Steak Battle: Choice vs Prime Filet Mignon
I tend to shy away from cooking Filet Mignon mainly because of its lack of marbling and flavor as well as its high price tag. But for this episode, I decided to give Filet Mignon a try. German Barreto joins me from Meat N’ Bone a local Miami based butcher shop.
The way I got to know about Filet Mignon was mainly from fancy restaurants that I would usually take my wife for her birthday or anniversaries. This cut comes from the tenderloin area which means that it is both very tender but also a very small part of the Steer, not only making it a very high demanded cut but also a very expensive one. If you have tried it before, you might have realized that the cut itself does not actually contain that much flavor, so it is very common for it to be served wrapped in bacon, or with some flavorful or creamy sauce. My mother-in-law likes to serve it both ways, bacon-wrapped AND a delicious mushroom brown sauce (maybe a recipe to share in the future!).
To be able to test the natural taste of beef, I decided to stick to the basics when seasoning: a simple mix of coarse salt and black pepper.
- Season the Filet Mignon with coarse salt and a bit of pepper.
- For the perfect medium-rare finish, I have done a reverse sear. So to start, cook the filet mignons on indirect heat until the internal temperature reaches 115° F.
- Once the internal temperature is on point, open all the vents in your grill and let the fire soar!
- Sear each side for about a minute, giving it enough time to create that delicious crust. Make sure to flip on it side as well, you want to make sure you get that crust all around.
- Remove from grill and let it rest for about 7 to 8 minutes, and enjoy!
This Filet Mignon is the highest quality beef you can get a most local supermarket. When cooking, it did not look like a traditional filet mignon as it had kind of lost its round shape, this is because the surrounding fat was not cut off which usually a good butcher would. The beef was quite chewy and the flavor was lacking, giving me a sort of a watery taste. Most likely it wasn’t aged at all or very little.
This choice was much more tender than the supermarket choice and the shape was kept nice and round. Now this cut comes from Meat n’ Bone, which means it was at least 30 days aged (all of their products are), by letting it age, you allow the flavors to become more concentrated and I was able to really notice a difference. This choice of steak was well worth the money.
USDA Prime Hand-cut:
This Prime Steak was by far the tastiest and most tender. All that flavor is thanks to the amazing marbling and melts in your mouth. To be honest, the difference between this one and the High-end choice is not much but can be noticeable when put side to side. This is some of the highest quality of meat that you can get in the US and it comes with a steep price, but you won’t regret spending it!
So as you can see from my take on the three Filet Mignon choices, you get what you pay for. The price will most likely be a great indicator of quality, so if you’re ever in doubt just research the price online and compare it to your local butcher shop or supermarket. The next time you feel like a fancy dinner, give the Filet Mignon a try, there is nothing better than a romantic or celebratory dinner at home!
Have you ever cooked Filet Mignon? If yes, what is your favorite way of doing it? - Let me know in the comments!
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