Filet of beef is my favorite cut of steak. For that matter, it's probably my favorite meal. Cooked right - which means medium-rare - it is smooth as butter, moist and delicious.
I cannot over-emphasize the importance of medium-rare for a steak - any cut of steak. If you want your steak cooked all the way through until it's all gray inside, then by all means just have a hamburger.
The only right way to have a steak is for it to be pink (or red) all the way through. Here's what I mean:
There. I feel better.
My husband and I celebrated our anniversary at home this year. Babies change everything, don't they? And I wouldn't change anything. I wanted our dinner to be special. And this steak is special. So it was the perfect choice.
Start with nice filets. We got ours at Sam's because the price is right. And the quality is great.
Raw chicken = yuck. Raw beef = yum. Weird, I know. But I love beef.
Let the meat sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes. We want to knock the chill off of it before we lay it in a screaming hot pan.
Generously salt and pepper - coarsely ground - both sides. And I mean generous. I used about 1/4 teaspoon of each salt and pepper for each side of each steak. The steaks are thick and it takes that much seasoning to give them the right flavor. Be sure to press the salt and pepper into the steak so that it sticks. Packing on the seasoning will create a delicious crust on our steak.
Melt a tablespoon each of olive oil and butter in a non-stick skillet. The combo gives us the high burning temperature of olive oil and the unmistakable flavor of butter.
Heat the skillet on medium-high until it's really, really hot. You want the steaks to sizzle when you lay them in the pan. The hot pan will sear the meat, keep the juices inside where they belong, and form a nice crust with all of that seasoning we patted on the outside.
Cook the filets on the first side for exactly four minutes.
Using tongs, turn them over and cook another three minutes. Never pierce your meat with a fork or knife. All the juice will run out and leave you with a dry filet.
Be sure to set your timer so you don't let them go one degree past medium-rare.
When they're done, remove the skillet from the heat and top each steak with a pat of butter. Just a teaspoon or so. It's the perfect finish.
Now - this last part is really important. Let the meat rest for 10-15 minutes before cutting it. This gives the butter a chance to melt all over the meat. It also keeps the juices inside and ensures that the last bite is just as juicy and delicious as the first.
And here's what it will look like inside: