How To Choose The Best Filet Mignon

A steak so tender and juicy that it can be cut with a fork. Sounds mouth-wateringly delicious, right? Filet mignon is known as the king of steaks for its high quality and cost, per The Spruce Eats. So, of course, if you are buying a filet mignon to cook at home, you want to make sure you are picking out the best steak, so your mouth and wallet are not disappointed at the end of the meal. 

The name filet mignon comes from French, with filet translated to thread or strip and mignon being small or pretty, according to The Spruce Eats. The filet mignon cut comes from a cow's back rib cage, an area known for tender meat because it does not receive a lot of exercise (via Reference). 

When a cow is butchered, the filet mignon is connected to Porterhouse and T-bone steaks and is located across from the sirloin, according to The Spruce Eats. Odds are that when you go to the local butcher shop to buy a filet mignon, it will already be separated from the bone. What should you look for to guarantee you buy a steak that won't disappoint?

Use your eyes to judge

It's all about the appearance when it comes to choosing the best filet mignon for cooking. Yumna Jawad of Feel Good Foodie told Eat This, Not That! to pick a steak that is bright red in color and has only light marbling. While marbling is often considered to be fat, it's a little more complex than that. It's actually unsaturated intramuscular fat that is found between the muscle and the muscle fibers, according to Stanbroke Steak School. As the meat is cooked, the unsaturated fats melt.

Make sure your filet mignon does not have big pieces of fat nor any silver skin, Jawad also advises. If left attached, the silver skin (a white strip of cartilage) is difficult to chew, according to The Spruce Eats. To be a true filet mignon, it must not be greater than 1 inch in diameter, but when bought from a store, the steak's diameter is closer to 2 to 3 inches and its thickness is about 1 to 2 inches, per The Spruce Eats.

Once you have that beautiful piece of meat in your kitchen, how do you cook it? Keep it simple with some butter, fresh herbs, and garlic (a la Gordon Ramsay), and let the flavors and meat melt in your mouth.