Filet Mignon


A steak cut of beef taken from the tenderloin of the steer or heifer. The fillet is considered to be the most tender cut of beef, and the most expensive. It is a boneless cut one to two inches thick, very lean with little marbeling, quite tender in texture.


Other names: fillet de boeuf, tenderloin steak, fillet steak
Translations: Liellopa gaļas medaljons, Nugarinės medalionai, File mignon, Filet mignon, Thịt bò thăn, Filet mignon, फ़िले मिग्नॉन, Бифштекс из вырезки, Φιλέτο μινιόν, فيليه رقيق, 필레 미뇽, Filet mignon, File mignon, Fillet mignon, 烤里脊肉片, Filet Miñón, File mignon, Filet mignon, Filetto mignon, פילה מיניון, Filet mignon, Филе мињон, フィレミニョン, Mini-Filet, Filet mignon, Filet mignon, Filete miñón, Біфштекс з вирізки, Filee mignon, Филе миньон

Physical Description

The tenderloin runs along both sides of the spine, and is usually harvested as two long snake-shaped cuts of beef.The fillet is the most tender cut of beef, and is the most expensive. The average steer or heifer provides no more than 4-6 pounds of fillet. Because the muscle is non-weight bearing, it receives very little exercise, which makes it tender.

Colors: Red, brown

Tasting Notes

Flavors: Savory
Mouthfeel: Meaty
Food complements: Potatoes, Wine sauce, Vegetables, Onions
Wine complements: Red wine
Beverage complements: Hearty ales
Substitutes: Top sirloin steaks, Porterhouse steaks

Selecting and Buying

Seasonality: january, february, march, april, may, june, july, august, september, opctober, november, december
Choosing: The tenderloin (not to be confused with the short loin) is sometimes sold whole. The same cut of beef can also be called:
French: filet de bœuf.
English (US): medallions, tenderloin steak.
English (UK & Ireland): fillet steak.
English (Australia): eye fillet.

Porterhouse steaks and T-bone steaks are large cuts which include the fillet. The small medallion on one side of the bone is the fillet, and the long strip of meat on the other side of the bone is the strip steak—in Commonwealth of Nations usage, only the strip steak is called the porterhouse.If the small forward end of the tenderloin is cut into portions before cooking, that portion is known as filet mignon, or the fillet, from the French boneless meat (mignon meaning "small" as true mignons are cut from the smaller tail end of the tenderloin). In contrast American butchers tend to call all tenderloin steaks filets mignons.

Buying: It is possible to have kosher beef filet mignon, but it is rare and expensive. This is due to the fact that there are non-kosher fats (cheilev) and the sciatic nerve (gid hanosheh) in the hindquarters of domestic cattle which must be carefully removed (nikkur). This is generally uneconomical and as a result the entire hindquarters are usually sold to the non-kosher market. However, properly-prepared filet mignon can be found in modern Israel, where there is a small industry of people trained and willing to conduct commercial nikkur.

Preparation and Use

Don't marinate these steaks and don't cook them beyond medium rare.

Often used for making beef stroganoff, steak tartar or for stir fried dishes. Often grilled.

Conserving and Storing

Refrigerate or freeze beef as soon as possible after purchase. This preserves freshness and slows growth of bacteria. It can be refrigerated or frozen in its original packaging if the meat will be used soon.


In the US, the central and large end of the tenderloin are often sold as filet mignon in supermarkets and restaurants. The French terms for these cuts are tournedos (the smaller central portion), châteaubriand (the larger central portion) and biftek (cut from the large end known as the tête de filet in French).[1

History: The filet mignon steak cut has appeared on US restaurant menus since 1898, if not earlier. National Filet Mignon Day holiday is celebrated by eating and serving filet mignon in it's honor.This holiday is also celebrated by hosting a dinner party where you serve filet mignon to your guests. This holiday has been celebrated for years. There is plenty of documentation to support that this holiday does indeed exist.



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