I had these great bourbon-marinated filets mignons and wanted to make one for dinner tonight.
Problem 1: I cannot grill because I live in a small apartment in Manhattan, and although I have a terrace, I can't have a grill out there because it's against the rules of the building I'm in. Lame.
Problem 2: I had my zucchini casserole (win!) in the oven already, so I had to do the filet on the stove.
Problem 3: I didn't know if I should use cast iron or not for my desired results... nice crust (but not blackened) and pink from coast to coast. I'm torn only because my instinct is to use CI for way less delicate cuts than this.
Here's what I did... I made a balsamic honey syrup by reducing 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp of honey, and 1 tbsp of butter for 16-18 minutes over medium high.
Then, I took my strongest burner and cranked it. I brought just enough oil to smoking and then put the steak in.
It went away pretty quickly (within 30 seconds), but I wasn't expecting it. I guess there was more bourbon on those puppies than I thought... After about 4 minutes per side, I let the filet rest and ended up with something that was nearly black on the outside and blue on the inside, even after letting it rest under foil for 15 minutes. Blah.
By the end of the rest, my oven was available again, so I finished it off in there at 450 F until it was medium.
WHEW. What a save. The steak was juicy, tasted great, and was done the way I liked it... but cooking it took years off my life.
What would you have done differently?