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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Make Your Own: Pan-Seared Prime Fillet

Don't ask me why, but I am totally intimidated by ordering meat at a butcher counter. I don't know what cut I want, what size, and I like to know the cost up front.
All that changed last month when I visited the Flourtown Farmers Market. I approached the meat counter and saw a young, friendly looking guy ready to help. "I need some steak but I have no idea what I'm doing!" I blurted out. He laughed. I blushed. The ice was broken.

He pointed out some delicious cuts of beef.  He told me about fillets, prime fillets, and why certain people prefer different cuts and how to prepare them.

"Is your beef local?" I asked.
"Yup!"

"Is it grass-fed?" I asked.
"Yes it is, and you would be surprised how many people ask that!"

"Okay, give me one of those. The big one." 

He wrapped it up, put it on the scale and said, "24.99". 

Gulp.

I smiled, paid and thanked him as my mind raced with thoughts of embarrassment for not even considering price. Holy crap!

Ingredients:
Crushed peppercorns (enough to fill a salad plate)
2tsp olive oil

1. Place cast iron skillet (or non-stick is fine, too) on burner. Turn burner on high, add olive oil, let the pan get very, very hot.
2. Place steak into bed of peppercorns. Flip over so each side is coated.
3. Once pan is smoking slightly, use tongs to place fillet onto pan. Let cook for 3-8 minutes (3 for a thinner steak; 5 for 1.5-2 in; 8 for 2.5-3in). Avoid pressing down on steak to keep juices inside.
4. Using tongs, place steak on opposite side. Cook for same amount of time.
5. Sear the sides of the steak for 1-2 minutes.

You can check to be sure it has cooked to your desired amount and adjust cooking times accordingly. J's steak was HUGELY thick, so we actually had to cook it for more like 10 min per side.

*Make sure your meat is not frozen. It should be completely thawed.

Serve with a red wine reduction sauce. My recipe will come in another post.

1 comment:

Mama Mer said...

Yum! But holy bananas, our one income family cannot afford meat at that price!!!

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