In America, we associate filet mignon with beef, but in France it more commonly refers to pork tenderloin. In English, filet mignon means dainty fillet. The tenderloin could be called dainty because it is tender and could easily be destroyed by rough handling. The tenderloin is a small piece of meat on either side of the spine near the rear of the animal. This muscle caries no weight and doesn’t actually do much of anything. Which is the reason it is so tender.
The tenderloin is also very lean of fat, so if it is overcooked, it has the possibility of coming out kind of dry. One solution to the problem is wrapping the filet mignon in a piece of bacon. Wrapping meat in bacon is not a new thing. Chefs have been imparting bacon’s flavor into meat for many years. To the right is my bacon-wrapped filet mignon recipe and below are the directions.
- 4 tenderloin steaks or filet mignon
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- 4 strips of bacon
- 2 T butter, unsalted
Filet Mignon Steaks Wrapped with Strips of Bacon and Pan-Fried in Butter
- Look over your meat for any silver skin or fat that was left around the outside of the steaks. Use a sharp knife to remove it without removing any meat. If you purchased the whole tenderloin, the filet mignon is the smaller- middle end of the tenderloin. Cut your steaks the width of bacon and trim them. You will want to season the meat before you wrap it with bacon. Just keep it simple and use sea salt and and fresh-cracked black pepper. Rub the seasoning in gently on all sides just before cooking.
- With the steaks seasoned and ready to go, the next step is to wrap them with the bacon. Choose a fresh, quality bacon that is wide enough to cover the entire exterior of the steak. One piece of bacon will be enough per steak. Just wrap it around firmly with out pulling it tight, just snug. Stick a toothpick through the overlapping portion to keep the bacon in place. You should notice that the filets are round now, and that is an added bonus of wrapping them. The steak has much more appeal in this shape.
- Heat a frying pan up to medium on the stove while heating the oven up to 400 degrees F. Melt a Tbsp of butter in the pan and stir it around until the foam subsides. Once this happens, lay a couple filets in the pan. Try to have twice as much pan as meat. This will give you a hot spot to flip the meat to. Fry the steaks until they are brown to dark brown. Flip them over to the unused portion of the pan and repeat. Once the first two steaks are done, remove them to a plate and cook the rest of the steaks the same way.
- Once all the steaks are done, turn the heat off on the pan and return all the steaks to it. You will finish your steaks in the oven. To cook your steaks to the way you like them, use a thermometer to check them before they go in and then in 2-3 minute intervals as they cook in the 400 F oven. Rare meat is 120–125 degrees, medium is 140–150 degrees, and well done is not allowed. Before serving the steaks, remember to let them rest for a 5-10 minutes loosely covered with aluminum foil.
Tips & Tricks
- If you decide to serve the filet mignon sans bacon, no one will be upset if you eat all the bacon wraps yourself.
- When wrapping the filet with the bacon, don’t pull the bacon tight, just snug. If the bacon is too tight, it will come off.
- The toothpick should just go through once and out the other side like pinning a button to a shirt. If you try to get complicated with the toothpick, it will break.
- Use a simple bacon that doesn’t have too many distinct flavors. The smoke flavoring is what you are really after.
- Don’t forget to take the toothpick out before serving.