Waffled Filet Mignon
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
2 teaspoons coarse sea salt or kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces filet mignon, about 1½ inches thick
Nonstick cooking spray
1. Preheat the waffle iron on high.
2. Pour the salt and pepper onto a plate, mix to distribute evenly, and coat the steak with the mixture on both sides.
3. Coat both sides of the waffle iron grid with nonstick spray. Put the steak on the waffle iron as far away from the hinge as possible. (This allows for the lid to press down on the meat more evenly.) Close the lid and cook for 8 minutes.
4. If you have an instant-read thermometer, check the temperature of the steak after 8 minutes. For a steak cooked medium, the temperature should read 140°F. (A temperature of 130°F will give you a medium-rare steak; 155°F is well done.) If it needs to cook further, check about every minute and remove when it has reached your desired temperature. If you do not have an instant-read thermometer, check after 8 minutes, making an incision in the top of the steak about 3⁄4 inch deep. When the steak is ready to remove, you should see only a bit of pink toward its center.
5. Remove the steak and place it on a cutting board. Leave the waffle iron on, in case you need to cook the steak a bit more.
6. Allow the steak to rest for several minutes before slicing it in half and checking doneness. If it’s done to your satisfaction, turn off the waffle iron and serve. If you’d like it less rare, return it to the waffle iron and check after another minute. Let the steak rest once more before serving.
With steak, your first instinct may not be to reach for the waffle iron. This recipe should fix that.
Tip: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that steaks reach an internal temperature of 145°F before they’re removed from the waffle iron. (Well, they call it a “heat source,” but we know what they mean.) The agency recommends allowing the meat to rest for at least 3 minutes before eating. This gives you a steak that is done medium-well.
Note: Cooking times will vary according to the thickness of the steak and your waffle iron. If your steak is thinner or thicker than 1 1⁄2 inches, you’ll want to check on it 1 or 2 minutes earlier or later than the times indicated.
People are going to think you’re nuts when you throw an expensive piece of meat—one synonymous with luxury—in the waffle iron. They won’t think you’re nuts when they eat it. (Or at least they’ll forget momentarily.) The outside develops a spectacular char. The inside stays silky smooth. The waffle marks? Those are just a bonus.
Some recipes recommend aggressive sauces for filet mignon, arguing that the texture is impeccable but the flavor leaves something to be desired. Me, I find a simple salt and pepper crust to be best. Add a salad of tomatoes and blue cheese with a balsamic vinaigrette drizzle, and you have an equation for the perfect meal.
With steak, timing is everything. This is where your instant-read digital thermometer really comes in handy. After 9 minutes in the waffle iron, my first filet was barely cracking 110°F. I let it go another 3 minutes. By the time I checked again, it was 165°F at its coolest part. In other words, the temperature snowballed as time went on. That first steak was delicious, but more done than I would have liked.
The second steak was much improved. After 10 minutes, I checked and found it was at 130°F—quite rare. I let it go another 90 seconds and checked again. It was 140°F—on the rare side of medium. Perfect for my purposes. I removed it and let it rest for 5 minutes.
One final word of advice: Err on the side of undercooking and then correct with another 1 or 2 minutes in the waffle iron, if necessary.
- Chef's Choice Admin