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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Filet Mignion that almost wasn't - Many videos of the process

Grilling is not a science. Some may call it an art. But one thing is for sure, sometimes things don't go as planned and improvisation is required. This was one of those times. The conditions outside were not ideal for grilling. 40 degrees and the wind was blowing strong. Keeping a grill at the proper temp can be tough in a situation like that. Normally with a Filet Mignon like this I would sear on each side for 2 minutes and bake for another 3-4 minutes on the side with no coals. The conditions this night changed that time frame and the method pretty dramatically. Click below to get the details.

But first let's start from the beginning. For this session I cooked a very nice size Filet Mignon. Stopped by John's Butcher Shoppee off 270 and St. Charles Rock Road and was delighted to find that they had Filets on sale for $8/pound. This bad boy on cost me $8.31:

Yeah, that is a new cell phone for reference. The old Razr is no where to be found.

While at John's I picked up some of their Marinade:

I am a bit partial to Andria's (something John's carries) but I decided to give their "marinade & flavorizer" a go... Here are the ingredients for their marinade:

The main reason I decided to give this a shot is when I saw the Sodium in this and the Sodium in Andrias. Andrias has almost 3 times the sodium John's does. And I have to say I'm happy I bought the marinade. It was really good. Can't wait to have it on something that is marinaded overnight such as the Bison Steaks I'm doing on Friday.

I threw the Filet into a ziplock with some garlic, black pepper, olive oil and the marinade and put it in the fridge for about 90 minutes:

The reason I used oil instead of my usual cola is because I don't want to ternderize the steak anymore than it already is. For tender cuts you want to go more towards oil based marinades rather than acid based marinades.

After 90 minutes or so I pulled it from the fridge and let it come to room temperature on the counter. You can see how the red steak has browned a bit by pulling in the marinade from the bag into the steak:

Time to find the proper wine pairing with my steak. Rosemount Shiraz should do the trick nicely:

This was the bottle that started it all. Different Vintage, but it was about 10 years ago that I was at a house warmin party and someone walked in with a 1998 Rosemount Shiraz. The guy said, "I realize it is Australian but go ahead and try it. It's great." Now at the time I thought of Australians and wine about the way I felt about the French and cars. Despite that I tried that wine and it was incredible. Turned out that 1998 was the best year Australia has ever had in recent history and they were churning out fantastic wines. I was buying it and giving bottles away to people. And thus began the shift in my family from a bunch of beer drinkers to wine drinkers.

Now out to the grill. With more than a few people mentioning how dark some of my outside shots are I attempted to rectify that with a 500 wat Halogen light. Seems to have worked better than the mag light I held under my arm for the last video I shot!?!?!

And here we have a grill set up for two zone grilling. Coals flaming hot on the left, nothing on the right. Oh, and as I always do just before I grill, I give the grate a good cleaning.

Now to those videos I promises in the title. This is me searing the Filet on one side. For some reason in this video it looks like the flames are hitting me in the face. Trust me, that didn't happen:


And here we have me searing the other side of the steak:

How do I tell if a steak is done? By feel. I push on the steak. The harder it is the more done it is. As you can see in this video, after a full 5 minutes the Filet was just not cooking. The wind was whicking the heat away too fast so I put the steak closer to the coals:

I pushed it closer to the coals and cooked it 2 minutes on each side and it was still way too spongy so I had to transfer it to right over the coals if I wanted the thing to be more than raw. So much for those beautiful grill marks. Time to form a nice tasty crust:

One little trick here. I needed to get air to the coals to keep them hot but keep the heat in and around the steak. To do so I just cracked the lid a bit as seen here. Some would say that with a weber I just would need to open the bottom vents, except I hadn't dumped the ash in a while and those vents were under a couple inches of ash and not much use:

And here we have the steak on the plate and ready to rest for a little while. As you can see in this video that the steak is much firmer than it was when I was testing the doneness after 5 minutes of baking on the side of the grill:

I let this guy rest for about 4 minutes under foil while I got the movie ready for the evening:

With Pitchers and Catchers arriving in Jupiter tomorrow I felt a baseball movie was in order. Sure half the movie is a chick flick but it's still a great baseball movie:

Same ritual every year. In the weeks leading up to opening day I run the gamut of my baseball flicks including Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, the Natural, and For the Love of the Game. And no, I am not some Kevin Costner nut. The only other move I own that he is in is Silverado, but he makes great baseball movies. Back to the steak

Here we have the Money Shot:

And a bonus money shot of an awesome, tender, and juicy bite:

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