I don’t think I need to say much to get you to try this recipe, filet mignon speaks for itself. This cut of beef is taken from the smaller end of the tenerloin (called the short loin), and it has a tender, melt in your mouth texture. As if this weren’t tasty enough, I went ahead and made hollandaise sauce for it and paired it with potatoes…and bacon. I know, it’s too much… But this is a special occasion meal. Skip the sauce if you’re watching your diet, and pair your beef with some salad instead!
Back to the Hollandaise sauce, this time I made the easy blender version. I found the recipe on The Joy of Cooking, and I don’t think I’ll make it the old fashioned way again! (although my arm could use the workout)
Here are a few tips to guarantee success when cooking this delicious cut of beef:
- When selecting tenderloin or filet mignon slices, choose the lighter colored ones over dark red. This indicates more marbling which makes it more tender.
- This cut is so tender that it should never be cooked beyond a medium-rare stage. The longer you cook it, the less tender and more dry it becomes.
- Use a dry, high heat method such as broiling, roasting, pan-frying or grilling for this tender cut.
- Whole tenderloin is wonderful to stuff or bake en croute (in savory pastry).
- Cutting into the meat to check doneness lets precious juice escape. Use the touch or finger test method. Press the meat. If it feels soft and mushy and leaves an imprint, it is rare. If it is soft, but slightly resilient, it is medium-rare. The minute it begins to feel firm, it is overdone.
- Since the beef tenderloin has no surrounding fat tissue, it is often wrapped in a layer of fat (called barding) such as suet or bacon to keep it from drying out. Likewise with filet slices. The barding also adds flavor.
- Cubed tenderloin is a popular choice for fondue hot-pots and shish-kebabs.
- To ensure even cooking when roasting the whole tenderloin, the small end should be tucked up and tied or trimmed for other use.
Tips from http://homecooking.about.com
Filet Mignon with Hollandaise Sauce
For the Beef:
Procedure adapted from Simply Recipes
2-4 filet mignon steaks, 1 to 2 inches thick*
Black pepper to taste
( I used a peppercorn blend)
- Allow the steaks to come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 90 minutes, depending on the thickness of the steaks. Just before getting ready to cook, pat the meat dry with paper towels, then coat with the canola or grape seed oil. Salt well, and add pepper to taste. I used a peppercorn blend that includes black peppercorns, grains of paradise, pink peppercorns and cubed pepper. (You can find something similar at your local gourmet store).
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a cast iron pan on high heat for 1 minute. Swirl to coat the pan. Put the steaks in the hot pan and immediately turn the heat down to medium to medium high (depending on your stove top, medium on a high BTU gas range is about medium high on most electric ranges). Sear untouched for at least 3 minutes
- Flip the steaks and cook for another 2-5 minutes, depending on how thick the steak is and how rare or well done you like your meat. You can use the finger test (see tips above) to test the doneness of your steak. Or you can use a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the steak (120°F to 125°F for rare, 130°F to 135°F for medium rare, 140°F to 145°F for medium). Remove from the pan, loosely tent with foil and allow to rest while you make the sauce.
Blender Hollandaise Sauce
Recipe from The Joy of Cooking
Yields 1 cup
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 pinch cayenne
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
- Place egg yolks, lemon juice, cayenne and salt in a blender; heat butter until bubbling but do not brown.
- Cover blender container and turn on motor to high; blend for 3 seconds; with motor running, remove lid, and add butter slowly, in a steady stream, taking 30 seconds to pour the butter in.
- Serve immediately or keep sauce warm by placing blender container in warm water.
- Serve fillet mignon and spoon some of the sauce over it.
Potatoes with Bacon
A The Foodies’ Kitchen Original Recipe
1 to 1 1/2 lbs small potatoes (unpeeled)
1 small onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, diced
4 strips of bacon, diced
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of olive oil
- Bring water and 1 teaspoon of salt to a boil in a big enough pot to cook your potatoes. Add potatoes and let them cook until tender, for about 10 minutes.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once it is hot, add the diced bacon and cook until it is crisp. Remove bacon, and set aside.
- Using the fat from the bacon, add the onion and garlic and sautee until cooked through and it starts to brown slightly. Add another tablespoon of olive oil. Let it heat for a minute, and add your cooked potatoes.
- Move them around the skillet until the skin starts to brown.
- Add the bacon, and season with salt and pepper.
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