Or What We Talk About When we Talk About Filet Mignon

I went to a butcher shop and I explored their products. I chose a cut I was not familiar with and I noted the cost. Dear reader, I will reveal all momentarily.

"We're the brothers who sell dead animals!" (This is an original photo: the glorious key is found to the left of the frame.)

“We’re the brothers who sell dead animals!” (This is an original photo: the glorious key is found to the left of the frame.)

I went to Brown Brothers Meat & Poultry, which is located in St. Lawrence Market. My most experienced readers will recall that St. Lawrence market also once served as the jail to my fruit prey. But that was back when I was a fruit hunter… young… foolish. Times have changed.

We’re talking meat now. What meat? Filet mignon, which the butcher suggested should be pan fried. But why are we talking about filet mignon? I’ll tell you. My love affair with filet mignon began while watching Law and Order (the real, original one) with my brother. So there Ben was, trying to push a difficult case through the courts when the common law and political will were both opposed to his position. Tough slog, yes. But Ben is a bright guy. But in Adam’s office (Adam’s the District Attorney and Ben is the Assistant District Attorney, you see), Adam tell him: “Drop it, Ben! It’s no good. Your evidence is weak. What do you want me to tell you? Mincemeat is filet mignon?” The price by the way, is $28.95 for each cryovac package. There is no weight listed.



Inspired by Law and Order and then also excited by the butcher’s suggestion that I “pan-fry the meat”, I did some in depth research.

This is not a straw.  French art joke!

This is not a straw.
French art joke!

A recipe that uses my cut is pictured above. Filets mignons (plural!) with balsamic pan sauce and truffle oil. The source for this groundbreaking recipe is: Denis Kelly’s “Steak & Chop”, a Williams Sonoma cookbook published by Simon & Schuster.

Filet mignon is French for “cute fillet”, and it is beef, from the tenderloin’s smaller end.

I would prepare the product by rubbing it down with salt and pepper before cooking it in a hot buttery pan. Basting the filet mignon with truffle oil would allow those delicious flavours to infuse into the meat.Following the recipe, I’d charge about $30 bucks a plate, and that plate would be good quality. There would also be good service in this restaurant of mine, and people would be overjoyed to pay $25.

I have to say, the recipe from the Williams-Sonoma cookbook is pretty straightforward, so I don’t foresee special accommodations being required for the cooking method.

Would it be effective in a fast-paced restaurant? Yes, depending on what we’re talking about. This is an expensive cut of meat, and it wouldn’t fit well at a cheap, quick service place. I would prefer to serve it over dinner service rather than lunch. I would cook it to order and allow the guests to revel in the beautiful ambience of my restaurant.

POST UPDATE: Speaking of restaurants, here are the members of Rush getting drunk at a fancy hunting lodge. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zb-MwVUUy3g

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