Filet mignon is a French name, with filet meaning thread or strip and mignon meaning small and pretty. This prized cut comes from the middle of the tenderloin (also called the short loin), which is found inside the rib cage of the cow. Because this muscle is not weight-bearing, the connective tissue is not toughened by exercise, resulting in extremely tender meat. The name of the muscle is psoas major, and it sits inside the ribs next to the backbone. From its flat pointy end at the ribs, it gets thicker toward the rear of the animal ending at the femur. Each animal has two tenderloins, one on each side of the rib cage.