When it comes to steak, there is nothing quite like filet mignon. This cut of meat is prized for its tenderness, flavor, and overall quality.
The filet mignon cut was originally only eaten by the upper class, as it was quite expensive. However, as time went on and technology improved, the price of filet mignon dropped, and it became more accessible to the rest of us! Despite being on the pricier end of the scale, filet mignon is one of the most sought-after cuts of beef in the world today.
So, if you are looking to impress your dinner guests or simply treat yourself to a delicious meal, filet mignon is the way to go. Here’s everything you need to know about this delectable cut of meat.
What is Filet Mignon?
Filet mignon is a French term that literally means “dainty filet.” The name is fitting, as filet mignon steak is considered to be the most tender and flavorful cut of meat. In fact, it is so tender that a fork can be used to slice through a prime filet mignon.
This cut comes from the small end of the tenderloin, which is located near the ribs. The tenderloin is a long, thin muscle that runs along the spine of the cow. Called the psoas major*, it is not a weight-bearing muscle. Its connective tissue is therefore not toughened by exercise – which is why filet mignon is so succulent.
*If you sit at a computer all day and suffer from sciatica, tight hips, or lower back pain, chances are you know precisely where the psoas muscle is!
Typically less than one inch in thickness, filet mignons are naturally a rounded shape of 2 to 3 inches in diameter. Their shape is a result of being cut from the middle of the tenderloin – towards the tapered tail end.
What Does Filet Mignon Taste Like?
Filet mignon is a cut of steak that is known for being melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
Although the cut is consistent, the different breeds of cattle from whence filet mignon comes produce subtle distinctions. That said, many people describe the taste as being delicately beefy, juicy, and slightly sweet.
A very popular choice for steak lovers, filet mignon is considered to be the best cut of steak available thanks to this combination of tenderness and buttery flavor.
How to Cook Filet Mignon
Even though ordering this beef cut in a restaurant might be rather expensive, preparing it at home can be considerably less expensive. For even greater savings, buy a complete tenderloin.
As the perfect cut of meat for a special occasion or a delicious treat, there are many different filet mignon recipes. The most important thing, however, is to not overcook it. Overcooking filet mignon will make it tough and dry. Filet mignon is best cooked rare or medium-rare, as this will ensure that it remains soft and moist.
Remove the meat from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking so that it has time to come to room temperature. Starting with steak at room temperature ensures more even cooking.
When cooking filet mignon, it is important to use a high-quality steak seasoning or rub. This will help to enhance the flavor of the meat. You can cook filet mignon on the grill, in a pan, or in the oven – as long as the method is dry and high-heat. Whichever method you choose, avoid checking the progress of the steak by cutting into it as this loses valuable juices. Instead, use an instant meat thermometer to ensure that the steak is cooked to the perfect temperature of 120oF.
Cover with foil and let the steak rest for approximately five minutes. During this time, the overall inner temperature will increase slightly while the moisture will spread evenly.