Teaching myself to cook, one recipe at a time.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Filet Mignon and Baked Potatoes

It’s summertime, and that means it’s time to get out the grill!


Unless, of course, you’re like me and don’t have one because you don’t own your own home and are instead living in close enough proximity to strangers that grills are fire hazards… or maybe other people just don’t like seeing them. I don’t understand no-grill rules, honestly, but there is one in effect. No grill for me. I’m hoping that hubby and I will be buying a house of our own by this time next year, so this will definitely change, but I’ve got to make do for now.


I had filet mignons from Omaha steaks in my freezer and really wanted to give them a try. I did some googling so that I would make the best of the attempt. This is more of a cooking method than a recipe, and I’m sure it would work just as well for other cuts (though you might have to adjust cooking time if your steaks are a different thickness).

And honestly, it’s not hard at all!

First, season both sides of the meat with salt and pepper.


Shoo away any critters that are showing interest.


And preheat your oven to 375.


The plan is to sear both sides of the meat in a skillet before moving it to the oven to finish cooking. So, dribble a healthy amount of olive oil in a skillet and heat it. A few different sites said to wait until it is practically smoking before adding the meat.


But then you do. Sear them for 3 minutes on one side…


Then flip them over. Use a spatula, not a fork, since you want all the juices in the meat to stay right where they are, rather than letting them leak out everywhere. Three more minutes on this side.


Then just move the skillet to the oven for a bit. My sites said 4-5 minutes for rare, 6-8 minutes for medium, and 9-10 minutes for well-done. I like my meat red, and I also had thinner cuts than the sites called for, so I kept my cooking time real short.

When it came out, it was juicy.


Real juicy.


Real, real juicy.


Oh my gosh. So yummy. Of course, filet mignons are the pricey cut of meat and they’re known for being amazing, but it’s nice to know that I was able to capitalize on this. I would have been disappointed if I’d screwed this up, but I didn’t. Amazing. I’d like to try it with different cuts, but at least I know it works with these!

Because that method was so simple, I figured I’d post it along with another recipe-that-is-really-just-a-technique. Everyone knows that steak and potatoes go well together, so here’s a good way to prepare baked potatoes.

This recipe / method is from Alton Brown on the food network. He says to coat Russet potatoes (after washing and stabbing them) with olive oil, sprinkle coarse kosher salt, and then put them directly on the oven rack. Because mine dripped a lot, I put a foil-lined baking sheet on the lower rack to catch oil as it fell. And then cook for an hour at 350 (if you’re grilling, I guess it’d be the same principle but you’ll have to gauge doneness by squeezing since you have less control over the temperature). Simple as that!  To serve, slice lengthwise and then squeeze the ends toward each other. Top with sour cream, cheese, crumbled bacon, or whatever you would like. If you use this method, it should be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Delicious, and the perfect foil for those summertime steaks!


Links to explanations are in the recipes tab.

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