Filet mignon is prized for its extreme tenderness, not for its rather bland flavour. It doesn’t have the rich beefy flavour of a well-marbled steak, but it’s still a rare treat and a great way to show off your kitchen’s best, especially when you add lots of flavour with an easy-to-make blue cheese crust.
Yield: Serves 4
4 filet mignon steaks
a sprinkle or two sea salt and freshly ground pepper
a splash or two any vegetable oil
6 ounces blue cheese
2 slices whole grain bread, cubed
1/2 stick Butter
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, thyme or tarragon
more freshly ground pepper
Preheat your oven to 400 °F (200 °C). Preheat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
Season the filets well and rub them with vegetable oil. Carefully position them in the hot pan and sear for a minute or so on each side, leaving the interiors raw and cool. Because the meat will be protected by a crust and will finish cooking in a relatively cool oven, this is your only chance to add caramelized flavour to the meat. Place steaks on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet.
Purée the blue cheese, bread, butter, fresh herbs and pepper in a food processor until smooth. Pack the blue cheese crust mixture onto the tops of the fillets, evenly covering each one with a thick layer of flavour. Bake the crusted fillets in the oven until medium-rare, about 15 minutes. To be sure, insert a meat thermometer into the centre of each fillet. When the temperature reads 135 °F to 140 °F (57 °C to 60 °C), they’re done.
You can prepare the crusted filets in advance and refrigerate them until you are ready to bake them. If you do, add a few minutes more to the baking time. You may also substitute aged cheddar cheese for the blue cheese.