Tutorials: butchering a PISMO

Taking the beef tenderloin to task

Taking the beef tenderloin to task


I bought a PISMO (PSMO) two summers ago for a cookout. The PISMO is meat-speak for the entire tenderloin of beef, vacuum packed (Peeled, Side Meat On) straight to you from K.C. or Saint Louie or wherever. As a rule, I don’t eat a lot of beef, so when I do, I try to make it special.

Naturally, the Good Eats episodes Tender is the Loin I & II inspired me to play fantasy butcher for a day (for whatever reason, the idea of being a butcher entices me). The whole affair was a $45 purchase and I managed to get about 8 1″+ thick filet mignons out of it. This also left me with lots of leftovers, a nice chateau briand for me and the Mrs. as well as some chain meat.

I hadn’t seen the recipe recently and after failing to find it on youtube, I winged it. I removed all the sliverskin and excess fat with a paring knife and then sliced the filets from the main section of the loin (in the photo it’s to the far-left of the board, closest to the mountain of hamburger rolls). I used a propane grill on medium-high to sear them, about 5 minutes per side for medium rare, AKA the only way to eat a steak. It wasn’t my grill, so I cooked a test steak first to see how the combination of time and temp would play out in the meat. Everything was very much off the cusp, but my daring must had paid off, as everyone seemed to enjoy their steaks.

Since then I have found Good Eats Fan Page, which lovingly reproduces the transcripts from EVERY delicious episode. It is an *invaluable* resource. The food network site is good, but even the GE recipes get a bit vague, usually at the most critical times. This site repeats every single word of food Gospel from AB’s mouth and provides the link to the official FN recipe for good measure. Once loaded, follow the top left as a red link to the episode list, so just search for the title and follow the links to the transcript.

  1. Thats not butchering! you need a chopping knife or somthing to do that 🙂

  2. OK…ok. Michael was “breaking down” a PSMO. 🙂

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