M. J. Dalton Butchers
The tenderloin runs along both sides of the spine, and is usually harvested as two long snake-shaped cuts of beef. When sliced along the short dimension, creating roughly round cuts, and tube cuts, the cuts (fillets) from the small forward end are considered to be filet mignon. Those from the center are tournedos. The tenderloin is the most tender cut of beef and is also arguably the most desirable and therefore the most expensive. Because the muscle is not weight-bearing, it contains less connective tissue, which makes it tender.
Traditional cooking calls for the fillet steak to be seared on each side using intense heat for a short time and then transferred to a lower heat to cook the meat all the way through. Fillet steak is often served rarer than other meats. Those preferring a more well-done steak can request a "butterflied" filet, meaning that the meat is cut down the middle and opened up to expose more of it to heat during the cooking process.