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| Cooking Tips & Tricks | How to trim and cook a whole eye fillet of beef

How to trim and cook a whole eye fillet of beef

In this Beef + Lamb Masterclass video, James Smith, better known as "The Tattooed Butcher", takes you through the simple steps that you need to know before you try trimming and cooking a beef eye fillet at home - including the art of perfecting the reverse sear!

Arguably the king of beef cuts, the whole eye fillet is tender and flavoursome and sure to impress at any special occasion. It is an oblong-shaped cut that spans between the short loin and the sirloin of the cattle.

To make it more cost-effective, try buying a whole fillet and preparing it yourself – the meat will keep happily for a month in the freezer and the trimmings can be used to make a tasty sauce.

Method

Trimming the Beef Eye Fillet

  1. Start by placing the beef eye fillet flat on a large chopping board and dry off any blood or moisture with a clean tea towel.
  2. You can begin by running your fingers between the main part of the meat and the thick bit of connective tissue which is known as 'the chain'. This will come away from the main part of the fillet, which you will then need to run your knife through to separate completely. The chain can be used for things like mince or to make a rich and meaty sauce.
  3. Next, remove any membrane from the top of the eye fillet to expose the silverskin. This is the tough sinew that does not break down during cooking and is best removed. To do this, you want to insert a boning knife under the pointed end of the silverskin a few centimeters from the end and, pointing your knife upwards, free the tip of the sinew.
  4. Turn your knife around and place it under the flap you have just created. With your knife facing upwards away from the meat, run it all along the meat in a long slicing motion to the end of the eye fillet until all of the silverskin is freed.
  5. Repeat this process until the meat is completely clear of the silverskin. While doing so, it is important that you face the knife upwards to avoid cutting into the fillet and losing any of the meat.
  6. There will also be a small piece of silverskin on the back of the fillet which you should also remove in the same way as mentioned above.
  7. Remove any excess or loose pieces of fat from the beef eye fillet, but don’t cut away all of the fat as this will render during the cooking process and give flavour to the meat.
  8. Now that you have finished trimming your eye fillet you can portion it off. Cut off the pointed end of the fillet until the meat is of an even thickness (this will be around 8–10 cm). This piece can be used for things like mince, stir-fries, or even skewers.
  9. The eye fillet can now be tied and roasted whole or cut into individual steaks - whatever you prefer.

Reverse Searing the Eye Fillet

  1. Heat your BBQ to 200°C and if using a charcoal-based BBQ add a little wood for flavour.
  2. Position charcoal on one side of the BBQ and place the eye fillet on the other side, allowing you to reverse sear it.
  3. Cook for 20 minutes on the side of the BBQ without charcoal. We're looking for an internal temperature of 135°F (57°C) for medium-rare.
  4. Finish it off by moving to the flames/charcoal side at the end to sear.
  5. Take the eye fillet off the BBQ and allow it to rest, preferably covered loosely in tinfoil, for at least five minutes before eating.

Posted by James Smith "The Tattooed Butcher"

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