How the Filet Mignon and Hanger Steak got their names

Posted by the Ogeechee Meat Market Butcher on Monday, August 29, 2011 Under: knowledge
Continuing our discussions of how certain meats have obtained their names we now stumble upon one that is the envy of all other steaks.... the Filet Mignon. The Filet is cut out of the beef tenderloin. The tenderloin is located on the beef short loin or T-bone and porterhouse. The reason it is so prized and thus priced is because it is located on the inner side of the bovine and thus less moved than the other skeletal muscles. This limited use makes the tenderloin very tender compared to other steaks but be careful because of it's low marbling levels it is easy to over cook and thus make it tough. Okay enough of anatomy and location where did the name come from?

The term Filet Mignon is French for “dainty fillet.” This name does not detour the manly men that enjoy the flavor and tenderness.

Next, we explore the Hanger steak. The Hanger steak is cut from the diaphragm of the bovine. It used to be known as the "butcher steak" because it was most often no sold in shops because only one to two come from one whole cow and the butcher either ate it or ground it. The Hanger steak is actually the upper part of the Skirt steak. The two are now separated and sold separately. The steaks are not really sold for their tenderness but rather for their flavor. The hanger steak was initially popular in Europe it was called skirt steak. We, here in the states, call it hanger steak because it "hangs" from the diaphragm. While the skirt steak has taken the name from the Europeans because the piece seems to wrap around bovine resembling a crude skirt. And yes even the bulls have skirts. ;-)
Next time we will continue our exploration through the meat name origin. Until then, Good grillin'!

The Butcher      

In : knowledge 

Tags: how the  filet mignon  hanger steak  skirt steak   
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The Ogeechee Butcher To ask a question E-mail: Please put ask-the-butcher in the subject line so it wont end up in the junk/spam box. You can also be my friend on Facebook and ask questions there.

About Me

I have been cutting meat for over50 years. I have done everything from working for shopping chains to now owning my own shop. I am part of the last group that was tested to be a certified meat cutter; when butchers still broke down the meat they needed from sides and whole carcasses. I have a vast knowledge of the field and am happy to share.