Tournedos are very tender, very lean and very expensive medallions of meat. They are usually served with other embellishing ingredients, though, for what nature gave them in tenderness, it held back in flavour and gave that to other parts of the cow.
In North America, you’ll often see it sold with a piece of bacon or fat wrapped around it. The fat will be held in place by string or a toothpick.
Similarly, you’ll often similar round looking cuts of beef from the sirloin or round called “Tournedos.” Strictly speaking, though, the butchers are being very naughty in using this term for anything not from the tenderloin.
A Tournedos will weigh between 5 to 7 oz (150 to 190g), be between 3/4 to 1 inch (2 to 2 1/2 cm) thick and be around 2 to 2 1/2 inches (10 to 11 cm) wide.
Cook quickly by pan-frying, grilling or barbequing.
Tournedos is a made-up French word. There are many theories as to how it came about; none of them particularly plausible.
The expression “Tournedos Filet Mignon” is indicative of a restaurant menu writer tripping over himself or herself in an attempt to heap superlative on superlative (Filet Mignons are cut from the small end of the Tenderloin.)