Sunday Supper on Saturday Nite — Filet Mignon Wrapped in Bacon, Creamy Mashed Potatoes & Caesar Salad sans croutons

2017-03-25 06.30.08

We had plans to go out to dinner with friends, and got a call last night that the husband had managed to succumb to whatever gastric virus is currently floating around, so we postponed our date. Instead, I knew I would have time tonight to cook and decided to make a wonderful homecooked dinner for “the boys.”

We had purchased these filet mignons from one of the door to door meat companies. I truly don’t remember who it was. I don’t usually buy from these guys, but it was about 12 degrees outside, icy and sleeting when he came knocking. I felt he deserved some business just for his persistence. I personally was comfortably ensconced with a good book in front of a roaring fireplace (gas, but roaring nonetheless), and felt a little guilty.

So, here’s the scoop. I prepped the steaks and Mike grilled them. I followed a suggested cooking method I found on line, and will next time make them the way I usually cook steaks, but they were very tasty.

Filet mignon is a very lean cut of beef, and is very tender and flavorful, but can dry out easily with the heat of a grill since it doesn’t have the fat of other cuts. Wrapping it in  bacon gives it a great flavor, but more importantly, keeps it nice and moist.

INGREDIENTS:  Serves 4

  • 4 filet mignons, 4 to 5 ounces each
  • 4 strips bacon, thick or thin, maple, hickory, or in our case, black pepper
  • Sea salt & pepper to taste
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DIRECTIONS:

Season each side of the steaks liberally with salt and pepper. I use a grinder and used 4 to 5 grinds of salt, and 3 of black pepper on each side of each steak. It sounds like a lot, but you need it to flavor the meat.

Soak 4 to 8 wooden toothpicks in hot water for about 10 minutes.

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Then, wrap each steak with one strip of bacon and secure with one or two toothpicks, as needed.

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Heat your gas grill on high for about 5 minutes. Carefully cook the steaks for 3 minutes per side on high. At that time, use an instant read thermometer and check the temp of each one. You want it to read 125 for rare, 135 for medium and 145 for well done. If the steak is not done to your liking, put it back on the grill for about 2 minutes at a time and recheck the internal temp. The bacon will NOT be fully cooked, but it will have imparted a great smoky, bacon flavor to the meat, while keeping it moist.

When they are done, remove them to a clean plate. Carefully remove the toothpicks and put the bacon back onto the grill to finish cooking. It will take just another minute or two to get nice and crisp. Move this to a serving platter or drape one piece over each filet before serving.

 

CREAMY AND DELICIOUS MASHED POTATOES:

There are lots of mashed potato recipes and your family probably has it’s own versions. These are particularly easy, though totally not low-calorie.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3# Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 C half & half or light cream
  • 1/2 C cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp. fresh or dried chive
  • Lawry’s Seasoned Salt

DIRECTIONS:

Using a large pot, cover the potatoes with 2″ of cold water. Bring to a boil and cook for about 20 to 25 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender.

Drain the potatoes and return to the pan over very low heat.

Just before the potatoes are done, heat the half and half and butter in a microwavable cut (I use a Pyrex measuring cup) for 45 seconds to 1 minute, until the cream is warm and the butter is melted.

Add the cream, butter and cream cheese to the potatoes and mash using a potato masher, or, if you prefer, use a hand mixer to whip them up.

Add the chives and salt to the potatoes and stir again. I can’t tell you exactly how much salt to use, but potatoes take a lot of salt. I don’t measure but I’m guessing I used about 1 1/2 tsp. of Lawry’s. You can always add more if desired.

If the potatoes are creamy enough, turn off the burner, add another 2 tbsp. of unsalted butter to the top of the potatoes and cover to keep warm until you’re ready to serve. Just before serving, stir one last time to mix in the butter. Sprinkle the top with more chive and serve.

On a side note, these can be made up to the day before, put into an oven proof casserole, and reheated in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes covered, then uncovered for another 10. If you are making them beforehand, add an additional 1/4C of half & half, cream or milk to the recipe and be sure to bring your casserole dish up to room temperature prior to reheating so the dish doesn’t break in the oven.

Caesar Salad ala Paula is already on the blog – just search for it in the upper right hand corner, and enjoy.

 

PS. I’m sure for many of you, the meat in the photo is way too rare. Please know, my family like’s their beef still mooing.

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