Philacatessen | A Perfect Filet


On a recent Saturday night, we hosted a special send-off dinner for our daughter, who was heading to a rowing competition in Canada.

We knew she would be eating a lot of pasta and pizza during the week — both for carb loading and budgetary reasons, so we amped up the pre-departure meal with filet mignons.

My grill-meister of a husband took charge of the meat — procurement, preparation and firing it up.  I was tasked with the lower-profile and less-glamorous tasks:  appetizers, bread, potatoes, spinach and dessert.

Of course, everyone went nuts over the steaks — never mind that I tackled no fewer than eight other dishes, but all the glory went to Dad. It’s OK, really. He was kind enough to share his secrets, so I guess it was a fair trade:

Matt’s Filet Mignon

Serves four generously

4 filet mignon steaks, about 1½ inches thick

Generous sprinkling of kosher salt

Generous sprinkling of fresh ground pepper

Juice of ½ lemon

Bring the steaks to room temperature.

Heat your grill to high.

Just before cooking, season the steaks with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

Place the steaks on the grill for two minutes, and then rotate 90 degrees. Cook for two minutes more, then flip the steaks and repeat. (They will have now cooked a total of eight minutes.)

After the second side has done its rotation, turn the steaks on their sides for two minutes, then flip and cook the final side for two minutes. (The cooking time thus far is 12 minutes.)

Place the steaks on the top rack or an area of the grill with minimal heat for another three minutes. All in all, the steaks will be on the grill for 15 minutes.

Place the steaks on a serving plate, tent them with foil, and allow them to rest for five minutes.


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