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Filet mignon (/ /; French: [filɛ miɲɔ̃]; lit. '"delicate, fine or cute fillet"') is a cut of meat taken from the smaller end of the tenderloin, or psoas major of a cow. In French, it mostly refers to cuts of pork tenderloin.
The tenderloin runs along both sides of the spine, and is usually butchered as two long snake-shaped cuts of meat. The tenderloin is sometimes sold whole. Filet mignon is usually presented as a round cut taken from the thinner end of a piece of tenderloin. It is often the most tender and lean cut. Filet mignon often has a milder flavour than other cuts of meat and as such is often garnished with a sauce or wrapped with bacon.
In France, the term filet mignon refers to pork. The cut of beef referred to as filet mignon in the United States has various names across the rest of Europe. E.g. filet de bœuf in French, fillet steak in the UK, Filetsteak in German, solomillo in Spanish (filet in Catalan), filé mignon in Portuguese, filee steik in Estonian, and filetbiff in Norwegian.
In the UK, pork medallion is the term used to describe a similar cut from a pig.
Filet mignon refers to cuts from a beef tenderloin in North America. Elsewhere, this cut of beef is called:
- Filet de bœuf (French)
- Fillet steak (English: UK, Ireland, South Africa)
- Eye fillet (English: Australia, New Zealand).
In the U.S., both 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 (lit. "head of filet") in French).
Porterhouse steaks and T-bone steaks are large cuts that include the filet. The small medallion on one side of the bone is the filet, and the long strip of meat on the other side of the bone is the strip steak.
- "filet mignon". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on August 2, 2013. Retrieved 2015-11-13.
- Hamlyn (2009). Larousse Gastronomique. UK: Hamlyn. p. 989. ISBN 978-0600620426.
- Jacobson, Derek (2018-01-02). "What Are the Most Expensive Steak Cuts?". Steak University. Retrieved 2022-11-03.
- Beck et al, pp. 306–307