If you’re planning a birthday party, anniversary or other fancy schmancy event, this is the entree to make. (Unless, of course, your guests are vegetarians. Sorry, vegetarians.)It’s basic food math at its finest: If steak = great, then (steak + cheese + bacon) = INCREDIBLE.
Since this is a special occasion, it’s worth it to splurge on filet mignon (also sold as beef tenderloin). It’s the most tender cut of steak out there, and it has a mild, buttery flavor that contrasts nicely with the salty gorgonzola topping. The thicker the steak, the more divine your dinner will be — and with less effort, since the tenderloin doesn’t need to be marinated or require any complicated cooking techniques. It’s actually way more foolproof than you’d think: just sear the outside of the steak in a skillet, add the crumbly cheese topping, and pop it in the oven to heat things up to your level of doneness.
And if you start to doubt your steak-making prowess? Well, that’s what the bacon and gorgonzola are for. They add enough zestiness to hide any verging-on-hockey-puck-it’s-so-burned sins, but when used sparingly, it can also enhance the natural flavor of a filet, elevating it to the kind of savory-salty-creaminess you’d expect from a Michelin-starred joint. Sure, you’re stuck with the dishes at the end of the night, but you’re spared from that triple-digit price tag. And, of course, the unimaginably lucky person you’re with will revel in the wonder of your sweet, sweet cooking skillz.
- 2 filets mignon (aka beef tenderloin)
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt or sea salt
- 1 tablespoon ground pepper
- 4 slices of bacon
- 2 tablespoons crumbled gorgonzola (or blue) cheese
- Season all surfaces of the steak with black pepper and coarse salt. Press the seasoning onto the steak so it really sticks.
- Heat an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. As it heats, wrap a strip of bacon around each steak. Use a toothpick to secure the bacon (stab it through the ends). Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. You'll need it soon enough for the steaks.
- In the meantime, take the remaining strips of bacon and chop into small chunks. Cook them on the skillet until they're no longer translucent (about 4 minutes). Set onto a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess grease. This will be used for part of the topping, so you can set it aside for now.
- Sear the meat for 1 minute on each side. This starts to cook the bacon and give the steak a nice, crisp crust like you'd find at a restaurant (this also keeps it from getting all dried out and jerky-like). Resist the urge to smoosh the steaks with your spatula to "speed up" the sear! It just forces out the juices and drains the flavor from the steaks.
- Add a tablespoon of blue cheese (or gorgonzola) and a sprinkling of the cooked bacon bits on top of each steak and place them in the oven for 7-10 minutes. If you're using an oven-safe skillet, you can just put the whole skillet (steaks and all) into the oven.
- Remove the steaks from the oven and let them sit for 2-3 minutes. Slice one open and see if it's your desired level of doneness. You can always cook it longer if you'd like. Once the steaks are ready to serve, remove the toothpicks.
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