Filet mignon is French, of course, with
filet meaning "thick slice" and mignon meaning
"dainty." Filet mignon comes from the small end
of the tenderloin (called the short loin) which
is found on the back rib cage of the animal.
This area of the animal is not weight-bearing,
thus the connective tissue is not toughened by
exercise resulting in extremely tender meat.
This also means that the meat lacks some of the
flavor held by meat that has the bone attached.
In order keep the flavor, you must cook filet
"Filet mignon! To many peoples' minds, the
words themselves speak of excellence, good
living and expensive taste. No wonder.
Carefully selected and expertly cut, filet
mignon is a steak lover's dream..."
"...No matter where you have your filet
mignon or in which form, this exceptional steak
will change your convictions about the steak as
a whole and take you into a new world of
This can be done a variety of ways, including
broiling and grilling. It should never be cooked beyond
medium rare, because the more done it is, the less tender
and more dry it becomes and the more flavor it will lose.
You should always use a dry method of cooking, even when
it will be a quick method. Methods of cooking that are dry
are such types as roasting, pan frying, grilling,
broiling, etc. Since this cut of meat is more dry than
others, you will not want to cut the meat to check to see
if it is done. Instead, you should touch it. The
touch-method of checking is not as hard as it may
1. If the meat feels hard or firm, it is too done.
2. When the filet mignon is soft when you touch it and your
finger leaves an imprint, it is rare.
3. If it is still soft, but leaves no imprint, and is
slightly resilient, then it is medium rare (best for this
particular type of meat). The reason filet mignon is
often wrapped in bacon (this wrapping is called barding) is
because this particular cut of meat has no layer of fat around
it. The bacon not only adds extra flavor to the filet mignon,
it also gives it the fat necessary to keep the meat from drying
out. This is a concern since the strips are so small in filet
mignon and they have less fat than most cuts of beef.
What to serve with Filet
Since the flavor of filet mignon tends to be quite mild,
many people prefer to serve it with sauces, either smothering
the beef or as a dip. There are many different choices for the
best sauce for filet mignon and most depend solely on the
person's particular flavor preference. Some consumers prefer to
have a certain type of steak sauce for dipping and some may
prefer a marinade to add flavor during cooking. Either of these
can turn out well.
Wines & Filet
There are many different types of wines that are good to
serve with filet mignon, and determining which one will go best
with it depends largely on the flavor of the sauce. This is
especially true if the sauce is rather strong, or has a flavor
that is stronger than the filet mignon itself. The best wines
to match with filet mignon are dry, red wines such as Merlot.
If your preference is a sweet wine, you may want to consider
trying a White Zinfandel (if this is your choice, though, you
will not want to use very much pepper on the filet mignon). If
you are a white wine drinker, the best match for filet mignon
will be a rich Chardonnay.
Tips for cooking Filet
-When selecting tenderloin or slices, choose the lighter
color over dark red. This indicates more marbling which makes
it more tender. This cut is so tender that it should never be
cooked beyond a medium-rare stage. The longer you cook it, the
less tender and more dry it becomes.
-Use a dry, high heat method such as broiling, roasting,
pan-frying or grilling for this tender cut.
-Whole tenderloin is wonderful to stuff or bake en croute
(in savory pastry).
-Cutting into the meat to check doneness lets precious juice
escape. Use the touch method. Press the meat. If it feels soft
and mushy and leaves an imprint, it is rare. -If it is soft,
but slightly resilient, it is medium-rare. The minute it begins
to feel firm, it is overdone.
-Since the tenderloin has no surrounding fat tissue, it is
often wrapped in a layer of fat (called barding) such as suet
or bacon to keep it from drying out. Likewise with filet
slices. The barding also adds flavor.
-Cubed tenderloin is a popular choice for fondue hot-pots
-To ensure even cooking when roasting the whole tenderloin,
the small end should be tucked up and tied or trimmed for other
Daniel Urmann is a contributor and author for the website
Big Sky Filet Mignon
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Daniel_Urmann