Do you know, I was never into filet as a kid?
Strip steak, sure. Flank steak, absolutely. But not fillet. It didn’t have enough flavor for me, and the way that it cut seemed all too easy, mushy even.
Then, as I grew older, my palate sharpened. I leaned the difference between Pecorino Romano and Parmesan cheeses, could decipher sourdough from white bread, and learned to appreciate the subtle, light flavor of filet.
Filet has no fat, so it must be cooked quickly and served rare to retain its juices. It has a light, totally clean flavor that, unlike fattier cuts, leaves you feeling satiated but not at all weighed down or bloated. It pairs well with a tangy,s harp steak sauce and, if cooked properly, can be cut with a regular knife.
Want the secrets?
Filet Mignon with Tangy Steak Sauce
2 4 oz. portions filet mignon
lots of freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 bottle chili sauce
3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. sugar
heavy glug of wine
2. Let cook for 15 minutes more, or until sauce has boiled and thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. In the meanwhile, turn your oven to preheat to 450F.
That’s what she said.
4. Get an oven safe, oiled skillet extremely hot over high heat, then drop the steaks in, seasoned side down. Leave undisturbed for 3 minutes. In the meantime, season the naked side of the steak, which should be facing up.
This fillet is cooked to perfection. The high sear results in a crisp crust and the little cooking time results in a pink, moist interior. The flavor is delicate and almost mild, but with that signature iron-y red meat taste. The steak sauce brings out the meat’s sweet notes. It is tangy, thick, and just the slightest bit spicy – as ideal for chicken or a burger as it is for this filet.
All those years before I ate this cut of meat, I didn’t know what I was missing.