The first time I tasted a filet mignon was on my 21st birthday.
I turned 21 over the summer while I was in Indiana staying with my Aunt and Uncle and working at an internship for Ashland Hercules Water Technologies.
I was dating my cousin’s best friend at the time. We had met at his lake house on Kentucky Lake when my cousin invited me spend the weekend with him and his friends wakeboarding a month prior. My previous boyfriend and I had decided to “take a break” while he was studying abroad in Argentina and I was working in Indiana. This opened up the perfect opportunity to have a summer romance. And the opportunity practically pounced. Norman and I were inseparable while it lasted. He would come up to Evansville, IN to stay with me at my Aunt and Uncle’s during the week, and almost every weekend I would go down to Kentucky Lake to spend time with him.
Norman, of course, came up to see me in Indiana for my birthday and my Aunt and Uncle took us out to Cavanaugh’s on the Ohio River. I remember that I was craving a steak but wasn’t sure what kind. Everyone recommended the filet mignon. I went with it and when it was served I couldn’t believe how small the portion was! It was the most expensive steak on the menu and yet it looked as though I could have finished it off in three bites. After expressing this, (after the waiter had left our table, of course) everyone told me to simply enjoy it and to not let the portion fool me. By the time we got the check, I was still working on my filet! It was so much more thick and filling than I had expected, and so completely delicious.
For New Years Day I told my family I wanted to prepare them a grandiose dinner that would celebrate the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011. I instantly thought of serving filet mignon. I studied up on how to prepare such a cut of meat because although I thoroughly enjoyed eating it on my birthday, I was clueless on how to prepare it.
Following various online articles and recommendations from the cute guy at the meat counter at Whole Foods, my Dad and I ended up preparing some incredible filet mignons. Here’s how we did it:
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup red wine
1 tablespoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2-3 cuts of filet mignon
Put your oven on the high broil setting and let it heat up. Using a broiling rack and pan, place it on the oven rack closest to the broiler on the top of the oven that will leave the top of the steak about 3 inches from the broiler.
Fill a plate with half balsamic vinegar and half dry, red wine. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on top.
Heat a skillet over the stove with olive oil.
Take one filet at a time and turn it over in the vinegar/wine mix so that all sides are covered. Place the filet on the skillet and sear it 3 minutes on one side until it is completely browned. Flip the filet over and do 3 minutes on the other side.
Then remove the filet from the skillet and place on the center of the broiling rack. Broil on one side for 3-4 minutes and then flip the filet over and broil on the other side for 3-4 minutes. Remover from the oven and let the steak cook itself for about 5 minutes before cutting into and serving.
My family enjoyed the filet mignon with sides of Pan Roasted Asparagus and Mashed Potatoes with Mushroom Gravy.