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Happy Birthday, Hubby

For my husband’s birthday, I decided to cook one of his favorite things, Filet Mignon. Despite the fact that I forgot to take out the frozen filets to thaw all day and had to let them sit in a hot water bath, they came out pretty darn good if I do say so myself.

Peppercorn-Crusted Filet Mignon
(Recpie from America’s Test Kitchen)

5 tablespoons black peppercorns , cracked (see illustration below)
5 tablespoons
olive oil , plus 2 teaspoons
1 tablespoon kosher salt
center-cut filets mignons , 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick, 7 to 8 ounces each

  • Spread half of the peppercorns on a cutting board. Place a skillet on top. Pressing down firmly with both hands, use a rocking motion to crush the peppercorns beneath the “heel” of the skillet. Move the skillet back and forth, redistributing the peppercorns as needed. Repeat with the remaining peppercorns.
  • Heat peppercorns and 5 tablespoons oil in small saucepan over low heat until faint bubbles appear. Continue to cook at bare simmer, swirling pan occasionally, until pepper is fragrant, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  • When mixture is room temperature, add salt and stir to combine. Rub steaks with oil and pepper mixture, thoroughly coating top and bottom of each steak with peppercorns.
  • Cover steaks with plastic wrap and press gently to make sure peppercorns adhere; let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
  • Adjust oven rack to middle position, place rimmed baking sheet on oven rack, and heat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until faint smoke appears. Place steaks in skillet and cook, without moving steaks, until dark brown crust has formed, 3 to 4 minutes. Using tongs, turn steaks and cook until well browned on second side, about 3 minutes.
  • Remove pan from heat and transfer steaks to hot baking sheet. Roast 3 to 5 minutes for rare, 5 to 7 minutes for medium-rare to medium. Transfer steaks to wire cooling rack and let rest, loosely tented with foil, for 5 minutes before serving.

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