When I say filet mignon, what is the first word that comes to your mind (besides expensive)? If superb is the word, you and I might be related. When I ask to what degree you like your filet mignon cooked, if rare is the word, you and I are definitely related. And, what would you most like to eat with your filet mignon? If you said sauteed mushrooms, you'd have a standing invitation to dinner in my kitchen and it is just for you that I am preparing this suberb, rare-cooked filet mignon with a cremini mushroom saute today!
A bit about filet mignon: It is a boneless cut of beef that is taken from the small end of the beef tenderloin, which means it is the tenderest cut of beef money can buy. Yes, it is a bit pricey, but in my mind, not out of line. The four 1"-thick filets pictured here weighed in at 1 1/2 pounds, or 6-ounces each, and, cost $24.00, or $6.00 each. Filets are usually cut to a thickness between 1 and 2 inches, and this does affect your cooking time and end result, so, in order to cook my 5-minute filet recipe properly, be sure to request them to be 1" thick. Because filet mignon contains very little fat, they are at their best when cooked quickly over a high heat, as they are susceptible to drying out. Filet mignon can be broiled, grilled or sauteed, with sauteing being my favorite method because: it is a moist-heat method that allows me to quickly adjust the heat to suit the situation. Before cooking your filets (by any method), remove them from the refrigerator and allow them to come completely to room temperature. No matter what degree of doneness you desire: a room temperature steak will cook evenly throughout, a cold steak will not!
A bit about cremini mushrooms: I tend to buy a lot of these because they have a slightly mature, earthy flavor, without being overpowering. They are a bit more expensive than their close kin, the white button or table mushroom, which have been cultivated for their young, white, soft texture. Cremini's are also close kin to the portobello mushroom, which is the maturest mushroom of the three, and they are sometimes sold as "baby bellas". If you can't find cremini mushrooms, I'd go with the white table mushrooms for this recipe just because of their more comparable size and texture.
As if the title of this recipe didn't already tip you off, this dish is going to go from stovetop to table very quickly, so make sure you have all of your ingredients prepped and ready before you start cooking!
Dice 1/2 of one large yellow or sweet onion. (6 ounces or 1 1/2 cups of diced onion).
Bring 4, 1"-thick filets to room temperature, about 1 hour or more.
While the butter is melting, season the filets generously on both sides with freshly ground sea salt and peppercorn blend. Do not season your steaks any earlier than this as the salt will start to dry them out.
~ Step 3. Increase the heat to medium-high. Place the seasoned filets in the pan and saute 1 1/2-2 1/2 minutes per side, turning only once. Filets will be turning golden brown around the edges and across their tops. At 1 1/2 minutes per side, the filets will be very rare, at 2 minutes per side they will be rare (as pictured above), and, at 2 1/2 minutes per side they will be medium-rare. Turn the heat off.
Transfer the filets to a warm serving platter, leaving all of the juices in the pan. Cover the filets with aluminum foil and allow to rest, 5-6 minutes, while preparing the cremini saute. DO NOT cut into your steaks to test for doneness because I can tell you they are going to look underdone to you. Remember that during this rest period, carryover heat is going to continue to cook the steaks so just be patient!
~ Step 4. Add the mushrooms and onions to the pan (and the juices in the pan). Generously season the mushrooms and onions with a grinding of sea salt and peppercorn blend. Adjust heat to medium-high and saute, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms have lost almost all of their moisture and the juices in the pan have thickened to a saucy consistency, about 5-6 minutes.
Serve immediately with a salad, a baked potato or your favorite side dishes. When I serve my filets, I serve them with my recipe for ~ Fabulous Fettuccine Alfredo a la Primavera-Style ~, found in Categories 4, 12 & 14!
Special Equipment List: cutting board; chef's knife; 10" skillet, preferably nonstick; aluminum foil
Cook's Note: I just can't say enough about this truly elegant, extraordinary and exquisite easy-to-make regal recipe. After about 10 minutes of prep work, in about 10-12 minutes you're serving a meal truly fit for a king and a queen!
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2011)