01 Aug

What is a Filet Mignon?

By Kansas City Steak Company Tags : filet mignon,  steak 101 

August is Filet Mignon month. 31 full days of celebration. Technically we celebrate the filet all 365 days, but we give it some extra love in August.

Each day in August, we’re going to show and tell you more about filets: what makes them special, how you should cook them, why they’re so revered and we’ll share loads of filet resources and recipes.

There is a great deal of mystery about the filet. Many of our readers love to give them as gifts, but they’re terrified to cook them at home for themselves in fear of improperly cooking such a lovely steak.

So we’re going to help you by taking some of the guesswork out of the Filet Mignon. Consider this your filet crash course or cheat sheet.

We’ll start by answering the most basic of questions: what is a Filet Mignon?

Here are the 5 main things you need to know about a filet:

  1. Origin – the filet doesn’t originate as a stand-alone cut of beef. It’s a small piece of a beautiful and much larger tenderloin. There are two whole tenderloins that run along both sides of the spine. And the tender Filet Mignon is the cut from the smaller end of each tenderloin.
  2. Luxury – when Filet Mignon is translated from its French language, it means “cute filet”. Only 10-12 pounds of the entire animal are comprised in the tenderloin. There’s a reason it’s often the highest-priced cut of steak on a restaurant menu. The small, soft, luxurious beef makes for a tremendous and unforgettable meal.
  3. Mild Flavor – because the filet cut is the most tender of all cuts, it doesn’t have as much marbling within it as other cuts of steak like the ribeye or strip. This lack of marbling leads to a mild, consistent flavor, which is sometimes enhanced by sauces, butters or wrapping the filet in bacon to provide an extra added flavor kick.
  4. Tender – speaking of tenderness, the tenderloins are not a weight-bearing portion of the cattle. Since these muscles lack strenuous activity, they contain less connective tissue and fatty cells, adding to the tenderness described above. Filet lovers often remark at being able to cut through each filet with a fork, that’s the definition of tenderness. 
  5. Small Portions – perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects of a filet is its size. Being small in stature, combined with the other benefits of the filet, lends itself to being a popular choice for restaurants, big family meals, weddings and other moments of celebration.

The luxurious, tender filet makes a tremendous gift. And it also makes for a memorable meal of your own.

Celebrate National Filet Mignon Month appropriately.