Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Their Mistake My Mistake

The other night I visited a popular steak house chain and ordered a 6 oz. tenderloin filet. Admittedly, there's a difference between a standard tenderloin filet and a Filet Mignon.  

A standard tenderloin filet is cut from the beef tenderloin, which is a long tapered muscle located near the spine between the rib section and the sirloin. The Filet Mignon is a 2 inch thick filet steak cut from the small end of the tenderloin near the 13th rib.  Such a cut should be all meat, with little or no fat.

Title: Tenderloin | Date: 07/05/2006 | Photographer: Rangermike | Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts.
While what I ordered was a tenderloin filet, Filet Mignon not having been listed on the menu, it was described as, "The most tender and juicy thick cut," and featured one of the menu's higher price points.  As a result, I expected a quality piece of meat. 

Their Mistake:  The steak was seasoned nicely and cooked to the proper doneness, but it was stringy & tough, like pot roast.  I should have been able to cut it with a fork, but a steak knife and good bit of arm strength were required in order to cut into the meat.

The unpleasant texture was likely the result of improper butchering. Once all the fat is removed, one will see a silver, tough, stringy, skin-like membrane. If this membrane wasn't removed, it would've lead to the steak being stringy & tough, which it was.

My Mistake: Having received exceptionally good news from my cardiologist only an hour before the meal, I was in a good mood, with no desire to, "rock the boat."  So, to be genial, I told the waiter, "it tasted good," and let the texture slide.  By doing so, I didn't do myself, the chef, or the next patron any favors.

As a patron, I had a right to the tender piece of beef I'd agreed to pay for.  By not sending it back, not only did I jip myself, I also let the grill chef think he/she was doing a good job.  Doh, my bad.

Bottom line, restaurant patrons have a right to expect the food they're paying for to be good, and the right to send it back until it's prepared correctly.

Filet Mignon Wrapped in Bacon

This is my favorite steak hands down. You can add additional seasonings (McCormick's, Lawry's, garlic salt, etc...) if you want, but if you have a good smokey bacon I think you'll find the bacon imparts enough flavor that you only really need the salt & pepper.

6 Fillet Mignon Cuts of Beef (small end of the tenderloin)
12 slices of Bacon
Olive Oil

Remove all fat & ligament, then slide the knife blade between the meat and skin, to strip off the ribbon-like membrane.

Oil the outside of your filets and rub them liberally with salt and pepper.

Dredge steaks with flour.

Wrap each in 1 to 2 slices of bacon, using small toothpicks to pierce where bacon overlaps to hold it in place.

Place in small baking pan. Bake in a slow oven at 300F until meat is cooked to your taste.

Remove toothpicks and serve.
Recipe prints as page 2 for your recipe file or refrigerator.

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