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Advice, please- about filet mignon, Bearnaise sauce, and other flavors!

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
For Mother’s Day we’re having our son and daughter, their spouses, and four kids, all about 12 years old. The guys will cook; the wives will lounge on the patio, sipping cool ones. Normally, this would be reversed but, what the he{l, it's Mother's Day. Kids will be locked in the basement (with electronic toys) at least while the cooking is going on.

We’ll gas grill filet mignon and prepare Béarnaise sauce (from scratch, natch.)

Several questions:

I consulted Cooks Illustrated about filet- they suggest 2” thick, rub with sea salt and black pepper and oil, and sit in refr from two hours to a day. Don’t mention Béarnaise.

In The Steaklover’s Companion compiled by Frederick J. Simon, EVP of Omaha Steaks, the filet/béarnaise recipe adds a little ground mustard to the salt/pepper rub.

Sounds OK to me. Any problems?

The Cook’s article suggests an alternate rub for filet - of garlic, rosemary and EVOO, plus the sea salt and pepper sprinkle – BUT – they’re not contemplating any Béarnaise sauce. This rub sounds great but I have a feeling I would be piling on too many flavors. I have a weakness for doing that.

Bad idea?

Speaking of flavors, I have some nice mesquite chips, which I’d like to use.

Again – too many flavors?

One more question- what will go well with the bucket of Béarnaise we plan to make (everybody attending loves it?) I’m thinking grilled asparagus.

What else would be good?

Finally, we’re planning filet from Costco. It’s priced about $10.50/lb and I’ve heard their quality is good. Probably get a whole one and slice it to order.

Would we be able to tell any difference if we went to Whole Foods and got their filet at a higher :eek: price? Not even talking about their dry aged:eek: :eek: :eek: :o . Got a couple of the WF dry-aged NY strips for a celebration recently - $25/lb – and frankly I couldn’t tell much difference from a local, quality store at around $9/lb.

Maybe that was because I chicken-fried 'em? Just kidding. :rolleyes:

Be interested in some knowledgeable opinions.

I very much appreciate your help.

Mike :cool:
travelling gourmand
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travelling gourmand
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post #2 of 26
This is just personal taste, but I would stick to salt, EVOO and pepper for rubbing the steaks. I would let them warm up to room temp for about 1 hour before grilling them.

Bearnaise sauce breaks easily. Especially if you are making large amounts. Have some chilled cream handy which will "bring it back" if it breaks.

I would steam some artichokes. The leaves are fun to dip into Bearnaise sauce, and then, you can use a spoon to take out the choke and have a nice little artichoke bottom medallion with bearnaise sauce. Um Um Good!

doc
post #3 of 26
I agree , salt & pepper and olive oil. asparagus is great, so are chokes. I would not do the mesquite, love it, but not for this.

Tony
post #4 of 26
I'll be number 3 on the agreement list. Filets in and of themselves don't have a lot of flavor which is why a lot of times they're mucked about with. In the case of a grill though, I would say salt and fresh cracked black pepper is the way to go. I personally would substitute a little butter rub over the EVOO.
Costco filet will be just fine. Unecessary to spend the extra $ at Whole foods.
Artichokes would be more fun and tastier that Asparagus, but more work.
I think thick cut potato chips would go nicely as well.

Now here's my 2¢ worth on the Bernaise. Your life would be infinitely easier if you skipped the bernaise, no matter how good it would be. Try this idea. Compound butter. You can make any flavor under the sun. Basically take some whole unsalted butter, soften it and then add salt, cracked black pepper and perhaps Garlic, if you want the Bernaise taste, add fresh chopped Tarragon, or shallots, or red wine, or anchovies even! Seriously, it's like a rib stick Mirabeau. You mix up the butter, roll it into a sausage shape in Saran wrap and chill it. When the steaks come off the grill rest them for 3-4 minutes and before serving place a large pat of the butter on the steak and let it melt over.:lips:
I Guarantee you you'll love it as well as knock them for a loop!
But that's just a thought!
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My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
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post #5 of 26
I'm with Chrose.

