If You're A Filet Mignon Fan Try This More Affordable Alternative

Popular among both steakhouse fans and home cooks, filet mignon is one of the top cuts of beef that steak lovers seek out for special occasions. While not as flavorful as a magnificently marbled ribeye, filet is certainly the most tender cut on the menu (via Business Insider).

According to Prime 13, the placement of the filet mignon is the secret to its succulence. Located in a muscle area of the cow that is fairly inactive, the filet is less fibrous than other cuts, giving it that soft, sumptuous texture. Prime 13 also notes that there's far less filet produced from the average cow than other cuts, making it more in demand.

While a thick-cut filet makes for a fine presentation for a fancy meal, it often bears an equally upscale price tag. Prices fluctuate throughout the United States, but a recent USDA report suggests that some consumers may pay as much as $25.99 or more per pound of filet.

So how can the sagacious steak consumer chow down on top-notch beef without breaking the bank? Teres major may be the answer.

What is teres major?

Sometimes called shoulder tender and bistro filet (via Epicurious) and deemed the poor man's filet mignon by Genesee Valley Ranch, the teres major cut is sourced from the shoulder and its tenderness mimics that of filet mignon. Genesee notes that it's also referred to as a butcher's steak because of the expertise that is required to get the cut. 

According to BBQ Grill Guides, teres major typically retails for about half the cost of filet. While it may be challenging to find in your grocery store, it's a good bet that an experienced local butcher will have some on hand. Another option is to purchase it online. BBQ Grille Guides, among a number of other beef-focused sources, recommends Snake River Farms. Porter Road is another online option.

Teres major can be prepared in the same ways you might cook up a filet or even a tenderloin. Epicurious recommends pan-searing or roasting and France 44 Cheese Company also suggests grilling. Genesee Valley Ranch even mentions using the cut in kabobs.

Regardless of how you use it, a quick trip to the butcher could potentially help you up your beef game while lowering that ever-increasing grocery bill.