How to Cook Filet Mignon

How to Cook Filet Mignon,

Bacon Wrapped Filet
Mignon with Gorgonzola
Cream Sauce

Here's everything you need to know about how to cook filet mignon on the stove, on the grill, or under the broiler. For the real wow! factor, and a wonderful combination of flavors, serve your dinner guests Bacon Wrapped Filet Mignon with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce.

Why filet mignon? It's exceptionally tender, coming from a part of the cow that gets no exercise, the tenderloin. Yeah, really. No muscle action 

means no sinew means very tender steak. But filet mignon also has no bone and almost no fat, so if you overcook it you'll have very expensive cardboard.

Bacon Wrapped Filet Mignon
with Gorgonzola Sauce

You can purchase filet mignon that is already bacon-wrapped, if you like, but it's very easy to prepare your own.

6 filet mignon, 1-1/2 inches thick, 6-8 ounces each
6 strips of bacon
Freshly ground pepper
Freshly coarsely ground sea salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons butter

Set the steaks out about an hour ahead of time to bring them to room temperature.

Bacon-Wrapped Filet Mignon, Ready to be Cooked,

Coax any uneven or oddly-shaped filets into a roundish circumference, wrap the bacon strips around the outer edge, overlapping the ends, and secure with wooden picks. If necessary, tie kitchen string around the middle of the filets to help hold their shape during cooking, and trim the ends so they don't burn.

How to cook filet mignon on the stove:

Generously season the filets with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil and butter in a very hot heavy skillet. Place the filets in the skillet and reduce the heat to medium-high. Cook for 6 minutes on each side for rare, or 7 minutes each side for medium rare. Turn only once. If necessary, turn the filets on their sides for a couple of minutes, turning, to crisp the bacon.

How to cook filet mignon on a charcoal grill:

Light the coals. When they are covered by a light layer of ash, they're ready. Divide the coals, heaping most of them to one side and arranging a single layer of coals on the other side of the grill, creating two heat levels. (medium-high and medium-low)

Rare Filet Mignon,

Meantime, melt the butter and combine it with the olive oil. Brush both sides of the filets with the butter mixture and season generously with salt and pepper.

Place the filet mignon on the grill searing and browning them, uncovered, 2 to 3 minutes each side.

Now move the filets to the medium-low side of the grill and continue cooking for 6 minutes for rare steaks, 7 minutes for medium-rare.

How to cook filet mignon on a gas grill:

Fire up the grill, hot as you can get it on both sides, lid closed, for about 15 minutes. Season and brush the steaks with the butter/olive oil mixture as above.

Turn the heat down on one side of the grill to medium. Place the filets on the hotter side, searing and browning them for 2 or 3 minutes each side with the lid down. Move the steaks to the cooler side and continue cooking them 6 minutes for rare, 7 minutes for medium-rare, lid down. Given the variable gas-grill temps, you may want to use the touch method, in the box below, to determine if your steaks need another minute or two.

Learn the touch method to determine the doneness of your steaks: Press the steak with your finger; if it "gives" a lot, feels soft and leaves an imprint, it is rare. If it "gives" a little, has a little resiliency and springs back slightly, it is medium rare. Never cut into your steaks to test for doneness; this just releases the juices. And never cook filet mignon more than medium rare.

How to cook filet mignon under the broiler:

Preheat the broiler. Season and prepare the steaks as you would for cooking on the grill. Place the filets on a broiler pan and set the rack so that the steaks are 2 to 3 inches from the broiler.

For rare filets, broil them for 7 minutes on the first side, then turn and broil for another 6 minutes. For medium rare, 9 minutes on the first side and 7 minutes on the flip side.

For all methods, remove the steaks from the heat and let them rest peacefully for about 5 minutes.

To serve, transfer the cooked filets to plates and top with a little Gorgonzola Cream Sauce, below. Or, pour a circle of Gorgonzola Sauce onto the plates a little larger than the steaks and place the steaks on top of the sauce.

Gorgonzola Cream Sauce

2 cups heavy cream
2 ounces crumbly Gorgonzola cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
Scant 1/2 teaspoon pepper

In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a full boil and continue cooking over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for another 35-45 minutes, until thickened. Remove from the heat, add the remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth.

To re-warm the sauce, heat it slowly this time and whisk until smooth and reincorporated.

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Prep-steps for those preparing the suggested Filet Mignon Dinner Party Menu

(Bacon Wrapped Filet Mignon with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce, Red Cummerbund Potatoes, Caesar Salad, Chocolate Dipped Strawberries)

Make ahead options:

The Gorgonzola Sauce and croutons for the Caesar Salad can be prepared early in the day or even the day before. The strawberries will keep well for several hours after they are prepared.

Order of preparation:

Start with the Chocolate Dipped Strawberries, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours before dinner, longer if the strawberries are not dry.

After that is a good time to coddle the eggs for the Caesar Salad.

Next, prepare the Gorgonzola Sauce and while it is reducing, prepare the Cummerbund Potatoes. When the Gorgonzola Sauce is finished, set it aside and warm it before serving the meal.

Make the croutons and salad next.

Don't cook the filets until you are almost ready to eat; everything else can be warmed, if need be, but filet mignon will get dry and overdone if reheated. But don't forget to start the coals or preheat the grill when/if necessary, depending on which cooking method you choose.

If the gorgonzola sauce, croutons, and strawberries are prepared ahead, you can start the remaining dinner items 1-1/2 hours, or less, before dinner. The make-aheads save you an hour or so of time and a lot of stress at the end.

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