Steakhouse Steaks

January 12, 2009

Nobody, I mean nobody, has ever convinced me to cook steak at home. I can count with one hand how many times I have ordered, cooked, or eaten steaks. (Now it looks like it would be up to two hands!) My dad is a meat and potato kind of guy, but I have always relied on chicken, fish, and maybe pork to provide me with my protein requirement. And maybe tofu, because I love tofu. And if I have access to tempeh, I would have them every day as well, with tofu (they are like Jack ‘n Jill, always together, in my opinion)….

BUT after I watched Barefoot Contessa’s show where she made this gorgeous meat, I actually stopped at the meat counter during our grocery run, and asked for two filet mignon. Red’s eyes were wide open, jaws dropped, but quickly recovered – maybe because he didn’t want me to change my mind.

The reviews on Food Network basically said that this dish was pretty salty, and we agreed. But take a look at what she used instead of the regular Kosher Salt, Ina used Fleur del Sel, which I believe has slightly more subtle flavor. So in the future, if we ever make this again, we’ll lighten up on the salt. (I apologize for the quality of the pic, I was in hurry to dig my fork into this handsome steak!).


  • 2 (10-ounce) filet mignon
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon fleur de sel
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely cracked black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, optional
  • Roquefort Chive Sauce, recipe follows


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat a large, well-seasoned cast iron skillet over high heat until very hot, 5 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, pat the steaks dry with a paper towel and brush them lightly with vegetable oil. Combine the fleur de sel and cracked pepper on a plate and roll the steaks in the mixture, pressing lightly to evenly coat all sides.

When the skillet is ready, add the steaks and sear them evenly on all sides for about 2 minutes per side, for a total of 10 minutes.

Top each steak with a tablespoon of butter, if using, and place the skillet in the oven. Cook the steaks until they reach 120 degrees F for rare or 125 degrees F for medium-rare on an instant-read thermometer. (To test the steaks, insert the thermometer sideways to be sure you’re actually testing the middle of the steak.)

Remove the steaks to a serving platter, cover tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.