Archive for October 11th, 2011

Cut from the wide end of beef tenderloin, filet mignon ranks among the most tender cuts of meat available. It doesn’t have a lot of flavor, however, so we like to cut a pocket in a thick filet and stuff it with grilled and seasoned mushrooms, scallions, and garlic. A simple red wine sauce adds moisture and flavor.

Prep: 20 minutes
Grill: About 20 minutes.

– Long-handled tongs.

– To save time, use olive oil spray in place of the olive oil.

Gas: Direct heat, high (500°F)
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Direct heat, red hot
12-by-12-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals) with high- and low-heat areas
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Direct heat, red hot
12-by-12-inch bed with a 4-inch-deep area for high heat and a 2-inch-deep area for low heat
Clean, oiled grate set 2 inches above the fire.

4 filets mignons, each 8 to 10 ounces and 1½ to 2 inches thick
4 ounces (about 1½ cups) fresh large-cap shiitake mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large scallion
1 large clove garlic, unpeeled
6 tablespoons (¾ stick) butter, softened
3 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Oil for coating grill grate
1½ cups full-bodied red wine
1 teaspoon honey.

1. Heat the grill as directed.
2. Let the filets rest at room temperature, about 30 minutes.
3. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and brush clean if dirty in spots. Coat the mushroom caps all over with olive oil. Coat the scallion and unpeeled garlic clove with olive oil. If the garlic clove will fall through your grill grate, impale it on a skewer or toothpick.
4. Grill the mushrooms, scallion, and unpeeled garlic over medium heat until tender and grill-marked on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes total for the scallion and 5 to 8 minutes for the mushrooms and garlic. Peel the garlic, then chop it finely, along with the scallion and mushrooms. Toss the vegetables in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of the butter, 1 teaspoon of the chopped fresh thyme (or ¼ teaspoon dried), ¼ teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. 5. Cut a pocket through the side of the filets without cutting all the way through to the other side. Use a spoon to stuff each filet with the mushroom mixture (use about 2 tablespoons filling per filet). Gently press on the outside of the pocket to enclose the filling. Pat the outside of the steaks dry with paper towels, then coat all over with the remaining olive oil and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of the salt and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper.
6. Brush and oil the grill grate, then grill the filets over high heat until nicely grill-marked, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Reduce the heat to medium-low (on a gas grill) or move the steaks to the low-heat area (on a charcoal or wood grill), cover, and grill for another 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare to medium-done (135° to 140°F). Remove to warm plates and cover with foil to keep warm for 5 minutes. Avoid overcooking, as the steaks will continue to cook slightly off the heat.
7. As the steaks rest, bring the wine and remaining 2 teaspoons thyme (or ¾ teaspoon dried) to a boil in a medium skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat (on your grill’s side burner if it has one). Boil until the wine reduces to one-third of its volume, about ½ cup. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the honey and the remaining 4 tablespoons butter, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
8. Serve the filets mignons with the wine sauce.

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