But I also am not impressed with Bernaise with Beef either. The compound butter allows you to present a couple of different flavors to appeal to a wider range of accent preferences.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #6 of 26
Im with everyone. Keep it simple, if you are using a quality cut, no need to get over ellaborate with it. If anything, maybe some wild mushroom infused Demi. Highlight the MEAT with a suttle nuance. Just my oppinion.
Like all good meals, this too shall pass
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Like all good meals, this too shall pass
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post #7 of 26
Compound butters are a really good choice, I would follow that advice. It is superior. And make ahead, and very delish'. And it melds with other things on the plate, even salad, if you don't eat it separately. But I wouldn't, the gentle warmth of a mixed plate benefits the whole content.
post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all for the suggestions! I'm leaning toward the compound butter option (but no anchovy - even though I'm a big Steak Mirabeau fan).

On the other hand, we make a great Hollandaise for our Eggs Benedict Christmas brunch. Is Bearnaise tougher to do successfully than Hollandaise?

If not, we can handle it.

Thanks again, and I'm looking forward to more of your advice!

Mike :roll:
travelling gourmand
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travelling gourmand
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post #9 of 26
Ok, I'm with the group...cheaper steaks, compound butter, asparagus and chokes :)....bernaise is one of my very favorite sauces right up there with buerre blanc, but an easy and delightful alternative for the asp and choke is a lemony, garlicy aioli from scratch...make it before hand and let it mellow. You can add tarragon or dillweed if you choose.


Couple of light aps....nothing heavy, alot of people go overboard with appetizers.
I'd grill the fillet whole, slice at service.
Grill the asparagus
Precook and chill the chokes, premake the aioli,compound butters
Throw on olive oil brushed Tuscan bread slices so they warm on the grill
Have someone make a killer shroom sauce :) dried wild, fresh crimini or button, shallots, red wine, beef stock....butter.
Baby green salad

Then chocolate for dessert....fun chocolate fondue....easy too. or less involved chocolate pudding, chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, chocolate strawberries, liquid chocolate with shots of liquors (as a Mother I would appreciate that one) It's ok to buy a good quality cake.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #10 of 26
Compound butters are nice but bearnaise, imho, was made for filet mignon! And as long as you got it made, artichokes and bearnaise were also made for each other.

If you can make a great Hollandaise, then you should not have a problem with Bearnaise. I tend to use tarragon red wine vinegar with fresh tarragon and fresh chervil, and a little cayenne at the end for a touch of zing.

Use unsalted butter, and whip your egg yolks a bit before putting them into the sauce. As you know, be careful not to scramble the eggs by not cooling your reduction first sufficiently.

doc
post #11 of 26
saute some artichokes then hit them with some red wine, then put those in with some good demi, and you've got a great 'steak sauce'!
Life's too short to eat bad food and drink bad wine.
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Life's too short to eat bad food and drink bad wine.
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post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 
Wow, I love this!

Thanks some more, and keep 'em coming. I'm modifying the menu on an hourly basis. Shroom' has filled out my menu front and back! 'Though I'm chicken to grill the filet whole, probably.

I did some research at Sam's Club this morning and it turns out they will trim and custom cut a whole cryo tenderloin on Sat and Sun. And- they're $1/lb less than Costco. Any thoughts on relative quality? Sams has USDA Choice, too.

I'm seriously thinking of the wild mushroom demi, probably using the outline in this thread. I plan to use WF's "cooking" grade beef broth and some of their fresh wild 'shrooms. Or should I just use dried ones as I reduce the stock?

We'll do the artichokes - get some really good basketball-sized ones from Whole Foods, even though they run about $19 apiece. Or nearly that. I'll also grill red bell peppers, red onions, and maybe a couple slices of parsnip. These were a big hit with the same crowd the last time I had a party. Soaked 'em in a WF Italian dressing for an hour first. (I'm going to make the vinaigrette for the Garbage Salad myself.)

We'll have some chilled cream on hand per 'Doc's suggestion, also incorporate his suggestions in the Bearnaise- they sound good.

Say, Shroom' are you married? Maybe we could get together and cook and...oh, wait, I'm married. Never mind. :blush:

Thanks and thanks!

