This Is The Most Overrated Cut Of Beef

For decades, filet mignon has symbolized some sort of holy grail of fine dining. Maybe you're pairing it with herbed butter or a gorgonzola sauce or, at the very least, a pillow of pureed potatoes. There's a reason this cut of meat is so revered and expensive, according to The Spruce Eats. The filet mignon is found by the cow's rib cage, somewhat close to its back. Since the muscle sits in a spot where it doesn't have to hold much weight, the cut of meat ends up being tender and supple when prepared properly.

You might feel the need to fork over 30 bucks for a pound of precious filet mignon. And don't get us wrong – the cut of beef is still insanely popular in restaurants, and people still love it. We get it. It's delicate, refined, and you don't have to chew on it for hours. But ask a chef or cook, and they might not have such a reverent opinion of filet mignon. According to Paul Kahan, filet mignon is simply "the tofu of steak" (via Chicago Tribune). Ouch. 

Kahan's not the only one who doesn't fawn over this filet. A handful of other chefs ranked filet mignon — or the tenderloin cut that contains it — as the most overrated cut of beef you could possibly order, according to Thrillist.

The search for more flavor

Chefs aren't just trying to burst your filet-induced bubble when they shrug at the famous cut of beef. They're trying to help you, in our opinion. Sure, the filet mignon is tender — we don't deny it — but it lacks flavor. Why do you think it needs that gloopy, fatty gorgonzola sauce? The part of the cow that contains filet mignon doesn't have much fat. And rule number one to good food is that fat equals flavor. William DeMarco, a chef based in Las Vegas, points out that this trade-off results in a not-so-interesting steak. "While it is a tender cut, the marbling on a steak is really necessary in order to really get that rich taste," he told Thrillist.

Anthony Bourdain didn't sugarcoat things either when asked about filet mignon. The cut of meat, he said, is "the most boring and uninteresting piece of meat on the animal," according to Business Insider. Another ouch. Bourdain pointed out that other cuts of beef — like sirloin or rib steaks — allow for a better balance between "fat and lean." Other chefs have suggested opting for tri-tip, hanger steak, or even beef tongue. The suggestion from John Lichtenberger, an Austin-based chef? Try the marrow. No, it's not a steak — but it's a whole new way to enjoy the multidimensional flavor that comes from cows.