Heralded for its rich flavor and melt-in-your-mouth tenderness, filet mignon is a favorite among the carnivore crowd. And with good reason: This cut of beef, also called the filet de bœuf, is truly outstanding.
Filet mignon is so wonderful, in fact, that it even has an entire day devoted to its honor. Planning on serving up a filet mignon feast of your own this August 13, AKA “National Filet Mignon Day”? Read on for five tips aimed at making sure your filet is truly phenomenal.
1 Cook with quality.
If you’re looking for an extraordinary steak, it starts with an extraordinary product. Says No Recipe Required of the USDA Grading System, “Almost all the filet sold in supermarkets falls into the category of USDA Choice. A “Choice” cut is very good, but it’s one step below USDA Prime. Only about two % of the steaks butchered in the US, fall into the Prime bucket, so it’s fairly rare, and you’re like to only find it at specialty shops. Prime Filet Mignon, has more marbling (fat) than choice, which gives the meat more flavor and makes it even more tender. If you can find a Prime Cut of filet, chances are it’s better than any Choice you’ll find, but you’ll also pay quite a bit more for it.”
But did you know that a Prime designation isn’t the “end all be all” of steak grades? Enter Bar N Ranch. For generations, the Bar N Ranch team has been crossbreeding prized Japanese cattle with Texas’s best Angus beef toward unprecedented levels of buttery texture and optimal marbling for a “Platinum” grade. The result? All new levels of beef bliss.
2. Prep for perfection.
Achieving the perfect doneness is a critical part of getting the result you’re looking for. Remove the filet mignon from the fridge approximately half an hour before cooking in order to bring it to room temperature.
3. Start with a sear.
A general rule of thumb among chefs is that high heat — whether grilling, broiling or sauteing filet mignon — equals the best meat. Regardless of whether you prefer your steak rare, well-done, or anything in between, the cooking method should be determined by length of time in the oven, as opposed to temperature. (Because of its leanness, filet mignon is not suited for long, slow cooking.)
Whichever method you use to cook your filets, however, the process should start with the same first step: Searing. Without a proper sear, your steak will lack the crispy, flavorful “crust” found in the finest restaurants. The best part? It’s easy too. Just heat oil to a high temperature in a heavy saute pan and sear the filet mignons for three to four minutes on each side. Now here’s the hard part: Resists the temptation to touch the meat. Instead, just let it do its thing. Without moving the meat, you can spoon butter or herbs over the filet near the end of the meat’s searing time.
4. Respect the cut.
Filet mignon is known for being impossibly tender, but it also contains very little fat. Because of this, it can become dry or tough if cooked for too long. While doneness is largely a matter of personal choice, rarer maximizes both juiciness and flavor so avoid overcooking.
Wondering how to know when your filets are done? Cutting into the meat to find out is the ultimate no-no. Says the Chicago Tribune, “Precise timing and uniform thickness are your best weapons to find a robustly red and warm center when you finally slice into your filet mignon.”
5. Give it a rest.
Just because the filets are out of the oven doesn’t mean they’re done yet. Covering the steak in foil and letting it rest for five minutes allows it to retain its luscious juiciness. And while you can baste with butter or olive oil during the rest period, keep in mind that this continues to cook the steak so may impact doneness.
While many people are intimidated by cooking steak, filet mignon couldn’t be simpler or more succulent. But why stop there when you could serve up a complete masterful meal instead? Shop equally epicurean gourmet mail order ice cream or gelato and other delicious bakery and dessert items at FoodyDirect today.