What is the difference between beef tenderloin and filet mignon?
I have worked in restaurants for years. And pretty much never knew a huge difference. Aside from a fancier name for the filet. But tonight at he grocery store I noticed the tenderloin was about 2 bucks cheaper per pound. I bought the tenderloin. And it was amazing! So, what's the big deal with the filet?
They are different cuts.
Hindquarter cuts The loin has two subprimals, or three if boneless:
the short loin, from which club, T-bone, and Porterhouse steaks are cut if bone-in, or strip loin (N.Y. strip) and fillet mignon if boneless,
the sirloin, which is less tender than short loin, but more flavorful, and can be further divided into top sirloin and bottom sirloin (including tri-tip), and
the tenderloin, which is the most tender. It can be removed as a separate sub-primal, and cut into fillets, tournedos or tenderloin steaks or roasts (such as for beef Wellington), or can be left on wedge or flat-bone sirloin and T-bone and Porterhouse loin steaks.
The round contains lean, moderately tough, lower fat (less marbling) cuts, which require moist cooking or lesser degrees of doneness. Some representative cuts are round steak, eye of round, top round and bottom round steaks and roasts.
The flank is used mostly for grinding, except for the long and flat flank steak, best known for use in London broil, and the inside skirt steak, also used for fajitas. Flank steaks were once one of the most affordable steaks, because they are substantially tougher than the more desirable loin and rib steaks. Many recipes for flank steak use marinades or moist cooking methods, such as braising, to improve the tenderness and flavor. This, in turn, increased the steaks' popularity; when combined with natural leanness, increased prices have resulted.