August 13th is National Filet Mignon Day! This day is dedicated to a cut of beef known as the king of all steaks. For some, cooking filet mignon is a daunting task. Even the most seasoned grill-masters have nightmares of burning, drying or undercooking this cut. The name itself sounds intimidating, like a French aristocrat with fancy taste and high expectations. But trust us, the filet mignon is really just a small piece of beef with a big ego, but YOU have the power to bring it down to earth. Not literally, for best results, keep your beef off the ground.
The first trick is to add the right amount of fat. And what ingredient brings the fat better than bacon? Filet mignon is often cooked with bacon because of the low fat content of the cut. The bacon adds flavor and keeps it from drying out during the cooking process. But we’re getting a little more gourmet by using pancetta instead of bacon. Simply wrap each raw filet with a piece of pancetta and secure with a water-soaked toothpick.
The second trick is to stuff it with something! It sounds complex, but it is really simple. Just cut a small slit in the side of the filet and spoon in your mixture. We’re using a savory goat and cream cheese mixture with basil and sun-dried tomatoes.
Pancetta and Goat Cheese Filet Mignon
Total Time: 35 minutes
4 oz cream cheese
4 oz goat cheese
¾ cup sun-dried tomatoes
10 large fresh basil leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 6-oz filet mignon steaks
20 slices pancetta
Preheat a clean grill to medium-high heat and lightly oil the grates. In a food processor, pulse together cream cheese, goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper. Cut a slit in the side of each filet and spoon in about 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture. Place the filet, slit side down onto a slice of pancetta and wrap it around, securing with a water-soaked toothpick. Place the filets on the grill and cook for about 6-8 minutes per side, turning once, until the pancetta is crisp.
The last trick is to serve it with delicious sides that can stand up to the robust flavors of pancetta, cheese and filet mignon. Luckily, your local Meat House can help you out with that. Pair this meal with our burgundy wine mushrooms, herbed pasta salads or garlic butter asparagus for a dinner fit for a king.