Feel free to substitute rib-eyes, T-bones, Porterhouses, pork chops, or even skirt steaks for filets mignons. (Cooking times may change, however.) You will love the way the olive oil-enhanced sauce complements the meat.
- For the meat:
- 4 filet mignon steaks (each 6 to 8 ounces and at least 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick)
- Coarse salt (sea or kosher)
- 1/2 cup cracked black peppercorns, spread out in a shallow bowl
- For the cutting board sauce:
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 1/2 cup stemmed flat-leaf parsley or other fresh herbs
- 2 scallions, trimmed
- 1 red jalapeño or serrano pepper
- Coarse salt (sea or kosher) and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup best-quality extra virgin olive oil, in a small bowl
Arrange the filets mignons in a baking dish. Generously salt each on both sides. Dry-brine the steaks in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, uncovered, turning them once.
Set up your grill for direct grilling and heat to medium-high. (Or use a stove-top grill pan.) Brush or scrape the grill grate clean and oil it well.
Dip each filet mignon in cracked black pepper to crust the top and bottom. Arrange the steaks on the grill grate. Grill for 1 1/2 minutes, then give each steak a quarter turn, to lay on a crosshatch of grill marks. When the bottom is sizzling and browned (you may see beads of blood start to form on the top), turn the steaks and grill the other side the same way. Grill the steaks on the sides, too, to expose all surfaces to the heat.
You’ll need about 3 minutes per side for rare (120° to 125°F); 4 minutes per side for medium-rare (130° to 135°F); 5 minutes per side for medium (140° to 145°F). Use an instant-read thermometer inserted through the side of the steak to check for doneness.
In the meantime, make the cutting board sauce: Working on a large cutting board with a well (a juice-catching groove usually around the periphery), finely chop the garlic and parsley. Thinly slice the scallions (both white and green parts) and the pepper crosswise. Season generously with salt and pepper and pour half the olive oil on top. Mix with the blade of the knife.
Remove the hot filets mignons from the grill and lay them directly on top of the ingredients on the cutting board. Cut each steak with downward strokes of the knife into 1/4-inch-thick slices. (There is no need to let the meat rest.) Pour the remaining olive oil over the sliced steaks and toss on the board with a spoon and the blade of the knife: The idea is to coat the steak slices with herbs and oil and mix them with the meat juices. Add salt and pepper to taste. The whole process should take less than a minute. Transfer to a platter or plates and serve at once.
Serves 4 — Recipe adapted from Project Fire by Steven Raichlen (Workman, 2018)