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The beef tenderloin is the best steak to make an impression served on any dinner table.
Unfortunately, beef tenderloin is notoriously expensive. In the worst-case scenario, you might not find this cut at any of your regular butcher’s shops at the time of need.
However, there are some tasty beef tenderloin alternatives that you can use, such as pork tenderloin, sirloin butt roast, strip loin roast, top blade, prime rib roast, and rib-eye roast.
Some of these substitutes for beef tenderloin are more affordable than beer tenderloin and will help you have an excellent dinner for far less money.
What Cut Of Beef Is Tenderloin?
This cut is something special! The beef tenderloin is a narrow, long slice found in the animal’s loin area. Its unparalleled tenderness makes it perfect for creating high-end beef products like the famous filet mignon and Tenderloin steak.
The tenderloin also plays a crucial role in producing other mouth-watering steaks like porterhouse steak and T-bone steak.
Substitutes for Beef Tenderloin
1. Top Blade Roast
Despite being located in a particularly active area of the cow’s shoulder, the top blade is the second most tender cut of meat, making it a fabulous substitute for the pricier tenderloin.
It’s not just tenderness that makes the top blade shine – it’s got a mighty delicate taste to match.
Thanks to its high-fat content and marbling, this flavorful cut packs a robust flavor perfect for hearty dishes like stews and pot roasts.
2. Rib Roast
Another alternative to beef tenderloin is the standing rib roast, also known as prime rib roast. This cut of beef is also located in the rib section of the animal and can be purchased bone-in or boneless. The boneless option is typically more expensive.
Despite its lower price point when compared to tenderloin, the prime rib has a more beefy flavor because of its high-fat streaks. To bring out the best of the prime rib, cook it low and slow. You need to cook this cut cooked properly to maintain its pulpiness.
3. Rib Eye Roast
Regarding beef tenderloin replacement, the rib eye roast is a top contender. While not as tender as the tenderloin, the rib eye roast makes up for it in other areas.
When cooking a ribeye roast, use the marbling to improve the meat’s taste by seasoning with spices and cooking it in beef broth.
Another advantage of the rib eye roast is its versatility. You can roast it whole or slice it into steaks. Plus, the ribeye roast is typically less expensive than the tenderloin.
4. Striploin Roast
This mouth-watering cut of meat is boneless and boasts a beautiful marbling. Coming from the Short Loin area, it’s located close to the tenderloin, and similar to it, it requires even cooking to achieve that perfect consistency and taste.
Here’s the best part – many argue that the strip loin has more rich flavor than its tenderloin roast counterpart. This cut makes it the perfect choice for tasty roast beef sandwiches that can feed a crowd of three or more.
Proper preparation is critical to achieving the best results. Slow and steady wins the race, and the strip loin is no exception. Simmer the meat until its internal temperature reaches 130 to 135 degrees Fahrenheit for perfect medium-rare doneness.
5. Sirloin Tip Roast
This significant cut of meat is boneless, super lean, and located near the sirloin tip. Even though it’s not as tender as tenderloin, it is still succulent and savory if prepared correctly.
To achieve maximum intense flavor, we suggest cooking the sirloin tip roast at medium-high heat for longer. This slow-cooking process helps to loosen up the sirloin steaks fibers and transform them into compelling tenderness.
6. Sirloin Butt Roast
This cut of meat comes from the top butt muscle of the cow’s hip area. It may be less tender than its tenderloin cousin, but it packs a flavorful punch.
You can cook it similarly to tenderloin to get a delicious result! Ensure you cook it rare or medium to achieve the best taste and tender texture.
The sirloin butt roast isn’t just good for a regular ol’ roast either; it’s a popular choice for crafting roast beef sandwiches thanks to its distinctive and delectable taste and texture.
When picking up some of this beefy goodness, keep an eye out for well-marbled cuts of beef with minimal visible fat to ensure a robust flavor.
7. Pork Tenderloin
Unlike a pork loin, a pork tenderloin is a deliciously lean cut and a joy to cook. While beef tenderloin boasts its softness and marbling, pork tenderloin is all about the juicy, delicious fat.
The fat is perfect for grilling or roasting, ensuring the flesh remains moist and delicious. Unlike pork tenderloin, beef tenderloin is best for stir fry due to its lower fat content.
And here’s a fun fact – pork tenderloin cooks up faster than its beefy counterpart, making it an excellent option for busy bees who want a speedy meal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a Tenderloin a Filet Mignon?
A tenderloin is not a filet mignon. The tenderloin is an extended, slender cut of beef nestled within the cow’s loin. The filet mignon is a particular cut taken from the smaller end of the tenderloin. Remember to use a meat thermometer when cooking filet mignon for the desired doneness.
Why is Beef Tenderloin More Expensive Than Pork Tenderloin?
Beef tenderloin is pricier than pork tenderloin due to factors such as the animals’ rearing process and reproductive abilities. Cattle are more challenging to rear than pigs and have more selective diets.
What to Look for When Buying Beef Tenderloin?
When purchasing beef tenderloin, consider the price per person, the cut (head, tail, or center), and whether it is trimmed or untrimmed. These factors apply whether you’re shopping at a butcher shop or using an online delivery service.
It could be rather challenging to pick out the many options.
But if you want some personal recommendations, I’d say you go for the Pork Tenderloin, Top sirloin roast, or Sirloin Butt Roast. I’m not implying other substitutes for beef tenderloin are not good.
However, these are the cuts of beef that thousands of other home cooks find relying on when you have no chance of using beef tenderloin.