1. Q. What is Filet Mignon?
A. Filet mignon is a superior thick, round cut of lean beef from the narrower end of tenderloin. Usually it is broiled. This cut is sometimes referred to simply as “tenderloin.”
2. Q. what is Chateaubriand?
A. Chateaubriand is a thick, highly prized, beef filet cut from the center of the tenderloin. It is usually grilled and served with a sauce. This cut is sometimes referred to simply as “sirloin steak.”
3. Q. Is Chateaubriand the same as Filet Mignon?
A. Both are considered luxury meats, among the most tender and low in fat. Each is cut from a different part of the tenderloin area but is similarly prized. The Chateaubriand is usually thicker and cooked until rare or medium rare, after which individual portions are cut. Filet Mignon is usually cut into individual steaks before it is cooked.
4. Q. Are there English names for Chateaubriand steak & Filet mignon?
A. Yes. Chateaubriand is sometimes called sirloin steak, while Filet Mignon sometimes is referred to as tenderloin.
5. Q. Do Orthodox Jews really eat Chateaubriand and Filet Mignon in Israel and elsewhere?
Oh, yes. Throughout the Jewish world there has been a long tradition of properly preparing and enjoying prized hindquarter meat. In Jerusalem, the art of Nikkur has been practiced almost continuously since biblical times, and through much of history these meats were widely enjoyed throughout the Jewish world. In fact, the United States has been the exception. No less a posek than Rabbi Moshe Feinstein reportedly bemoaned this.
An article in Jewish Action magazine cites a conversation in which “Rabbi Dr. Moshe Tendler reported that Rav Feinstein would often comment when eating meat at the Tendler household on yom tov that it just wasn’t the same as the tasty hindquarter meat they had in the old country.”
Similarly, Rabbi Yehoshua Leib Diskin, who lived in Lomza, Brisk and finally Jerusalem where he founded a famous orphanage, believed so strongly in the importance of Nikkur that he himself was a menaker, (someone trained in the art of Nikkur).
6. Q. If these meats are kosher, why haven’t they been available in the United States until now for those who keep the standards of Glatt/Halak Beit Yosef?
A. It’s a matter of demand. Initially kosher food production was extremely local and limited. In recent years, though, the demand for reliably certified, high quality Kosher products has grown exponentially, enabling production of more and better foods to satisfy that need. This is especially true of kosher meat, where careful oversight assures Jewish and non-Jewish consumers that the product meets exacting standards. Sephardi Jews, especially, have been accustomed to celebrating holidays and other events with Chateaubriand and Filet Mignon. The demand is there, so now trained rabbis can offer this high-quality, carefully supervised hindquarter meat to consumers in America.
7. Q. Why was there no Nikkur in the USA?
A. Economics. Nikkur is a highly specialized skill that takes time to learn and time to practice. In the United States, it was easier and cheaper simply to sell the hindquarter of a kosher cow than to hire and supervise someone with the expertise able to perform Nikkur. Today there are more than 12 million kosher consumers in United State and many more nonJews who value the additional supervision given kosher products, so the economic situation has changed.
8. Q. Are only Sephardim allowed to eat meat from the hindquarter of a cow?
A. No. As long as the meat is properly handled -- from slaughter to removal of the cheilev (prohibited fats), gid hanasheh (sciatic nerve) and certain large blood vessels, it is permissible for all Sephardim and many Ashkenazim. Since kosher hindquarter beef was not available in the US until recently, some rabbis are not yet familiar with the process or with our operation. Over time, however, we expect most will be comfortable with it.
9. Q. “Who stands behind the kashruth of King of Filet?”
A. Before Nikkur can be performed, the animal must be reliably kosher and slaughtered by a trained schochot and inspector. The slaughter and checking is overseen by the Orthodox Union, New Square, the Chief Rabbenut of Israel and other reliable Vaads.
King of Filet, which is responsible for the Nikkur, was founded by Rabbi Elchanan Abergel, spiritual leader of Congregation Dibrot Eliyahu in Philadelphia and is under the leadership of Rabbi Eliyahu Abergel, head of Rabbinical Courts of Jerusalem. Rabbi Haim Itach of Jerusalem is chief manakor and shochet while Rabbi Aharon Chien of Strictly Kosher Organization, provides additional on-site supervision.
10. Q. Do Ashkenazi Rabbis agree that it is okay to eat hindquarters?
A. Yes. Most do. In fact, Nikkur, the art of rendering the hindquarter of an animal fit for kosher consumption, was practiced in Ashkenazi communities into 20th century. Removing the forbidden parts from the hindquarter requires special training and skill, so many communities stopped the practice, making kosher hindquarter cuts unavailable. This is not the case today. King of Filet adheres to the highest standards of Glatt – Halak Beit Yosef – established by Rabbi Yosef Caro and widely accepted throughout the kosher world.
11. Q. Isn’t it an Ashkenazi minhag (custom) to eat only the frontquarter of a cow? If so, as an Ashkenazi I cannot eat Hindquarter meat, right?
A. Not true. When Rabbi Moshe Feinstein was asked just this question, he had a clear response; it was the lack of knowledge of how to do Nikkur properly and not minhag (custom) or ban that kept Nikkur from being done in some communities. In fact, Rav Feinstein warned that it was a grave sin to cause a section of the Torah to be forgotten and that forgetting the laws of Nikkur would make it impossible to prepare the korban Pesach.
12. Q. Who certifies your Shochatim (Kosher slaughters)?
A. Our shochatim are well-trained, highly qualified and experienced. They have certification from the Orthodox Union, New Square, the Chief Rabbanut of Israel and vaads throughout the United States and Canada. We provide careful supervision to assure Nikkur is done properly.
13 Q. Where can I buy King of Filet Chateaubriand and Filet Mignon?
A. Currently our delicious meat is available only through our website. Check back often, though. It will soon be coming to stores in selected cities.
14. Q. Is your meat expensive?
A. King of Filet Chateaubriand and Filet Mignon are competitively priced, reliably Kosher, luxury meats. That said, we think you’ll find our prices surprisingly low – sometimes lower than similar non-Kosher meat.