The one steak that will make an impressive platter to serve on any dinner table is the beef tenderloin.
It is the perfect hors d’oeuvre for the crowd as it doesn’t require a long cooking time and gives an unforgettable melt-in-the-mouth experience. Unfortunately, behind that drop-dead crispy lies a whopping price, too good for a slice of meat.
The beef tenderloin is notoriously expensive. In the worst-case scenario, you might not find any at your regular butcher’s shop at the time of need.
Well, all hope is not lost yet!
Some tasty beef tenderloin substitutes that you can always use include pork tenderloin, sirloin butt roast, strip loin roast, top blade roast, rib roast, and rib-eye roast.
Some of these alternatives are more economical options that will be a hit at any dinner table.
What Cut Of Beef Is Tenderloin?
Beef tenderloin is the source of filet mignon or Tenderloin steak and a component of porterhouse and T-bone steaks. Tenderloin is the long, narrow, and lean cut within the loin.
Further, it is the most tender cut of beef available, and it bears many names across the globe.
In France, it is called filet. Australasia calls it eye filet; filet in South Africa and UK, and many more.
Beef Tenderloin Substitutes
One question real quick:
What is the second most tender beef cut if Tenderloin is the most delicate cut?
Can you at least guess?
We have added it to our collection of the best alternatives if you can’t get the Tenderloin for whatever reasons below.
1. Top Blade Roast
The top blade roast is the closest you can get to Tenderloin in terms of softness, even though it is on the cow’s most exercised part. It is the second most tender cut of meat — boneless with extremely rich, beefy flavor thanks to its high marbling and fat content.
Marinating, Pounding, and slow cooking tenderize the tough connective tissue and make it juicy. You can also grill or sauté it for similar flavorful and tender results.
However, the major complaint about this cut is it has a line of gristle running horizontally through the meat. You will have to trim and eat around, but that one is easy.
2. Rib Roast
Also called a prime rib, a standing rib roast can be cut bone-in or boneless — although the boneless steak is a bit pricier.
But generally, prime rib is affordable when compared to Tenderloin. It might not be as tender as, but it is more juicy and flavorful due to the marbling and high-fat content.
Note that it is rimmed with much fat that may need trimming before cooking. However, the prime rib never fails to put a good smile on everyone’s face on the dinner table.
3. Rib Eye Roast
The ribeye roast is another beef tenderloin substitute that can stand in without complaints.
Even if the ribeye is less tender than Tenderloin, you can’t forgo its tempting high-fat content and marbling, making it flavorful and savory, especially when cooked with beef broth and spices.
No denying the Tenderloin is always boneless. Well, ribeye roast is both available with bones and without bones. However, the Tenderloin is more forgiving. It will still hold regardless of its boneless nature.
4. Strip Loin Roast
Strip loin is the perfect choice for making a great roast beef sandwich for three or more people, just like the beef tenderloin.
Many argued it has the most flavor. It is a well-marbled boneless roast from the Short Loin, close to the Tenderloin. It has a rounded shape and needs to be cooked evenly. However, the taste is magical.
When cut into steaks, it is called the New York steak. Should you see this name instead of strip loin, know it’s these cut.
5. Sirloin Tip Roast
Sirloin Tip Roast is always a boneless, lean cut with great value, located next to the tip of the Sirloin.
Unlike the beef tenderloin, it is tough, which is why a medium-high temperature and long-duration cooking are best. In addition, Sirloin Tip Roast is excellent when roasted and carved into thin slices.
6. Sirloin Butt Roast
The pork tenderloin and sirloin butt roast are two different cuts of meat. They both look different and are gotten from separate parts.
Sirloin Butt toast is a beef cut from the top butt muscle — the hip area of the cow. Even though it is preferable to the bottom butt, it is not as tender as Tenderloin.
However, it’s a flavorful alternative cooked at the rare or medium-rare to get the most flavor and juiciness out of it. You will love this cut for roast beef sandwiches; everyone does.
7. Eye of Round Roast
If care is not taken, you might confuse the eye of a round roast for beef tenderloin. Both cuts look alike, long and tapered.
However, this cut is an elongated muscle gotten from the center of the Round, often called the “Eye.” It is leaner, less tender, and more mild-flavored. It is less expensive and frequently sold as steaks for marinating, roasts, or ground beef.
And since it is tougher, it is advised to cook slowly at medium-rare and served with sauces or other accompaniments.
8. Pork Tenderloin
Pork tenderloin will be the best bet if you’re watching your red meat intake. Both cuts of meat are lean, flavorful, and versatile. However, the pork tenderloin is leaner.
Also, the higher fat content in pork tenderloin makes it exceptionally good grilling or roasting. In comparison, the less fat content in beef is well suited for sautéing or frying.
It only takes you half the time to cook pork tenderloin and is pocket-friendly compared to the expensive beef tenderloin.
Although, they tend to be more flavorful than pork.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is A Tenderloin A Filet Mignon?
Simply put, if Tenderloin is whole meat, the filet mignon is a small part of the Tenderloin.
However, if you are still scratching your head on this, I encourage you to check out our article on the “filet mignon vs tenderloin.”
You will get all the answers you seek there, or else let’s proceed with the frequently asked questions.
Which Is Better, Filet Mignon or Sirloin?
If we compare both cuts right now, it will be exhausting as there is a lot to take in, which is why we have treated it as a topic of its own on a separate page.
So if you are anxious to feed your curiosity, don’t hesitate to read the filet mignon vs sirloin. But all you should know now is the top Sirloin isn’t as tender as the Filet mignon or Tenderloin but is more juicy and favorable.
Why Is Beef Tenderloin More Expensive Than Pork Tenderloin?
You are more or less asking if beef or more expensive than pork. Both types of meat aren’t cheap. They are high-quality meats. But beef is always on the rocket.
It is far outpacing the increasing price of pork. And a lot of factors are to be blamed for that—for instance, the rearing of these animals and their reproductive abilities.
It is more expensive and exhausting to rear cattle than pigs. Pigs have much less selective diets and are quick breeders with many piglets.
What Should I Look For When Buying A Beef Tenderloin?
There are three things every buyer should put into perspective when opting for beef tenderloin, whether at a close-by Butcher Shops or from an online meat delivery service.
Firstly, the price per person.
Secondly, the Semantics: Head, Tail, or Center-Cut
And thirdly, is it trimmed or untrimmed.
How Do You Reheat Beef Tenderloin Without Overcooking?
The thickness of the cuts considers the precise time. But I can give a ball pack figure that works. First, you will have to place the wrapped tenderloin pieces directly onto the oven rack. Then reheat for about 10-15
It is best if you reheat it until it is warm in the middle.
What Temperature Should I Cook My Filet Mignon?
The best way to cook your filets is on the grill over medium-high heat. Just make sure the temperature is around 450-degrees on a gas grill. Alternatively, you can place the filets on a grill rack straight over medium coals on a charcoal grill.
In conclusion, I know 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 Top blade roast, Pork Tenderloin, Top sirloin roast, or Sirloin Butt Roast. I’m not implying other beef tenderloin substitutes are not good.
However, these are the cuts that thousands of other home cooks find relying when all hope is lost for beef tenderloin. They are the unsung heroes. And they offer nearly the same tenderness and preferable flavor.