Five steps to the perfect fillet steak

There is nothing quite like a fillet steak to reward a job well done, unwind after a hard day or to celebrate something. The meat is something special and makes the ideal reward. If you’re going to cook a premium piece of meat like a fillet steak, you need to do it well. Here’s how.

Choosing your fillet steak

Choosing the meat well means you begin as you mean to go on. A good fillet steak should be bright red, have a slight sheen and look fresh. It should also have very little fat. Most good butchers will have fillet steak either aged or not and will be able to tell you exactly where it came from.

Preparing and cooking

Preparing a fillet steak is the same as any other steak really. Remove it from the refrigerator at least an hour before cooking and leave covered somewhere safe to come up to room temperature. This allows the meat to relax a little and will make sure the middle of the meat is the same temperature as the outside which will ensure even cooking.

Cooking your steak

  1. Use a hot pan and heat it as hot as it can go. The hotter the pan, the more the outside of the meat will caramelise. This is one of the best flavours and is well worth encouraging by cooking hot.
  2. Pat the fillet steak dry with a kitchen towel to remove any moisture. This prevents the outside of the meat steaming which compromises that caramelisation.
  3. Oil the meat, not the pan. Rub a little sunflower oil on the outside of the meat before adding it to the pan. Olive oil has a much lower smoke point so is best avoided for fillet steak.
  4. Place the meat away from you in the pan and leave for 30 seconds or so. Then turn it using tongs. Try not to use a fork as it can slip and it can cause the meat to leak juice from the fork holes.
  5. Cook the meat until it is done the way you like and put it on a plate to rest. Let it rest for a few minutes before serving to further relax the fibres. While it might be tough to stand and watch the lovely steak get cool, it becomes much more tender if you rest it so is well worth the effort!

Fillet steak is something special so deserves a little special attention. Good quality meat doesn’t really need a sauce or seasoning, but this is your meal so have it your way!

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