Saturday, March 20, 2010

Filet Mignon: a quick & dirty how to

The person who inspired me to start U Can't Cook has done it again. What has she done? Messed up dinner that's what and I know she's not alone. Have we seriously become such a take out nation that the simple act of frying up a steak is equivalent to completing the Friday New York Times cross word?



What you need:
  • frying pan
  • tongs or spatula

Ingredients:
  • filet Mignon

Step 1: Heat the pan, (wo)man

Start your pan on medium high heat, no oil is needed. This is to sear in the juices quickly. Timing depends on size, yet another instance where size matters. Sorry dudes. A serving size is about 4oz, the size of a deck of cards. If you still have the packaging, it should give you the weight in pounds. For one person, anything over 0.5lbs is over kill. You do not need that much meat.

But I digress. Sear the steak on one side over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes or until you see blood start to come up on the uncooked surface. Flip and cook for another 5 minutes or however long the first side took.

Flip it again and turn the heat down to medium.

Step 2: Is it done yet? Is it done yet? Is it done yet? Is it done yet? Is it done yet?

Well let's take a look. Filet mignon is tender by nature. Rob can give you a whole dissertation on why that is, but I don't give a crap so when he has his own blog he can wax poetic about meat all he wants.

Make a fist. No I mean it, do it right now. Ok, right where the base of your thumb  and the base of your index finger is the spot you're going to press. Tighten your grip to max crush. Now loosen up a bit, between the limp handshake and the death grip. That's about medium. When you press on the meat with your finger (be careful...) or spatula or whatever your turning it with, you'll feel some kind of resistance. The more resistance, the more well done it is and vice versa.

If you're still not sure, put the steak on the cutting board and cut it open. You can always put it back if it needs more time.

Step 3: Can I eat yet?

Don't let me stop you. Just figure out how done you want your steak and what you want to eat with it. The Steak & Bake link is also a good thing to look over and basically covers how to do this, but with a little more information on the matter.

Go eat. I've talked your ear off long enough.

2 comments:

The Beaudoins said...

I like filet... it is tough to find it without bacon wrapped around it. I assume the bacon means, "this filet is low fat so we need to keep it moist".

I just order it at a restaurant, usually, but maybe we'll try a filet at home!

Head Chef of UCC said...

>>I assume the bacon means, "this filet is low fat so we need to keep it moist".

I think that's either a southern thing or a recent development. Mignon is naturally tender and moist. I think the bacon wrap is just something added for, I dunno, flavor, variety, something.

Honestly I think it's over the top to add the bacon. Better choice would be to go to a butcher and get a cut. I use a bacon wrap with pork chops that need special help.