How to Butterfly a Beef Tenderloin


According to the Epicurious Food dictionary, to butterfly a piece of meat is to split the meat into nearly two pieces without letting the pieces completely separate. When the piece of meat is opened along the center cut and placed on a flat surface, the pieces resemble butterfly wings. Many cuts of meat, including chicken breasts, boneless pork steaks and beef tenderloins, can be butterflied. Butterflying a beef tenderloin can be a practical step in the kitchen to shorten cooking time or to ensure even cooking throughout the cut of beef.

Things You'll Need

  • Beef tenderloin Cutting board Knife Plastic wrap Rolling pin or wooden mallet
  • Remove all packaging from a beef tenderloin.

  • Place the tenderloin on a cutting board while holding a long sharp knife in your dominate hand.

  • Place the blade of the parallel to the cutting board and half way up the side of the tenderloin. Cut the beef tenderloin horizontally without cutting all of the way through to the other side of the tenderloin. Stop cutting approximately half of an inch from the other side of the tenderloin.

  • Remove the knife from the meat. The meat should still be in one piece. Separate the two flaps of meat that are still attached on one side as if you are opening the pages of a book.

  • Place the butterflied tenderloin between two sheets of plastic wrap.

  • Beat the tenderloin with a wooden mallet or rolling pin to achieve an even thickness.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use caution when working with sharp kitchen knives.

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