Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Filet Mignon Perfection

The Perfect Dinner

I can almost hear the cow "moo"...almost...
I'll admit what I'll call the "blob" of green/brown on the plate doesn't look very appetizing, but trust me when I say this meal for one was absolutely delicious. Eventually I'll throw up [edit: Joe noted that "throw up" was probably not the best term to use...] blog about the "blob" of creamed spinach and the feta-cilantro-lime creamed corn recipes, but this post is all about that juicy piece of filet mignon right in the center of the picture.

So I've recently fell in love with "The Meat House" down by Coolidge Corner (if you live in Boston) and have frequented it in order to pick up cuts of steak I can't get elsewhere (ie. Shaws). They sell these lovely thick-cut filet mignons. If you're going to bother cooking filet mignon, you have to get the kind that's cut thick (2-3 in. thick), that way you don't overcook it (nothing worse than an overcooked steak).

So to get the perfect steak is simple. First off, get a cast iron skillet of some sort. They get hot enough to give a great sear and if seasoned correctly (the skillet not the food, well you should season your food correctly, too) your steak wont stick.

All the steak needs is some salt (I like Kosher or Sea Salt) and some ground black pepper (season liberally!). The key is to let the steak come to room temperature (I'd leave it out at least an hour before cooking). Heat up that cast iron skillet nice and hot (medium-high to high depending on your stove- [edit: My friend, Tracy, just sent me an article that notes to get a more even heating- you should heat the pan up slowly]). Once it's hot, pat your steaks dry (if they have liquid they wont get that nice crust) and stick it right onto the pan (no oil necessary, well next time i'll try with butter and I'll let you all know how that goes). 

The next step is critical.

WALK AWAY. Don't touch it or the nice crust won't form. Just walk away. I like my steaks pretty rare so I go about 2-3 minutes on each side (feel free to leave it on longer). You should only be flipping your steaks once. Why? because you shouldn't be touching it so that a nice crust can form! At the very end if it looks like the sides aren't cooked, I'll do a quick "roll" just to kill any "bacteria" which might be lingering on the steak.

That's it. It's that simple. The perfect filet mignon. Top it off with a little pad of butter and just let it rest 5 minutes before digging in (so the juices can redistribute and not come pouring out). Mmm, steak.

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