what cut is beef medallions

So where do medallions come from, exactly? They’re cut from the filet mignon. A filet medallion actually refers to how the butcher cuts the meat. A butcher cuts filets into smaller, thick circles rather than one larger filet to create filet medallions.

With all of the tenderness of filet mignon, beef medallions make an elegant addition to your menu, whether you use them as an appetizer or part of your main dish. Making beef medallions is a clever way to use the meat found on the narrow end of a beef tenderloin. Avoid overseasoning or overcooking these beefy gems to allow the delicate flavor and tender texture to shine.

Medallions are basically small round steaks. Occasionally, you may see medallions that come from other cuts, such as the strip loin. Typically, however, beef medallions come from the tenderloin, which is a cut most commonly used for filet mignon. Medallions are generally small with a diameter of 2 to 3 inches and thickness of 1 to 2 inches. Characteristics of the meat are much like those of the tenderloin, which comes from the animals backbone area just beneath its ribs. Beef medallions are luxuriously tender, but the meat has milder flavor than other cuts of beef.

If the butcher isnt available, use your senses, along with everything you know about cuts of steaks to determine how best to prepare your beef medallion. A relatively lean cut could be from the striploin, meaning its not likely to be as tender as a thin-cut filet. If you see lots of muscle or connective tissue, youre unlikely to have a filet, which doesnt mean the medallion wont make a delicious meal. It just means you may need to handle it more like you would another cut of beef, perhaps with a flavorful marinade to give it more interest and with enough cooking time and heat to ensure it becomes tender.

If the medallions of steak youre holding are labeled “filet medallions,” then theyre cut from the tenderloin. This means youre holding a relatively lean, flavorful, tender, thinner-sliced filet, so the strategies you use to expertly prepare a full-sized filet can work. However, youll need to adjust your cooking times to account for the smaller size. On the other hand, if the package is labeled “beef medallions,” you could be holding any cut of steak. Your best bet is to find a butcher in the store and ask about the cut, getting the inside scoop on how you should handle the beef properly so you dont choose the wrong preparation in the kitchen or on the grill.

All steaks are definitely not the same and thats not a value judgment about whether a filet mignon or a ribeye is the superior choice. We may have our meat preferences, but each cut of beef can be utterly divine, as long as its properly prepared. This means you need to know what youre cooking and the best method to do so.

Perhaps youve been fortunate enough to order tournedos in a fine dining establishment or maybe youre even lucky enough to have dined on super-luxe tournedos Rossini like the ones at La Sirène in New York, which feature medallions of filet topped with foie gras. Having filed away the memorable experience of enjoying perfectly cooked medallions of filet, you may be delighted to discover what looks like a real treasure at your grocery store or butcher. But when you pick up a package of steak medallions or beef medallions, do you know what youre actually holding?

Cooking Techniques for Beef Medallions

Preserve the tenderness of the medallions by using a fast cooking method such as grilling or pan-searing. Start by heating oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet set over medium-high heat. Alternatively, preheat the grill using medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, or the grill is hot, add the medallions. Cook them five to eight minutes per side, until the exterior is golden. Although U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends cooking beef to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, many beef-lovers consider this to be too well done. For medium-rare, cook the medallions to an internal temperature of 125 F. For medium, cook it to 130 F. Remove the medallions from the pan and let them rest for three to five minutes before serving.

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Cutting Medallions From a Tenderloin

You may find pre-cut medallions at your butcher or grocery store, buying the whole tenderloin and cutting it at home is generally a more cost effective approach to buying beef tenderloin. Because tenderloin is often such as pricey cut of meat, you dont want to be hacking it to bits with a dull knife; rather, you should use an extremely sharp knife and make careful cuts to preserve the quality of the meat. Grab a large, sharp boning knife and trim the tenderloin to remove the exterior fat and shiny outer membrane known as silverskin. If desired, cut the larger end into steaks, or keep a large portion of it intact to make chateaubriand. Slice the medallions from the narrower end of the tenderloin.

Avoid overpowering the relatively delicate flavor of the meat by using seasonings, marinades and sauces to enhance the flavor of the medallions without obscuring it. If you want to keep it very simple, season the medallions with salt and pepper. Optionally, you can also coat the medallions with an herbal paste made from ingredients such as parsley, rosemary, brown sugar and olive oil. Coat the meat, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for approximately two hours. Although you dont need it, you can also pair cooked medallions with a sauce such as Madeira wine sauce, mushroom sauce or a sauce made by deglazing the pan with red wine and beef stock after cooking the beef medallions.

So where do medallions come from, exactly? They’re cut from the filet mignon. A filet medallion actually refers to how the butcher cuts the meat. A butcher cuts filets into smaller, thick circles rather than one larger filet to create filet medallions.


What is the difference between a tenderloin and a medallion?

A medallion steak is typically cut from the tenderloin, which is one of the most tender and highly prized cuts of beef. It is known for its tenderness and mild flavor, making it a high-quality cut that is often served in fine dining restaurants.

What is the difference between sirloin and medallion steaks?

The sirloin and top sirloin are located just below and just above the tenderloin (which is home to the filet). Medallions are taken from the fore end of the top sirloin, close to the pointed end of the tenderloin. In other words not to far from filet mignon territory.

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