I’m Home Alone. My family is at a cottage on Lake Erie…but I’m out of vacation days at the day job, so I go to work each day and come home to an empty house. I’m a big proponent of home cooking, but what do I do when I’m used to cooking for five, but suddenly only cooking for one?
In my case, I go out a lot more than usual – see my Instagram feed – but even that gets old. When I want to relax at home, and cook for one, I turn to my sous vide cooker.
When my local grocery store has their “7 Steaks of Summer” promotion, I stock up. I vacuum seal each steak in its own bag, and drop them in the freezer. Then, when I need an emergency steak dinner for one, they’re ready to go straight from the freezer to the sous vide water bath.
Today, I’m going with a filet mignon. There are actually two filets in my vacuum bag – I’ll have the second one for lunch tomorrow, if I can restrain myself and not eat them both. I like my sous vide steaks cooked to Medium Rare Plus, 133°F, about halfway between Medium-rare and Medium. I salt the steaks, add a peppercorn crust one one side, and sear them quickly in a cast iron pan. Then I slice the steak, fan it out on a bed of baby spinach, call it a “steak salad”, and I’m a happy man.
Recipe: Sous Vide Peppercorn Filet Mignon
- Sous Vide Water Bath (I used an Anova Sous Vide Circulator and a Rubbermaid Commercial Food Storage Container)
- Heavy frypan (I used an 8 inch lodge cast iron skillet)
Sous Vide Peppercorn Filet Mignon recipe. Simple filet mignon, with a big hit of pepper, cooked perfectly in a sous vide water bath.
- 2 thick (2 1/2 inch) filet mignon steaks
- 1 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoons peppercorn blend, coarsely ground
- Sous vide the steaks: Set the sous vide to 133°F/55.5°C for medium-rare plus. (131°F/55°C for medium-rare, 125°F/51.5°C for rare, 136°F/58°C for medium, 141°F/60.5°C for medium well.). Vacuum seal the filet mignons in quart vacuum bags, 2 steaks to a bag. Drop the bags in the sous vide and cook for 1 hour, or up to 4 hours. (You can freeze the steaks after vacuum sealing; if you do, cook them for at least 1 1/2 hours, up to 4 1/2 hours.)
- Season and sear the steaks: Preheat a heavy frypan over medium-high heat until searing hot. (I use a 10 inch cast iron pan for 3 or 4 filets, and preheat it for at least 5 minutes.) Remove the steaks from the vacuum bags and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the steaks evenly with the salt. Put the crushed peppercorns in a single layer on a plate and press one side of the steaks into the peppercorns to help them stick. Set the steaks in the pan, pepper side down, and sear on one side until the peppercorns start to brown and blacken around the edges, about 1 minute. Flip the steaks, and sear until browned on the bottom, about 1 more minute. Remove from the pan and serve.
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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