Filet Mignon

February 10, 2013 6:57:05 AM PST
Are you one of those hopeless romantics who wants to cook a nice dinner for your significant other on Valentine's Day? One of the most popular meals on this special occasion is filet mignon, but it can be tough to make right.

So, we brought Tony Stallone with Peapod ( into our ABC7 studio to show us how to cook the perfect filet mignon.

Tony's Tips on filets:

1) Not all filets are created equal; make sure you purchase USDA Choice or higher. There are 3 grades of beef you should know about, from highest to lowest - Prime, Choice and Select. Look for Choice, it will provide tender, flavorful steaks at a reasonable price.

2) Thickness - a nice, thick filet will make a juicy steak. Look for something between 1" to 1 1/2" thick, these are the best steaks for home cooks.

3) Bring the steaks to room temperature before beginning preparation.

Tony's Recipes:

Perfectly Pink Filet Mignon
2 Filets USDA Choice (center cut if possible)
1T Salt and Pepper
1T Canola Oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Season filets liberally with salt and pepper on both sides.
Preheat a skillet that is oven-able. Cast Iron works the best, but you can also use a heavy non-stick pan if it is oven-able.

Tip: if you do not have an oven-able pan, you can sear the meat first in a ordinary skillet, then transfer to a cooking sheet to finish in the oven.

Heat the skillet over medium high heat until the pan is hot. Add 1 tablespoon of oil if you are using cast iron skillet; if you have a good non-stick, you can forego the oil. Tony likes like canola oil because of its higher smoke point vs. olive oil. Place filets in pan and cook for 2 minutes (you should hear a nice sizzle, make sure fan is on high to whisk away smoke from pan), then turn and cook an additional 2 minutes. Immediately transfer to oven (be sure to use oven mitts when handling the pan in and out of the oven), cook for 6 minutes for medium rare, 7 minutes for medium. Remove and set aside for 5 minutes before serving.

Red Velvet Wine Sauce
2T Butter Unsalted (salted will do) divided
1/4t Garlic Chopped
1/3C Red Wine
1t Brown Sugar
1/2C Beef Broth
1/8t Thyme fresh minced

Once you remove filets from the oven, transfer filets to plate and cover loosely with foil.
Place empty pan on burner over medium heat.
Add 1T butter and 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic.
Sauté for one minute, then add 1/3 C of wine.
Reduce until almost all liquid is gone.
Add 1/2 C of beef broth and 1 teaspoon of brown sugar.
Stir for 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture reduces by 1/3.
Remove from heat.
Add remaining 1T of butter (cut into thin slices) and 1/8 teaspoon of fresh thyme; stir briskly to incorporate into sauce.
Pour over filets.
You can double recipe for 4 filets.