Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Perfect Filet

When thinking about what to get for your sweetie for Valentine's Day it can be quite the head scratcher! Instead of buying a gift I like to prepare a nice meal! It doesn't have to be fancy, it can be a smoothie or toasted bagel, but you want to make something they love. The way to any one's heart is through their stomach, so food is my go to!

Sean, like most Midwest men, loves steak. Any kind really but he always requests filet for special occasions. The first time I made it for him it really stressed me out! Partly because I wanted it to be cooked perfectly to (impress him), but mostly because it's expensive and I would be so mad at myself for screwing it up!

I prepare it the way most steakhouses do and honestly, it's comes out perfect every time. Not because of my wickedly talented culinary skills, but because of this fool proof method. Here's how to make steaks like a professional and enjoy steakhouse fair from home!

Steakhouse Filet
You'll Need:
2 8-9 oz filet mignon, tied (*Buy a good one, it's worth it!)
3 tbl pepper corns, cracked (I like tricolor)
1 1/2 tbl kosher or course salt
3 tbl butter
Cast iron skillet
1/2 cup red wine, or beef broth (just a splash of whatever red wine you're drinking!)
2 tbl heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Pat the steaks dry with paper towels. Tie the steak with a string of twine around the center or ask your butcher to. This just keeps it's shape and ensures it will cook evenly.

Crack the peppercorns open with a rolling pin or pan in a large Ziploc bag. Pour these onto a plate and combine with salt. (*you could also add a tiny sprinkle of dried herbs, like herbs de Provence)
Lightly roll the steaks into salt and pepper pressing slightly to adhere.
Place a cast iron skillet in the oven while it's preheating. After about 6 minutes pull the pan out and put it on a burner over medium high heat. While you're waiting, pour yourself a glass of red, play some mellow music, and relax. It's just steak. Have fun and get your inner chef on! Check out some of my recent favs, linked below.

When you see wisps of smoke add the butter and melt stirring the butter to evenly coat the bottom of the pan. Place each steak in and sear over medium high heat for 2 minutes on each side or until nicely browned and caramelized.
Don't neglect the sides! 

Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 6-9 minutes, depending on how you like your steak.
So deliciously browned!!

Remove the pan from the oven and press the steak lightly with your finger. It should give slightly but shouldn't spring back as a chicken breast would. You could also temp it with a thermometer and make sure it reads 125 degrees. Transfer the steaks to a plate or cutting board and cover with foil to let rest for about 8 minutes.
I like to make a simple pan sauce deglazing the delicious buttery drippings with red wine and reduce until slightly thickened. Finish with a touch of cream because...why wouldn't you want to? Fresh or dry herbs would also be a nice finishing touch.
I like to serve filet with a really nice bottle of red wine. Since we aren't paying steakhouse prices I like to splurge a on a nicer wine than my everyday sips! A few of my favorites right now are linked below! These are wonderful on their own but complement the savory notes of the beef..and butter!
When it's cold out I love a nice full bodied red wine with complex notes and character. These definitely hit that mark! Oh, and they are all under $30!

2013 JUSTIN Cabernet Sauvignon 
2013 Hahn SLH Pinot Noir 
2013 Smith Hook Cabernet Sauvignon

Enjoy and Happy Valentine's Day!!

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