National Filet Mignon Day is observed annually on August 13th. Usually, from a steer or heifer, a filet mignon is a steak cut of beef taken from the smaller end of the tenderloin of the beef carcass.
- Filet mignon is French for “cute fillet” or “dainty fillet”.
- In French, filet mignon may be called “filet de boeuf”, which translates to beef fillet in English.
- When found on a French menu, filet mignon may also refer to pork rather than beef.
The tenderloin from which the filet mignon comes is the most tender cut of beef and is also considered the most desirable and therefore the most expensive.
Filet mignon is commonly cut into 1 inch to 2 inch thick portions, grilled and then served as is. When found in grocery stores, filet mignon is already cut into bacon wrapped portions. The usual method for cooking the filet mignon is to cook it on high heat by either grilling, pan frying, broiling or roasting. Restaurants may sometimes prepare the fillets served in a cognac cream sauce, au Poivre with peppercorns or in a red wine reduction.
- “Filet Mignon” is just a fancy name for a beef tenderloin steak.
- O. Henry (pen name of William Sydney Porter) was the first to use the term “filet mignon” in his book ‘The Four Million’ in 1906.
- Traditionally, filet mignon is seared on each side using intense heat for a short time and then transferred to a lower heat to cook the meat all the way through.
- Filet mignon is often served rarer than other meats. Those who prefer a more well-done steak can request a “butterflied” filet, meaning that meat is cut down the middle, and opened up to expose more of the meat to heat during the cooking process.”
- Bacon is often used in cooking the filet because of the low levels of fat found in it. This also adds flavor and keeps the fillet from drying out during the cooking process.