I have fought more battles over meat than any other topic. Beef in particular, tenderloins to be specific. It is my biggest seller and we've developed an excellent reputation for having the best. I still like good ole fashioned grain fattened beef. I've experimented with organic, free range, Australian, Argentinian etc. I still like American USDA Choice Beef.
Because I specify "barrel" cut filet mignons we purchase alot of pre-cut filets. You only get three or four out of each tender because you use only the middle section. The firmest and tenderest part of the tenderloin. We pay a premium for it. As a result you will get a uniform shaped, nice, round filet with a flat top and bottom. It will also have at least three weeks age.
It took me three years of vigilance to get a consistent product. I've seen more cheating with beef than with any other food product. The barrel cuts for example. Usually the barrel will start at the third steak in and continue to number five. Unscrupulous cutters will try to slip in number two or worse, steak seven or eight. If we come across a "cheater" we save it and send it back along with a phone call. Instead of additional profit for the meat guy it's now no profit. If you do that on a consistent basis it won't take long to get good cuts every time. The cutter signs each box he cuts so I know who to bitch about.
I'm also not a big Black Angus fan. It's more hype than anything else in my book. Also, did you know Black Angus isn't necessarily "Choice"? And those beef tenderloins you see in the grocery store? Bright red, no fat, no white at all for that matter..........it's cow tenderloin. I won't serve it. You'll have to go down the street for your cheap filet. It tastes like liver to me and the texture is mush. I prefer to buy a lesser cut and better grade.
I'm contemplating adding a New York strip on the next menu tweak. If I add it I'll dry age and cut my own. For you locals watch out for NY strip specials coming up. I'll test them before adding them.
I enjoy cutting meat. It's just a matter of being able to utilize the entire product. For example; the thin part(tip) of the tenderloin we use for beef satay, the next cut is for steak sandwiches and beef tataki, then we cut the barrels, then more tataki and steak sandwiches. I don't sell that many steak sandwiches or tataki, hence purchasing barrels pre-cut. I also cut all of our 12 oz filets. Now that's a steak!