I am trying to write a simple menu. One of the dishes is "Pan seared sliced beef tenderloin".

Is sliced beef tenderloin considered steak or would that cause confusion? My concern is if I write just "beef" it could be confused with beef stew or any other type of beef. There is only one beef dish on the menu.

  • What is the dish?
    – moscafj
    Jun 29, 2017 at 11:39
  • Pan seared slice beef tenderloin - the simple menu is for a wedding rsvp card
    – AAA
    Jun 29, 2017 at 11:40
  • My concern is if I write just "beef" it could be beef stew or any other type of beef
    – AAA
    Jun 29, 2017 at 11:41
  • 2
    not enough space? How about editing your question and being specific? Don't change the goalposts
    – user34961
    Jun 29, 2017 at 13:07
  • 1
    @moscafj that isn't clear. You need to say "beef tenderloin". Pork tenderloin is also very common.
    – Catija
    Jun 29, 2017 at 18:02

4 Answers 4


I would say anything that is a slice of meat thicker than around 1cm, taken from a larger muscle and (usually) cut across the grain can be considered a 'steak'. Depending on what part of the tenderlon you have, you could call it either sirloin or rump steak or filet mignon, just 'tenderloin steak' or even plain old 'steak' (see Wikipedia for more info)

I don't think it is misleading or confusing to call it steak on the menu.


Steak, IMO, is no more clear than beef. Chuck steak, rump steak etc. are beef, steak, but would not what a person might be happy with if just labeled steak. It is not even unusual when trying to make it sound upscale to refer to hamburger as a steak burger. Steak tends to be a more generic term which does not even narrow it down to being beef.

If space it too limited for you to actually describe the the dish as suggested by @moscarj, then I would find the generic "Beef" preferable to "Steak" then expand that to be more descriptive as space allows.


It depends on how you are preparing it. If the tenderloin being oven roasted (slowly is preferable, but that is a separate issue) and then sliced into servings then being finished with a sear. (IMHO the 'right' way to do it) then it 'should' be called a "Beef tenderloin roast", mentioning the sear is optional.

To be a steak the tenderloin is first sliced into servings and then grilled, broiled or pan fried. A 'steak cut from the tenderloin' is called a 'filet mignon'.

Most commonly a banquet will opt for the first option as it is easier to prepare en mass, and that is what it sounds like you are describing, so I would go with "Tenderloin Roast" to conserve space, I doubt anyone expecting something slightly different would not be bothered by the difference. If you want to be more specific, consider "Tenderloin of Beef"

  • 3
    "Tenderloin" doesn't imply beef. Considering the number of people who don't consume either pork or beef, you could have a number of guests assuming one or the other or asking.
    – Catija
    Jun 29, 2017 at 18:05
  • @Catija Indeed, I do a very good pork tenderloin. I added a more specific alternative if OP is concerned for that.
    – Cos Callis
    Jun 29, 2017 at 18:35

There are three possible approaches that I would recommend:

  1. Call it Pan seared beef medallion (or 'medallions' if more than one per person). It's a little longer than the 'steak' option, but it suggests that it's a smaller boneless steak, and they're typically from the tenderloin.

  2. Call it Pan seared filet of beef. Filet is typically a cross-cut (ie, steak) from the tenderloin (eg, filet mignon, which is a cut from the smaller end of the tenderloin)

  3. Ask the printer to adjust the kearning if it's only a few letters too wide. Or adjust the letter width to 95% or so (usually not so noticeable that people will realized it). The only time that this might not be available is if they're using a letter press technique (movable type or linotype, where the raised letters are stamped into the paper) ... but this is pretty rarely used these days. (except for stamped pencils, embossing, or things w/ gold foil)

  • @CosCallis : Crap, I realised part-way through answering that I was thinking of fish, and thought I had taken that part out.
    – Joe
    Jun 30, 2017 at 12:51
  • No worries, such over sites are reversible...
    – Cos Callis
    Jun 30, 2017 at 14:19

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