These two grilled fillet steak recipes combine to achieve supreme tenderness and add a different flavour dimension to what is the king of steaks.
The fillet comes from the loin of the cow, it's a muscle close to the rib typically 2-3" (50-75mm) in diameter. Because its position it doesn't get much action as the cow moves around, this means that there's very little connective tissue in the muscle and so it remains supremely tender. It's this tenderness that gives rise to it's melt in the mouth qualities, it's reverence and so it's expense.
Alternative names for fillet steak include filet mignon and beef tenderloin.
The two recipes below cover:-
Depending on your time constraints you can do one, the other or combine the two.
When I visited a butcher in Lesce (nr Bled, Slovenia) this marinated beef caught my eye. It was submerged in oil and beautifully brown (not pink) and gave me the idea for this grilled fillet steak recipe.
Note:- The brown colour signifies the formation of
metmyoglobin. When meat is first cut myoglobin in the tissue combines
with oxygen to form oxymyoglobin (a red colour) but after further
exposure to air the ferrous (FeO) part of oxymyoglobin is converted to
ferric (Fe2O3) forming brown coloured metmyoglobin. Brown coloured meat
can therefore be correlated with age and the longer beef is aged (within
reason) the better the flavour.
The butcher explained that it was fillet steak that had been marinated for a long time in oil, rosemary and bay leaf. It looked fantastic, cost a small fortune but turned out to be one of the easiest and best grilled filet steak under the sun!
Because the steak is marinated and fully submerged in the oil, it can be left refrigerated for many days without fear of going off and this is the essence of the tender result.
Serves:- 6 people
Preparation Time:- 10 minutes
Marinade Time:- 4 days
Cooking Time:- 5 minutes
Total Time:- 4 days
Place the steaks in a bowl and fully submerge in the oil. Throw in the herbs and keep cool for 3 or 4 days (you can do longer if you want but I think this is the minimum to get the tender result that you are looking for).
Refrigerate during the marinade process and bring the marinade out of the refrigerator 3 hours before you want to cook so that everything can return to room temperature.
Seriously hot coals are required followed by a generous sprinkling of salt (on one side only) and then it's just a matter of 90 seconds each side and you have grilled steak filet to die for.
Use this link to learn how to grill steaks to your liking.
Perhaps a knife point of Dijon mustard on the side of the plate and then tuck in.
I find this grilled fillet steak so tender and melt in the mouth that I think it criminal to serve with anything extra, just cut off a fork full, pop it in your mouth and close your eyes. Better than …?
You've gotta have a good Bearnaise sauce recipe up your sleeve because it goes so well with beef and is the perfect way to round off a grilled fillet steak.
Learning how to make Bearnaise sauce can result in a few false starts because it isn't the easiest sauce to make - you've got to go canny with the addition and heating of the egg yolks otherwise it'll be scrambled eggs for supper! A little trick to make it easier and to help stabilize the sauce (ie prevent curdling) is to add a little mustard powder so that's what I'm going to do.
First make your sauce and then keep it warm as you grill your steaks using the recipe above (or follow my guide how to grill steaks).
You can split the Bearnaise sauce recipe into two activities:-
Yield:- 1 cup or 240ml
Preparation Time:- 15 minutes
Cooking Time:- 45 minutes
Total Time:- 1 hour
Throw all ingredients for the reduction into a saucepan and boil until there's about 2 or 3 tablespoons of liquid left then strain this through a sieve so that you're just left with the juice.
Whisk the egg yolks with the mustard in a glass bowl and the place the bowl over a pan of simmering water (not boiling) and add the juice from the reduction and continue to whisk.
Now add the butter at room temperature in small ½ inch (1 cm) cubes at a time and once thoroughly mixed in, gently pour in the melted butter drop by drop whilst continuing to whisk.
As you continue to add the butter, your béarnaise sauce will thicken. When finished, season with salt and pepper & keep your sauce over the warm water until ready to use.
Now it's time to grill your steaks and don't forget to rest them before tucking in.
For a bit of fun my wife decided to present this sketch on how to make Bearnaise sauce (and she even grills the steaks too) but surely she's not as good as me?