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Beef Fillet - brine?

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While traveling, we had a meal at a restaurant where "she who must be obeyed" (search for Rumpole of the bailey) had a fillet steak & I had a lamb back strap. Mine was great.

Hers not so great.

When it was first served, I thought it looked big. About 1.5 inches thick but about 8 inches in diameter. It must have been a very large beast to have a fillet that big! I like fillet steak and have never seen one this diameter. It was not pressed down or flattened.

It was supposed to be medium rare and was coated in a re hydrated? dried shiitake mushroom sauce. The outside of the fillet was a little chewy and the inside was not tender like a fillet should be. She complained to me that the sauce was overpowering but when I tried it the sauce didn't seem to have much flavor, but the steak itself was very salty. I immediately thought it was corned beef. Its fibers were running the correct way but they seemed overly large & course.

If I didn't know better, I would say it had been over brined. The saltiness was in the meat itself not on the outside. It was not juicy like a medium rare steak should be.

Has anyone come across brining a fillet steak? For the life of me I can't imagine why you would want/need to.


Maybe it was from the last runner at the local thoroughbred races.



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1 hour ago, gfweb said:

What cut of beef is fillet steak? Doesn't sound like tenderloin


Misprint for fenny snake?  After a bit of googling I found that in Australian usage there is such a thing as a "Scotch Fillet" steak, billed as a popular pub meal.  Seems to match the description.




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1 minute ago, ElsieD said:

Seems to be a rib eye steak.


Yes.  There is also according to Arthur Le Caisne a cut called the "tender fillet":  "Situated along the first dorsal vertebrae, it's a cut used in stews and casseroles, and sometimes as steak."


I wondered if "Scotch fillet" was modeled on "Scotch woodcock" or "Welsh rabbit".


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OK to clear up the confusion a the fillet steak I was referring to is sometimes called the eye fillet. I think in USA its called a filet mignon but in the past (at least in Australia) this was often a filet steak with mushroom, though that differed by restaurants. (my guess the mignon was added to give a french feel and so add to the price charged)

The whole piece of meat is the tenderloin itself, when the small end is sliced cross grain it becomes "eye fillet"or "fillet mignon". Note that it is not cut from all the tenderloin only the small tail piece.



A tenderloin would have to be huge to produce a eye fillet steak to be 8 inches in diameter. The beast that it was cut from would be impressive indeed.


The ribeye & sirloin and scotch fillet are different not cut from the same place although depending on the butchering technique (and the country I suspect) the tenderloin may be part of a cut of meat called a different name. An example is the T-Bone which has a section (small bit) of fillet steak (tenderloin) and a section of strip loin (sirloin).


Even were it cut from the thick end of a tenderloin, I cannot imagine why it would ever be brined.



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