What Is Stuffed Filet Mignon?

A.M. Boyle

Stuffed filet mignon is a dish made by filling a particular cut of beef steak with flavorful stuffing. Chefs use a thick, extremely tender cut of beef called filet mignon. They cut a pocket into the steak and fill it with stuffing. Various types of stuffing are used for this dish, and a chef can cook the steak in any number of ways. This culinary treat can be served plain or with sauce or gravy.

A slice of bacon is often wrapped around a stuffed filet mignon medallion.
A slice of bacon is often wrapped around a stuffed filet mignon medallion.

The term filet mignon is of French origin and roughly translated means thick and delicate. This particular cut of steak is taken from the back rib cage of the beef cow, otherwise known as the tenderloin. Generally, it is a lean, naturally tender cut of meat. Most cuts of filet mignon are about two to three inches (approximately five to eight cm) thick and about three inches (approximately eight cm) round. This makes them the perfect size for chefs to stuff.

The stuffed filet mignon is usually served with a sauce or gravy.
The stuffed filet mignon is usually served with a sauce or gravy.

Cooks prepare a filet mignon for stuffing by cutting a pocket into the center of the steak. The pocket can be made on the side or the top of the steak, depending upon a chef’s preference and the type of stuffing. Either way, the slit is typically made leaving about 0.25 of an inch (about 0.6 cm) uncut around the edges of the meat. This allows room for shrinkage as it cooks and keeps the stuffing from falling out.

Due to the mild, versatile flavor of this particular cut of meat, chefs can use a variety of ingredients when preparing the filling for stuffed filet mignon. For instance, crab filling is a popular choice but so is a spicy bread stuffing. Some cooks even enjoy a filling made of other meats, vegetables, or even cheese. Filet mignon can be a temperamental cut to cook and easily dries out if overdone. Consequently, with the possible exception of cheese stuffing, chefs prepare and cook the filling prior to putting it into the steak in order to avoid having the meat become overcooked while the filling is not cooked enough.

People use various methods to prepare stuffed filet mignon. Some prefer grilling or broiling, while others choose to bake the dish. Still, the most popular method chosen by chefs is pan searing. This method of cooking seals in the natural juices of the filet mignon, enhancing its tenderness and rich flavor.

Oftentimes, chefs serve stuffed filet mignon with some type of sauce or gravy. Some popular choices include creamy mushroom gravy, wine-based sauce, or a cheese-based topping. Many cooks also prefer to wrap their stuffed filet mignon in bacon prior to cooking. The bacon adds extra flavor and moistness and keeps the meat from drying out during cooking.

Although stuffed filet mignon can be a rather expensive dish to prepare, many people feel that it is worth the price. Due to its rich and decadent nature, people might serve it only for special occasions or holidays. As delicious as it might be, it is definitely not a frequent dish for calorie watchers or the budget conscious.

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