A luscious, grilled filet mignon steak comes from the tenderloin of the beef, one of two long snakelike sections of meat found on the underside of the backbone. A true filet mignon is only take from the narrow, smaller end of the tenderloin.
Since the typical beef only produces four to six pounds of tenderloin, also known as filet, the price per pound can be extreme. Filets can be sliced into one to two inch thick portions and grilled as is, with light seasoning of salt and pepper. They are often wrapped with bacon, which adds flavor and helps the meat retain its shape.
The filet should be grilled over direct high heat, turning once after two minutes, then grilled for another two minutes. The meat is very tender, and is best served rare to medium rare. When a piece of beef tenderloin is cooked to medium, medium well or well done, it becomes dry, loses flavor, and becomes less tender than it would be if less done.
Filet mignons are usually available at the grocers in vacuum sealed packages, sliced and wrapped in bacon. The nice thing about these is that if you buy several, they will all be about the same size, so they cook uniformly.
Preheat the grill to high. Allow the filets to warm up to room temperature before the go on the grill. If you're cooking the bacon-wrapped steaks, there's no need to salt them...just shake on a little cracked black pepper if desired.
Place the filets on the grill, directly over the heat. cook for two minutes on each side for rare to medium rare, or three minutes per side for medium. Time will vary depending on steak thickness and grill temperature.
When the grilled filet mignons are done, serve immediately with grilled asparagus and warmed crusty Italian bread. If you like, a pat of real butter added to the top of the grilled steak will add to its richness.
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