Filet Mignon: The Best Way

“I read a lot of things. I mean, you never know where the big ideas could come from.”  – Melanie Griffith as Tess McGill in Working Girl.

Confession: I learned to cook filet mignon from Cosmopolitan. Yes, Cosmo. The magazine that brings us headlines like Tease Him and Please Him! and Meow!: Why Acting Just Like a Cat Will Get People to Come To You. I didn’t make these up, either. Yes, Cosmo can be (read: is totally) on the trashy side, but one never knows where the little gems lie.

I have used the Cosmopolitan technique for almost a decade, and it is fairly foolproof as long as you commit to a few things that I will highlight along the way. Ready?

Filet Mignon with Asiago Cheese Crust

This recipe is for two steaks. Multiply as needed.

The Ingredients:

For the Filet:

  • Filet Mignon – Pretty please use a quality cut of meat. Don’t buy those filets that are pre-packaged and swimming in weird liquid. You can also use another cut of steak if you like, but I have only used this method with filet mignon (I know, I’m expensive. But, if I am going to eat red meat, then it needs to be worth it).
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Nothing Else
  • No, Really – if you get a quality cut of meat, you will need nothing more.

For the Topping:

The Tools:

  • Oven-Safe Heavy Bottom Skillet
  • Tongs
  • Measuring Cups
  • Mixing Bowl

The Action:

  • Take the steak out of the refrigerator and let it come up to room temperature…about 30 minutes.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 500 degrees.
  • Warm the skillet over low heat on the stove.
  • Season the meat with salt and pepper to your preference.
  • To the skillet, add a bit of olive oil. Just a bit. No more than 2-3 lines from the bottle in a Z-pattern. If you add too much, pour some out. You do not want to fry the steak. You want to sear it.
  • Turn the heat under the skillet to high and heat the oil until it is just starting to smoke. (Remember when I said to commit to a few things? You have to commit to the heat here if you want this to work. You won’t burn the steak, don’t worry.)
  • Turn on the vent if you haven’t already.
  • When the oil is hot, drop the steaks into the pan.
  • Wait 2 minutes. Don’t flip it or peek or anything. (Commit to patience.)
  • When 2 minutes is up, poke the steak with your tongs. It should loosen up easily. Flip it.
  • Wait two more minutes. Check the sear, and congratulate yourself because it should look like this:

In the Pan

  • Take the entire pan and place it in the 500 degree oven. The length of time that you cook the steak will depend on how thick it is and how you like it done. 7-8 minutes should be average. Bear in mind that the steak will continue to cook even after you take it out of the oven, so I like to err on the side of caution and take it out a little earlier.
  • Let the steak rest 3-5 minutes before you serve it.

Resting

For the Topping:

  • If you like topping on your steak, please plan to take the steak out even a little bit earlier than you normally would to avoid overcooking it.
  • Turn on the broiler.
  • To make the topping, crush up Quick Garlic Croutons until you have 1/3 of a cup.
  • Mix the garlic croutons with 1/3 cup of Asiago cheese and the softened butter.

Topping

  • Top each steak with the mixture, and place the steaks under the broiler until the topping is golden and the cheese is bubbling a bit.

 Complete Steak

Enjoy!

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