Plank Grilled Filet Mignon with Blue Cheese Salad

 

Filet mignon is all about texture. It comes from the tenderloin, a muscle deep in the ribcage of the cow, that doesn’t see much work. The result is smooth and tender meat. The downside of being all about texture? Tenderloin is bland. It doesn’t have the big, beefy flavor of other, more active muscles. I’m …

What you will need

Oak Grilling Plank (roughly 1“ by 8” by 16″)

Grill (I use a Weber Kettle, like this one.)

4 (1 1/2 inch to 2 inch thick) filet mignons (beef tenderloin steak)

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

4 ounces crumbled blue cheese

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

4 ounces crumbled blue cheese

3 ounces dried cranberries

5 ounces spring mix salad blend

A probe thermometer makes this recipe easy – stick the probe in the tenderloins on the plank, close the lid, and come back when the alarm goes off. I used a Thermoworks Dual Channel Thermocouple – it’s a probe version of my beloved Thermapen, with an armored probe that has a better chance of surviving direct heat from charcoal. If you use a regular Polder style thermometer, the probe is only heat safe to 480°F or so. Above that the probe will burn out. The armored probe on the dual channel will keep it safe at higher temperatures, up to 650°F or so. (That said, it still shouldn’t sit over direct charcoal heat – charcoal can get up to 800°F.)

I thought the plank would also give me a reverse searing effect, protecting the beef from the charcoal’s heat, and keeping it perfectly pink all the way through. That didn’t work out – the grill was too hot, and there was a small ring of overcooked beef around the outside of the steak. I may try this with indirect medium heat next time, about 3/4 a chimney of charcoal, and rotate the plank after ten minutes to make sure one side of the beef doesn’t overcook. But these were delicious tenderloins – I’m not sure I’ll go to the extra effort.

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