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Beef Tenderloin: What is it?

Beef Tenderloin is the tenderest part of a cow. It refers to the middle part of the cow, by the central spine region. The tenderloin is the most valuable part of the cow in flavor, taste, and price. Tenderloin can be cut into three distinctive and very expensive steaks; these are Filet Mignon, Châteaubriand, and Tournedos. Steaks cut from the tenderloin may also be referred to as Filet Steaks.

Beef Tenderloin and Filet Mignon

Filet Mignon is French for small filet, or small boneless meat. Filet Mignon is one of the most expensive and succulent cuts from the cow. Professional chefs do not cook Filet Mignon above medium rare. To ensure that you receive only premium Filet Mignon, your Beef Tenderloin should be grain fed, natural, and carefully dry aged.

Châteaubriand

Tenderloin Châteaubriand is actually Filet Mignon left uncut and in a roast form. This is actually the crème de la crème of all roasts. Prized for its tenderness and rich buttery flavor, Beef Tenderloin Châteaubriand is a delectable experience for the palate to behold.

Tournedos

Tournedos are cut from the tail end of the tenderloin. These cuts are smaller then the Filet Mignon cuts, and are likely to weigh 21/2 ounces each.

Though the differences between these three beef tenderloin steaks are listed above, there is a universal confusion between what makes Filet Mignon, Châteaubriand, and Tournedos. The confusion rests in the fact that these cuts have various definitions in the United States, Britain, and in France.

What Americans call beef tenderloin, the British call Filet, and the French call Le Filet. This leads to variations in the definition of Filet Mignon, Châteaubriand, and Tournedos. In the United States, we define the broad end of the Tenderloin, Châteaubriand, yet in the UK it is called Fillet Steaks, and the French call it Le Bifteck. In America, the small flat end of the tenderloin is called Filet Mignon. It may also be called Beef Tenderloin Tip or Rib End Tip.