Truth is, though, a Filet Mignon is not actually particularly loved amongst true beef eaters. The flavour is bland, and it’s not a particularly juicy cut. In fact, Filet Mignons require very careful cooking as they dry out very quickly. You often see Filet Mignons cooked wrapped in bacon. The bacon both helps to keep the meat juicy, and to give it a flavour boost. Another trick people use is to pan fry them, and make a sauce from the pan juices, in an effort to capture every bit of possible flavour. The other popular technique is to press the filets in crushed peppercorns, and make “Steak au poivre.”
True Filet Mignons are never more than an inch wide (2.5 cm), though on meat counter shelves they are usually 2 – 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm) in width (these are probably actually Tenderloin Steaks labelled as Filet.) Aficionados also say that Filet Mignons that are over 1 1/2 inches thick (4 cm) are too thick, as the meat on the outside will dry out before the inside has even heated up.
You can buy Filet Mignon steaks, or buy a whole Tenderloin and cut the steaks to the size you wish. Use the smaller end of the Tenderloin for the Filet Mignon steaks, and the larger end of it for a roast. On a Porterhouse Steak, the small medallion of meat on one side of the bone is actually a Filet Mignon.
As with all steaks, you should use tongs or a flipper to turn the meat, instead of poking it with a fork, but this is especially true of Filet Mignon where it is highly important to keep inside the little juiciness that it has.
3 oz, cooked: 247 calories, 21g protein, 17g fat.
Literature & Lore
“Filet Mignon” is French, meaning a cute or dainty boneless slice.