Monday, May 27, 2013

Tender Beef at the Table

Ask any fine diner what the most succulent and delectable cut of steak is, and they will unanimously respond, "filet mignon." While filet mignon is the most expensive cut of beef there is, the price is well worth it. Aside from tingling your tastebuds, filet mignon also has many health benefits.
How to Make Filet Mignon with Rich Balsamic Glaze

The term "filet mignon" is French for "dainty filet." The term itself was first used in the book "The Four Million," written in 1906 by O. Henry. He used the steak multiple times throughout his book to create moments of romance and as a symbol of scrumptious treat. Today, this cut of beef still represents romance, as it is frequently served by restaurants as the main course on Valentine's Day.

Filet mignon is taken from the tenderloin of a cow or steer. The tenderloin is found on both sides of the spine, and because this particular muscle group is the least used, the tenderloin is the most tender and widely used in recipes. The portions of tenderloin that are cut from the smallest end of the tenderloin is filet mignon. It is most frequently served by restaurants in 4-, 6- or 8-oz. portions, and the price for a filet mignon dinner usually begins at $25. Filet mignon is generally cooked one of three ways: pan seared, grilled or cooked with bacon wrapped around it. Since the filet has very little fat, the bacon will add flavor and prevent the steak from becoming dry during preparation.


4 (4 oz.) beef tenderloin steaks
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 tablespoons dry sherry
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons pure honey
Olive oil spray

1. Season steaks with salt and pepper.

2. Spray a large skillet with olive oil and place over medium high heat. Once the skillet it warm, add the steaks, cooking in batches, if necessary to avoid over crowding. Cook for 3 minutes on each side, or until desired doneness is achieved. Remove steaks from the skillet with tongs and tent with foil to keep warm.

3. Add the garlic and red pepper to the skillet and sauté for half a minute. Add the sherry and bring to a boil. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, and honey and return to a boil, stirring occasionally.

4. Reduce the heat and cook for about 1 minute. Serve sauce spooned over the steaks, or on the side.

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