How to Make Bacon Wrapped Filet Mignon
While I’m a fan of wrapping just about anything in bacon (a shoe wrapped in bacon would probably taste great), bacon wrapped filet mignon is a particularly good match. Filet is cut from the beef tenderloin, which is a very tender cut of meat, but also very lean. In fact, it’s only slightly fattier than chicken. That leanness, means filet is both milder in flavor than other cuts, and it tends to dry out more easily. One way to deal with that is through a great sauce, often with a good amount of fat in it – like béarnaise or peppercorn sauce. However, even easier that most sauces, bacon one of the culinary art’s most powerful secret weapons, can also provide a needed boost to both flavor and fat.
For these filets, I’m using a fairly thick-cut strip of bacon, because I have fairly large filets. Like most things food, it’s best to have a balance; in this case between the steak and bacon. If you’re using smaller filets, then I’d suggest using thinly sliced bacon. The key is to get the bacon rendered out to the right amount…at the same time you get the filet to proper doneness. A big steak and thin bacon – you get over cooked bacon. A small steak and thick bacon – you get under cooked bacon. There’s a couple ways to “fix” a mis-match, which I show you in the video…but the most important thing, is don’t overcook the steak, that’s the star!
How to Cook Bacon Wrapped Filet Mignon
- Everything starts with good filet & good bacon, so buy high quality stuff; I like the filets to be about 2 inches (or more) thick
- As noted above, I like thick cut bacon for filets more than 12 oz or so; go for thinly cut bacon for smaller filets
- Lay the strip of bacon out on a cutting board, and then lay the filet, on its side, at one end of the bacon; you can stretch out a bacon a bit a bit too if you need it slightly longer
- Roll the filet, with the bacon attached to the side, until the bacon wraps around on itself by 1 – 2 inches
- If the bacon isn’t long enough, you can use part of a second strip, just make sure to overlap the bacon strips by a few inches
- Once wrapped around, use two toothpicks to secure the bacon to the filet; alternatively you can tie the bacon on, but make sure to use two strings, one “high” on the filet, the other “low”, otherwise the bacon will curl around the string as it cooks
- You can do this ahead of time, and keep the bacon wrapped filet in the fridge
- Preheat your over to 425 degrees
- Take the filets out of the fridge about 30 minutes prior to cooking, and let them come up to room temp.
- Season both sides liberally with salt and pepper (use more than you think you need)
- Heat a heavy, oven proof frying pan (cast iron is great) over high heat for a few minutes & turn your oven vent on; there’s going to be some smoke
- Coat the bottom of the pan in oil (I use olive oil, but grapeseed or some other oil with a high smoke point is a bit better), and lay the filets down
- You can turn the burner down to med-high
- Don’t touch or move the steaks for at least 4 minutes; the first side is searing and developing flavor, that you don’t want to mess with
- After 4 minutes, gently turn the filet over. The bacon may be sliding a bit if you use tongs, so be careful; it may help to use a spatula
- Once turned, allow the filet to sear for a minute or so over med-high heat, and then move the whole pan into the pre-heated oven.
- For a 12 oz filet, medium rare is about 5 minutes in the oven, but really you need to adjust for your specific oven temp (they all vary) and the size of your steak. It’s best to use a meat thermometer
- Take the filets out of the oven at medium rare, and you can set them aside to rest
- If you find that the bacon is not cooked enough, you can either lay the filet’s on their side, directly cooking the bacon, or use a spoon to “splash” some of the rendered fat on the sides
- Just note, that doing so will continue to cook the filet’s, and you may end up over cooking them…so be careful
- Allow the filets to rest for at least 5 – 6 minutes (preferable 8 – 10), to allow the juices to settle back into the meat
- The bacon should have shrunk while it cooked, tightly wrapping the filet.
- Remove the toothpicks, and serve it up!