Pepper-Crusted Filet Mignon

Happy Monday, everyone!  When I logged in to my admin panel to begin this post, I saw that it is my 500th.  Wow!  Then it occured to me that my 2-year “bloggiversary” is Saturday.

I’m just all sorts of special today, aren’t I?  😛

I hope you all had a lovely Valentine’s Day.  Beloved, who was supposed to be home Saturday morning, had his flight canceled (it snowed in Atlanta – half the country’s flights were canceled), so he didn’t get in until Sunday morning.  He was absolutely exhausted after being out of town for 11 straight days with very little sleep the last two – he spent almost the entire day napping in his recliner.

I spent the better part of the day cooking, and for dinner we had today’s recipe:  Pepper-Crusted Filet Mignon, along with seared sea scallops and steamed asparagus, then I finished the scallops and filets with a beurre blanc sauce.  For dessert we had made-from-scratch Boston Cream Pie.

So, my next few recipes are going to be what I served for dinner on Valentine’s Day.  The first is the steak; since most of the pictures I took were of the cake (by far the most time-consuming portion of the meal), I only have “before and after” photos of the steak.  It was absolutely delicious, though, and simplicity itself to make.  The recipe here will also give you a perfectly done, medium-rare steak; if you like it rare, reduce the time in the oven by a minute or so, if you like it medium, increase the time by a minute or so.

If you like your filet mignon well-done, I’m going to shake my finger and say, “Shame on you!”

Pepper-Crusted Filet Mignon

serves 2

2 – 8 oz. filet mignon steaks

1/4 – 1/3 cup peppercorns, lightly crushed

1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

1 tablespoon tallow or lard

Preheat the oven to 400° F.

Pour the crushed peppercorns onto a plate or other wide, shallow dish.  Pat the meat dry with a paper towel; rub the steaks with the salt, then dredge them in the peppercorns.  Press the peppercorns into the steak if needed to make them stick.

Heat a medium-sized, heavy skillet, preferably cast iron, over high heat until smoking.  Add the tallow, melt, and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan.

Place the filets in the skillet and sear for 3 minutes; turn and sear the other side for another 3 minutes.  Remove the steaks from the skillet and place on a shallow baking sheet.  Place in the oven for 7 minutes.

Remove the steaks from the oven; tent with foil and allow to rest for 7 or 8 minutes before serving.