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.
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.
Selecting and Buying
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.
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.