National Filet Mignon Day
annually on August 13th
Today we treat ourselves to the tenderest cut of beef on a cow, the filet mignon! The name comes from two French words: filet, which means thick slice, and mignon, which means dainty. Filet mignon is taken from the front, smaller end of the tenderloin of a heifer or a steer, and is sliced into round cuts that are about one to two inches thick. It is so tender because the muscle doesn't really get any exercise. Some restaurants and supermarkets label all tenderloin cuts as filet mignon, but this is technically not correct.
Filet mignon began appearing in restaurants in the United States around the turn of the twentieth century. Often served very rare, it is usually first seared at high heat, and then cooked the rest of the way through at a lower heat, by being broiled, grilled, pan-fried, or roasted. Being that it barely has any fat on it, filet mignon is often wrapped in bacon, to give it more flavor and to keep it from drying out when being cooked. It is sometimes made with a sauce of black pepper, or with cream and brandy, and is also used to make shish kebabs. T-bone steaks and porterhouse steaks have the filet mignon portion of the tenderloin included in them, so anyone eating those steaks is eating filet mignon as well!
How to Observe
Celebrate the day by eating filet mignon! Many national chain restaurants and local establishments have deals on the day. In the past, Morton's The Steakhouse and Outback Steakhouse have had specials on filet mignon on the holiday. Besides ordering filet mignon on its own, you could order a T-bone steak or a porterhouse steak, as they include filet mignon as well. If you are feeling a bit more adventurous, you could cook your own filet mignon!