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I usually cook vegetarian dishes because it's easier for me although I'm a huge carnivore. I'm taking a stab at this steak sandwich recipe which calls for "fillet of beef". What does that mean? Which cut (chuck roast, london broil, etc...) can I get? Surely Ina Garten does not mean fillet mignon?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

I believe it's another name for the tenderloin.

Also, if you check out this other fillet of beef recipe from the same show: You can see a much better picture of the meat. That one is clearly a tenderloin.

So The Fillet Mignon is part of that technically...

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Thanks for the great pic! I may make that a bookmark :) – Rhea Jan 20 '12 at 19:15
Filet mignon is the smaller end of the of the fillet/tenderloin. – ElendilTheTall May 22 '13 at 10:29

A fillet is steak cut from the tenderloin. If you cut the tenderloin into "medallions" it becomes a fillet (better when wrapped with bacon...but isn't everything) and is ready to be grilled or broiled. If you leave the tenderloin in tact, then it is a 'tenderloin roast' suitable for use in a beef wellington.

For a good lesson on using tenderloin, see Alton Brown's "Tender is the Loin"

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Thanks for the answer! – Rhea Jan 20 '12 at 19:15

A filet is any boneless cut of meat (it's a generic term); usually one of higher quality. You could have a filet, for instance, off the strip loin (a manhattan filet). Typically, however, when someone says "filet", they're referring to the "filet mignon" (literally "small boneless cut of meat"), which is a cut from the front end of a beef tenderloin, a sub-primal cut that crosses the sirloin and short loin.

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"Fillet" is any cut of boneless meat.

It may be spelled "filet" (single "l"), but this spelling varient may imply French cuisine or a specific cut of meat.

"Filet of beef" aka "filet mignon" is cut from the tenderloin.

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Are you trying to say that the two different spellings have different meanings? – Jefromi Dec 4 '13 at 6:00
I don't think that's what he's getting at. I made a proposed edit that adds some punctuation for clarity. – Preston Fitzgerald Dec 4 '13 at 16:41
Well, okay. But at this point you might as well have posted your own answer. There's really no way to tell what the original meant besides already knowing. – Jefromi Dec 4 '13 at 18:15

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