Mike :roll:
travelling gourmand
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travelling gourmand
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post #13 of 26
Nope not married but have a long time guy that can curl my toes and make me laugh....kinda funny how many guys ask me to marry them when I start talking food. :)

Baby chokes are in season....they are too fun. You cook um whole and then peel off a couple of the tough outer layers, snip off the top...then eat the whole thing. I made them today with a seafood salad.

If you're making a wild shroom sauce with wine then go dry for flavor (porcini, black trumpet, not morel...too mild to stand up to a rich red wine) then add fresh for the texture. You only need a handful of dry wild to flavor a sauce.

Your menu is pretty straight forward, I'd do a seafood ap...shrimp (cold or grilled with remoulade &/or cocktail) and then possibly some chevre with pesto/tapenade/oil soaked tomatoes/pinenuts any combo of the aforementioned ....pita chips or bagel chips....
Nothing to take away from the dinner. I hate when folks fill up before the preverbial soups on the table.

Don't forget the flowers.....and sparkling is always a hit for apertifs (I like mine with a bit of Chambord and some floaty raspberries or tiny strawberries which just happen to be in season now!)
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #14 of 26
Your meal sounds scrumptious! Now what's for dessert? :lips:
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post #15 of 26
Okay, then let's take this one step further towards absolute decadence. Do everything you plan to do, but take about 3-4 Atlantic Lobster tails and par cook them. Then butterfly the tenderloin, put the tails down the center, close the loin, tie it, then fast grill it on the outside and then move to a low temp spot. Cook until medium rare, let it rest and then do anything you want to it! MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM............................... .............good!:lips:
My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
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My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
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post #16 of 26
Your da man !!!:smoking: :smoking:
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #17 of 26
You are a shocking wo/man luring us into this pit of pure delight. I will do it, I will, I will.
post #18 of 26
TRIM the steaks well before you season and cook them. Filet mignon should be succulent, clear meat. I know it's expensive but cut off any tendons, fat, anything that is not clear beef.
Don't mess with dragons. You will be crispy and taste good with catsup.
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Don't mess with dragons. You will be crispy and taste good with catsup.
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post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 
What a DISGUSTING display of pure gourmandism from Chrose!

sounds delicious :bounce:

After all the urging, I guess I'm going to grill the filet whole. I have a Redi-Chef brand probe thermometer that can go in the grill with the readout on the outside. It even sends a signal to another unit I can hook on my belt. I should be able to hit the 125 degrees OK.

Mike :rolleyes:
travelling gourmand
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travelling gourmand
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post #20 of 26
Cooking it whole is the way to go. The thicker butt end will be for the folks who like it rare, and the thinner tail will be just right for those who don't. I think whole works better with sauces as your guests can have as much or as little meat and sauce as they like. No one has to eat a whole steak if they don't want to.
What time is dinner? Can I bring anything?:cool:
Mmmmm, Lagosta!
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Mmmmm, Lagosta!
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post #21 of 26
Sounds excellent. But for god's sake, be men & grill that sucker whole, otherwise, get rib-eyes. Get a prime rib & grill-roast that!!! Yeah! THAT'S the ticket...
The genesis of all the world's great cuisines can be summed up in a four word English phrase: Don't throw that away.
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The genesis of all the world's great cuisines can be summed up in a four word English phrase: Don't throw that away.
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post #22 of 26
Thread Starter 
Been fun and I appreciate it. We're in the middle of it now.

Grilling it whole; marchand de vin compound butter, 'srhoom infused demi, AND a bucket of Bearnaise.

Grilled peppers, asparagus, onions, parsnips, baby chokes. Pre-cooked basketball-sized chokes for the Bearnaise. Garlic mashed potatoes. Garbage salad.

Nothing succeeds like excess!

Thanks again!

Mike :bounce:
travelling gourmand
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travelling gourmand
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post #23 of 26
Hmm, what's the conversion? 16c=1B? ;)

Enjoy!
post #24 of 26
What dessert?
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #25 of 26

my life

:smoking: :smoking: i got cancer and i am diein but i can still cook up a **** of alot of food:smoking:
post #26 of 26
Thread Starter 
Shroom' - it was key lime pie and a cheesecake.

You've been a big help and inspiration! Thanks to you and all those who coached me along.

Mike :cool: :cool: :cool:
travelling gourmand
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travelling gourmand
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