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HOW TO: Cook a perfect filet mignon at home, without a grill

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Old 01-25-2011, 09:36 AM   #1
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HOW TO: Cook a perfect filet mignon at home, without a grill

This is my first day in this topic's forum, and while I'm certain y'all will be tired of me in it soon enough, I realize that I gotta swing for the fences on the first thread, so here I go!

That said, these are hella old pics from my old house, and the very first thing I shared with others from my kitchen. You'll see how small the 'kitchen' was, and what I had to work with....challenge reveals character, damnit!

Oh, and http://allrecipes.com is your bestest friend. Pick an ingredient, pull up rated recipe, adjust servings and it'll recalculate your ingredient list to the proper amounts. Is hella awesome.

ANYHOW, on with the show!

First, a BIG honkin' chunk of meat. It pays to start with decent cuts:



Also, it's good to prep your stuff first, 'cause once you start cooking, things happen fast:



I season very simply: My wife likes the "Montreal Steak" seasoning. I use kosher salt, fresh black pepper, and Old Bay on mine. Sprinkle on, press them into the meat a lil bit, then drizzle on a bit of peanut or saffron oil and smear it on. I use a paper plate for this as it keeps the mess in one place:



Pre-heat your oven to 500F, then fire up the stove and get your cast iron pan NASA hot. I mean 5 minutes on the highest heat setting you have hot. I want that thing burnin like the ass end of an SR-71. I prefer the peanut oil personally, neutral flavor AND a high smoke point. Put the steaks into the pan and LEAVE THEM ALONE FOR 90 SECONDS. Just step back. Don't fiddle with them. Just let them sit. Flip ONCE. Another 90 seconds of NO-TOUCHIE:



Slap the whole mess into said oven. Don't go anywhere either, this won't take but a few minutes. Using a probe thermometer is the most painless way to stay accurate, and you can get nice ones for like $20 nowadays. I pull mine at 129F so they'll coast up to about 135-137ish.



IMPORTANT: Cover and let them REST. I can't tell you how huge this is to the final quality of the meat. Get them up off the liquid and cover with aluminum foil to finish cooking...see the juice immediately running out of the upper, still-uncovered filet? that would be one soggy piece of meat if you let it sit in that, and the crust you got just perfect in the pan would be ruined! I put mine on mini cookie cooling racks and put the foil atop for a solid 5 minutes.



As the steaks rest, zip together your fixins; use the drippings in the pan from the steaks as an excellent flavor base for your onions and mushrooms, for example:



Plate up! Check the color and texture on the inside of the meat: Check the label up on top again, to get an idea of how THICK this meat is:



Perfect medium rare.

Top with whatever, garnish, serve:



Serve to a soon to be very satisfied diner.

One of my favorite recipies ever, and it never goes out of style. You can do this with ANY cut of beef and it'll work nice, you just have to watch your time and adjust accordingly for the thinkness of the meat and overall doneness.
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Old 01-26-2011, 06:54 AM   #3
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dam i wish i had that right now ......
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Old 01-26-2011, 06:57 AM   #5
BIG DADDY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toughtaco View Post
x2........ I will be having a nice piece of prime rib for lunch today..... can't wait
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Old 01-26-2011, 07:02 AM   #6
Xaks [OP] Xaks is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toughtaco View Post
Not bad..............what is your culinary background? I love to cook.........
None.

I quit smoking about 4 or 5 years ago, and since I had been doing it since I was 8, I never really appreciated food.

Now that I got taste buds back, my wife quit smoking too, so she let me go a little nuts with "foodie pr0n". Its a hobby.
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Old 01-26-2011, 07:10 AM   #8
Xaks [OP] Xaks is offline
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I'm working on a really awesome stroganoff right now, making it for dinner tonight...I'll be posting that one tomorrow...and a smokin' tomato & sausage soup for the weekend.

I've taken to it rather well
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Old 01-26-2011, 07:12 AM   #9
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Nice use of the cast iron. It can be one of the best high heat tools in the kitchen. Lucky for you as well that you are using a gas stove as trying to achieve those same results with electric coils is tough.

Is that "Rice-a-Roni" I spy.......
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Old 01-26-2011, 07:13 AM   #10
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Looks good Xaks. If you haven't found it, there is a thread on here for cast iron cooking! Enjoy.
http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/foo...t-them-up.html
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Old 01-26-2011, 07:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CopyTaco View Post
Nice use of the cast iron. It can be one of the best high heat tools in the kitchen. Lucky for you as well that you are using a gas stove as trying to achieve those same results with electric coils is tough.

Is that "Rice-a-Roni" I spy.......
Why yes it is. I may be learning how to cook, yes....doesn't mean I don't have some holdover tastes from back in the day. There's always an 'emergency' tuna helper box in the cupboard!
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Old 01-26-2011, 07:16 AM   #12
skeeert
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xaks View Post
Why yes it is. I may be learning how to cook, yes....doesn't mean I don't have some holdover tastes from back in the day. There's always an 'emergency' tuna helper box in the cupboard!
No hating coming from me... i grew up on that stuff
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:41 PM   #13
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i do the same thing,.

but i save energy. i turn on the oven to heat up, and i pop the cast iron in there. buy the time it all gets hot, that pan is smoldering hot. then i just plop the pan onto my gas cooktop to get busy. salt and pepper only for me, and serve it with a dollop of fresh horseradish, mixed with some sourcream.
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