Monday, February 11, 2013

Perfect Filet Mignon

The official Valentine's Day always falls on February 14th. I'm a very lucky wife, because I'm married to a wonderful guy.  For that reason, I willingly forgo expecting him to make dinner reservations on Valentine's Day.  It's far too overpriced crowded, for me!

My husband doesn't get off that easy, though.  He owes me a rain check for a romantic dinner, in the near future.  In exchange, I prefer to make a restaurant quality dinner, at home.  Fortunately, my guy does dishes. See what I mean? He's a gem, and I'm not shy about saying that I love him so. As corny as it may sound, every day really is Valentine's Day for us.  I enjoy cooking for him, and he appreciates what I serve him. Win-win.

My husband loves Filet Mignon, as do I.  It's such a lean meat, and so tender.  Though Craig isn't a huge fan of seafood (or so he says), I've seen him lick his chops when he's served a delectable crustacean, like lobster tail.  It just so happened that I was sent two frozen Filet Mignon from the Certified Steak and Seafood Company. Here's what they company says about this product:   

Buttery Prime Angus Filet Mignon

If there was ever a steak that you will believe can “melt in your mouth” the Certified Steak and Seafood Prime angus Filet Mignon is it. With a delectable almost sweet beef flavor, and a strong buttery undertone that only Prime angus offers, it has to be tasted to be believed.

Each Prime angus filet is slow aged,  custom cut and trimmed for consistency in color and quality. It is a flavor you will remember long after your meal is over. Great accompanied by grilled root vegetables and horseradish mashed potatoes.
All kinds of recipe ideas danced through my head-- like Beef Wellington or an encore of Beef au Poivre.  I thought about making a Bernaise sauce, or a red-wine reduction sauce.  But when I saw that frozen lobster tails were on sale for a really good price, how could I resist?

I thawed the frozen filets by placing them in cold water, for about two hours.  The lobster tails thawed even faster.   "Surf & Turf" it would be, for dinner.

I decided that I wanted to keep the recipe really simple-- I would use kosher salt & cracked pepper as the seasonings.    Let's face it, Filet Mignon isn't a cheap cut of meat, but it's worth it. The last thing you want to do is overcook it, and turn it into shoe leather. That would be a very sad day, indeed.
What I want to share with you, dear readers, is a fool-proof and very simple way to prepare Filet Mignon.
  • For most accurate results, you need a trust worthy instant read thermometer.
  • A Cast-Iron Skillet is my favorite pan of choice. Otherwise a heavy-bottomed skillet works. I don't recommend a non-stick skillet, because we're going to do some serious searing. 
  • Bring the meat to room temperature 20-30 minutes before cooking it; this will ensure a more even cooking result.
Begin, by dry heating the skillet on high for about 5 minutes-- we want it to be very hot!  Brush the filets with vegetable oil, then season with kosher salt and pepper. NOTE: I have been following Ina Garten's technique for sometime. If you want to use Fleur de Sel salt, be my guest.  However, I've adapted her recipe to cut way back on the amount of salt she uses. Ahem. I'm talking from experience.  So, if you want to know how much, I would say to blend about 1 tablespoon salt and coarsley ground  black pepper, for two steaks.  If you are sensitive to salt, cut the seasoning back to half.

Preheat the oven to 400F.  Let's begin: You want to sear each side of the filet for about 2-3 minutes per side.  You want a nice, golden sear. The total time of searing the filets is about ten minutes.

I feel it is my duty to advise you to turn on your vents, and open a kitchen window, lest you build up a lot of smoke and the smoke alarms go off. How I know this, shall remain a closely guarded secret.

The steaks aren't ready yet. We like our steaks at about 130-135F, which is closer to a medium-rare. I place a one tablespoon slice of unsalted butter on top of each filet.  Then, I place the skillet into the preheated oven, and set the time for about 7 minutes.
  • Check the steaks a minute or two early, by inserting an instant read thermometer  sideways and into center of each steak.  If the temperature is under 120F, then return it to the oven and cook for another minute or two. Check the temperature.  Once the steaks reach no more than 125F, remove them.
  • Tightly cover the top of the steaks on a plate (I use a carving board) and allow the steaks to rest, and to allow the juices to redistribute.
 In the meantime, I broiled two lobster tails  for about 11 minutes.

TASTING NOTES:  You see? As long as you test the temperature of the steaks, you can't overcook and ruin these?  Perfect! Just the way we like it.  Truthfully, we both loved these steaks.  They were butter-tender, and flavorful.  Just the simplicity of salt and pepper was all we needed. Best of all, this meal costs much less than you would pay in a fine restaurant.   I know we'll be ordering more of these steaks, in the near future.  So can you! 

Our commitment to our customers is simple: Offer the highest quality products at the best price and back it with a 100% guarantee. We source directly with no 'middle man' making our supply chain the shortest in the industry. This allows us to maintain the highest quality standards all the way to your plate. On top of this, we sample all products at the moment of final packaging and have a world-renowned laboratory test for various types of adulteration or contamination. This ensures that the food you purchase from us is pure and safe.

Certified Steak and Seafood Company was formed by the three Frisch boys, Mark, Adam, and Steven; all of whom thought that everyone should be able to buy the highest quality steaks and seafood direct. The brothers experience comes from a three generation family owned wholesale company that is one of the largest seafood importers in America.

They have vast experience in sourcing and selling high quality seafood and meat products to the commercial trade — and bring you the same grade of products fine restaurants, resorts, hotels, and high-end retail stores demand – and at a direct price that gives you tremendous value for every purchase.

I have two Chilean Sea Bass Fillets in my freezer, that were sent to me, as well. You can see the recipe I made with those here.

This sponsorship is brought to you by Certified Steak & Seafood Company who we have partnered with for this promotion.  My opinions are strictly my own.

A printable recipe card is at the end of this post.

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Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Steak and doesn't get much better than that.

bellini said...

I am not a huge red meat eater but I do enjoy a perfectly cooked steak at home once in a while. Thanks for the tips for success.

Kate said...

Oh wow! Those look delectable! I love filet...thanks for the tips on preparation!!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Well, you can't go wrong with this menu. This would win over anyone's heart. Happy Valentine's Day to you and your sweetie.

Joanne said...

The.Boy and I are doing the same thing! Going out to dinner on the 13th and staying in on the 14th. It's the only way to go, methinks.

Bill said...

My absolute favorite steak is filet! Your technique for cooking them is exactly like mine and the results are always perfect. Great idea for Valentines dinner! It would be hard to beat your surf and turf at any restaurant! Great photos as well!

Big Dude said...

That is one fine looking meal and I would surely wash the dishes for it :-). If that isn't the perfect filet mignon, I'd like to meet the one that is. Great job.

Karen said...

I'm with you - I'd rather stay home on V-Day, too and cook something special. The steak and lobster is a perfect meal!

Anonymous said...

Hi --- Love the recipe and the fact that cooking on this day is such an act of love!

Think it's great that you found a place that has such super meats, but is there a local place (or two) that you'd also recommend for delish steaks? Would love to try your recipe and would rather find something around here (Monterey Peninsula) than have it shipped - though not out of the question if you think it's far and above everything else.

Thanks - MMR

Debby Foodiewife said...

Dear MMR:
By all means, buy local. I'm very particular about where I buy my meat,and prefer to shop at Whole Foods. Their filets are lovely, albeit high up there on the price scale. Many people don't have local access to good meat, and so I think this company proved to me that their steaks are really good. I also mentioned, as required, that this post is sponsored. I am honest when I say that the steak was tender and flavorful. Would I buy from them? Yes. But, I'd also shop local if I could find price within my own budget.