A petite fillet of beef is a quality piece of meat and deserves your best efforts when preparing it for the table. Cook the fillet to the desired level of doneness each person prefers. This is the most critical factor in the enjoyment of the fillet. If you have many guests, it is helpful to have someone assist in the cooking and timing of the various degrees of doneness for each steak so that the meal is served to everyone at the same time.
Start with the highest quality and freshest beef fillet possible.
Wrap a strip of bacon around each fillet and secure it with a toothpick. Rub both sides of the beef with coarse salt and fresh ground pepper.
Place 1 tbsp. of safflower oil for each 1.75- to 2-inch-thick fillet into a skillet and heat it on medium heat until hot. Use a pair of tongs to hold each fillet on its edge and slowly rotate it in the skillet to brown the bacon.
Pour the bacon drippings from the hot skillet and discard the drippings. Place one pat of butter for each fillet into the skillet. Sear each petite fillet on each side for about 2 minutes per side. Add more butter if necessary.
Take the bacon off the fillets. Place the fillets in a clean metal pan and put them in a 450 F oven. Cook the fillets on each side for 3 minutes per side to cook them medium rare. Turn them with a spatula or a pair of tongs. Cook the fillets rare by leaving them in the oven for only 1 minute per side. For medium, cook for 5 minutes per side and 7 minutes per side for well done.
- Do not pierce the meat with a fork, which will allow the natural juices to drain and dry out the meat.
- Prime grade indicates more uniform marbling and tender, tasty meat. Choice is one grade below prime and has less marbling, tenderness and flavor. Select has little to no marbling and is much less marbled and flavorful.
- Allow the fillet to rest for 2 minutes before serving. This allows the meat fibers to relax and the juices to reabsorb into the fillet.
- Wash the cutting board and utensils with a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water. Wash your hands thoroughly before starting the cooking process.
Freelance writing since 2009, Tom Ross has over 30 years of corporate management and hands-on experience in the supermarket industry. Ross was featured on the cover of "Instore Buyer" magazine and his articles have appeared on various websites.