not everyone is a red-meat eater, so my plan is to roast both a chateaubriand and a chicken ballotine or two.   

 

My question is this:   I can order USDA prime chateaubriands from some online purveyors in the range of $300 for 4-5 lbs.   Or I could grab a whole tenderloin from Costco (probably choice) for 1/2 that $, and trim it myself.  I expect an upgrade with strips and ribeyes getting the prime with the extra marbling.    But for filet, that's pretty much fat free anyway, is there any point to upgrading to prime? 

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I’m with SIM here. The choice tenderloins from Costco do the trick nicely. A little trimming and it’s one fine cut to serve the masses. 

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I too like to sous-vide fillet. I go with a light quick sear. Then let it rest maybe 10 min. Then slice, fairly thinly, ( what ever you like, maybe half an inch or a lot more) and place on a platter and sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic, so that each piece is seasoned. It's always a big hit . I like a fresh horseradish sauce on the side.

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Costco.

 

The key issue is standard or trimmed and tied (ie oven-ready)?

 

For New Years Eve Dinner eve, I bought a 7 pound standard Choice Costco fillet. The cost difference was $4-5 per pound for the trimmed and oven-ready. I decided to trim and tie it myself which took about 20 minutes. No biggie on time and likley the smart cost decision. 

 

Point is, I took nearly a pound of fat and silver skin off that fillet. At did not leave us short of food but in your calculations of cooked quantity, take those trimmings into account. 

 

And for fillets, I would see any visible difference between their Choice and Prime options. On the other hand, the Christmas dinner, I did see a difference and paid up for the Prime, without regret. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by tomkaz

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FWIW, we use the Barefoot Contessa recipe w Gorgonzola sauce. Have done this at least once or twice a year for the past 20 years, including some Christmas dinners where we were feeding 40-50 people and did thre large fillets. In therapy years it was always meat from Stew Leonard’s when we were in CT. Costco aced out Stews at some point. 

 

https://barefootcontessa.com/recipes/filet-of-beef

 

 

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I love Ina Garten's recipes, and that gorgonzola sauce looks great.  It would probably work well with the chicken too (which will have a mushroom/spinach stuffing).   I was going to do a peppercorn cognac sauce a la steak au poivre, but just might change it up.  

 

This is for a 40th bday so cost-be-d*mned, but in the case of the filet roast, I won't spend more $ foolishly if the end product will be about the same.   The Wegman's near me sells those dry aged prime strip steaks around $25/lb, so party #2 I'll spring for those, along with some u-12 scallops, and a bunch of nice bourbons.  

 

I've actually never set foot in a Costco.  Have to borrow the in-laws card and go scouting this weekend. 

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About that sauce, at one point on Christmas Day is said, borrowing from Jim Gaffigan:

 

Lobster is eaten as an excuse to eat butter.

Waffles are eaten as an excuse to consume maple syrup.

This fillet is eaten as an excuse to indulge in the Gorgonzola sauce. 

 

If you go in that direction, don’t go cheap on low price, low flavor cheese. My sister in law tried it once with grocery house brand cheeses and it was really flat. 

 

Also, watch that pan when cooking down the cheese sauce as it will very easily spillover if the heat is not tempered when needed. As many times as we have done it, we still have spillover, like two weeks ago. 

 

Last advice on the cheese sauce, my preference is to hold back some of the Gorgonzola until you are ready to serve and then add the balance just before serving. Mix it in enough to start to melt but still remain as chunks. My wife prefers a smooth sauce but I like the lumps. 

 

And yes, the sauce can be put in fridge and used with leftover beef (if any) or anything else you want. We have used it on Day 2 for appetizers. One of my favs is using it drizzled over fresh figs wrapped in prosciutto as an appetizer. My wife likes to mash marinated salad bar artichokes and mix it with the sauce, just slightly warmed, to make a spread for bruschetta. I have also used it in omelettes and hamburgers. Very versatile. 

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For tips on how to trim and utilize the whole tenderloin (pizmo), refer to Alton Brown's "Tender is the Loin" episodes (there are two).....lots of good info there.

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Party one worked out great.   Ended up getting my whole tenderloin from Wegman's (at a very reasonable $11.99/lb for choice) as there's no Costco nearby.   Trimmed/tied, sous vide at 137 with a pre-sear and post-sear.  Also did two chickens deboned and rolled with mushrooms/spinach/Gruyere, which were roasted over carrots.  This was probably the 9th and 10th chicken I've deboned for gallotine.  Still takes me 4-6x as long as Jacques Pepin, but I'm slowly getting the hang of it. 

 

Had both a Gorgonzola cream sauce along with brown sauce made from the sous vide bag drippings, some port wine, and a demi glace I made earlier in the week with beef bones.  Most people mixed it up and put the gorganzola on the chicken and demi on the beef, but whatever...both tasted good with either.  I was a cocktail or three in by the time everything was on the table and didn't take any pictures.  c'est la vie.

 

Trial run of the Gorgonzola sauce the week earlier was fantastic.  During the party, I started the cream too late so it hadn't reduced a much as I wanted, so I just dumped some before melting the cheese.  And I forgot to bring the parsley.    

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