Carnivores will have no beef with today’s food holiday. August 13 is National Filet Mignon Day!
Filet mignon is French for “cute” or “dainty” filet, and refers to the small portion size of a typical steak. O. Henry first coined the term in his novel The Four Million, published in 1906. It is derived from the tenderloin of the cow, which runs along both sides of the spine; the small end is typically sliced into 1-2″ thick filets that are nearly round in appearance. Despite its small size, the tenderloin is the most tender cut of beef, and therefore the most expensive. This explains why that cute, dainty little 6 oz. circle of beef on your plate cost the same as your dining companion’s more manly 14 oz. ribeye. Interestingly, a T-bone or porterhouse steak has the tenderloin down one side and a New York strip down the other, so it is essentially two steaks in one. As tender as the filet mignon is, it doesn’t contain much fat, so it is often wrapped in a strip of bacon before cooking for added flavor.
As with most steak, the simplest preparation is usually the best. Sear your filet mignon over high heat after seasoning with salt and pepper, cook to a perfect medium-rare, and let rest before cutting into it. If you work up a sweat trying to saw through the meat with a knife, you’ve overcooked it. If it “moos” when you slice into it, you haven’t cooked it quite long enough.
To celebrate, we grilled up some filet mignons we bought from the store. These were pre-made and already wrapped in bacon. They turned out pretty good!
- Top Five Cuts of Steak (barbecue.answers.com)
- This Filet Mignon Jerky is Coated in 23 Karat Gold (foodbeast.com)