Date Night Filet Mignon
A long long time ago when Gammy and were out on our first date I wanted to impress her so I took her to the fanciest, snootiest restaurant that I could find.
Even though she had grown up on a farm she had never heard of “Filet Mignon”. I wanted to impress her with my sophistication and worldly knowledge – yeah right – so I convinced her to try Filet Mignon. I just told her that it was a “high class” kind of steak that I liked.
She said, “Ok, I’ll try something new. I’m here with you aren’t I?”
When the waiter took her order and asked how she would like it she said, “I’d like it rare, please.”
We joked through a few double entendres about “rare” and how she would like it as we enjoyed our wine.
In my efforts to impress her I had ordered a good Italian pinot noir.
“Wow, this is good! I’ve never had wine before. Just beer and sometimes a little bourbon.”
Since that first date we have always shared a bottle of wine with our dinners.
When our filet mignons were served she said, “Oh, it’s beef tenderloin steak”.
So much for my efforts at making an impression.
Still to this day, almost 40 years later, on our “date nights” we just about always have Filet Mignon accompanied by a good Italian red wine.
I’ve done our Filet Mignon a lot of different ways. From just pan seared with salt and pepper to pizzaiola and everything in between.
This way has become our favorite.
What makes this way so good is the butter mixture that you will use to cook the steaks in and also top them with as you serve them.
Take your steaks out of the fridge and let them get closer to room temperature while you put together your butter mixture.
And for that butter mixture cut a half stick of butter into pads and put the pads on your cutting board.
Mince the garlic, zest the lemon and chop the parsley.
Put the parsley, garlic, lemon zest, dried basil, cayenne pepper and grated parmesan on top of the butter and……
……using a table knife or a small spatula smash it and mix it all together. Then form it into a kinda mini loaf of bread shape.
I learned this recipe a long time ago working at a fancy restaurant while still in high school. The chef would have me mix up the butter mixture and put it in ice cube trays and freeze them. So then they would be waiting for us during the busy dinner hours.
Put a skillet on at medium high and swirl in just about a tablespoon of olive oil and plunk in about a third of the butter mixture.
While the skillet is getting hot generously salt and pepper both sides of the filets.
When the oil and butter have stopped acting up and leveled out put in the steaks. The butter and oil will foam up again but that’s ok.
Cook the steaks about 3 minutes a side then test them. When the steaks are just starting to get firm or they read 130° on an instant read meat thermometer they are rare. When they are definitely firm to a poke and read 165° they are well done. The in-betweens will give you medium rare, medium and medium well. I’m sure that your meat thermometer has the temperatures for all of the different meats listed on it.
Serve up your Filet Mignon steaks and top them with pads of the butter mixture and the liquid from the skillet.
Some of Poppop’s easy homemade bread to dip in those juices is just about a must and for old times sake we had a real good bottle of Italian Pinot Noir with our Date Night Filet Mignon.