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Filet Mignon for 20

noworries

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I'm honored to have been tapped to prepare Filet Mignon for the majority of the 20 covid-distanced wedding guests who don't have the optional chicken.... Young bride and groom want what they've heard is the best, yet they're keeping the wedding-bubble close and local to their credit. Not gonna argue, but Filet it is. I've never done individual steaks to order for this many and I appreciate your input on preparation for a group. How would you cook Filets for 20?

Shall I use my large iron skillets and pre-sear the Filets in batches in butter/garlic/herbs to a common temp (what temp?) and then finish them in the oven all together, pulling them at individual done-ness temperature preferences. Or, should I sear first and later return them in batches to a large griddle and pull at the desired serving temp? Thoughts? Regardless, how do I manage resting time? That's usually critical for with meat for me.

We're working up sauces as well. I've got a killer multi-stage Irish whiskey, whole bottle of red wine, etc. reduction deglased off the skillet that we use for prime rib at the holidays, and other sauces are under consideration too. Your Filet topping sauce/topping thoughts are appreciated as well.

Father of the bride was a San Francisco line chef as a younger man and knows good food. No worries ;)
 

forktender

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I'd look into buying a few sous vide machines one for each doneness then all you have to do is sear them off and serve. Which is how most steak houses do it, check out Inkbird 's S.V machines they have been good too me. If you P/M Inkbird I'm betting that they would make you a deal on them for a favorable review.

Good luck, you're gonna need it.
Dan

P.S. one of your sauces should be a nice beefy demi glaze.
 

pushok2018

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I'd look into buying a few sous vide machines one for each doneness then all you have to do is sear them off and serve.
Ditto on that! Since I tried cooking steaks using sous vide for first time (about two - two and a half years ago), I stopped going to fancy (or not too fancy) steakhouse restaurants. After your stakes are done cooking - you should sear them and you can use different method for searing: cast iron skillet, torch or chimney. You will be amazed with the final result. Just Google it....
 

mike243

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InkBird is having a sale right now I think, no time like the present to buy. really good prices on most or all of the stuff.
 

mike243

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its only for 24 hrs and time started yesterday so maybe too late, another option is keep the meat whole, season wrap with bacon and grill/smoke/bake to desired temp. hard to go wrong with a good cut of meat
 

zwiller

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I've never cooked professionally but 20 doesn't scare me. Cook and park in low oven. Done this for years now. Wife likes hers ruined aka well so do those first and the rarest ones last. Park in order in the oven somehow you remember what they are. Let the rare ones cool first before parking. If you've never done it, it's crazy how long you can park stuff in there. Hours really if covered... I'd probably buy and do 10 extra for backup and seconds.

From here all sorts of debatable stuff: how and sauces. For me, a wedding screams presentation. So I vote, bacon wrap with the best bacon you can get and tied with twine, dry brine a few days with course grain salt, cook with the hottest method you are experienced with. I vote no sauce if using bacon but your sauce sounds killer. Whatever sauce you use make in advance so it ready to go. By all means if people are into it, smoke it. Great idea. That said, very few chicks are into that here.
 

civilsmoker

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So a couple of thoughts........

First attempting to cook 20 steaks all to order at the same time is a considerable challenge, and a task that takes some practice to do and do it right (it doesn't matter if you SV, Grill, CI, or Open Wood Flame).

That said, there are some tricks that can be used to make it more manageable. The SV above will work and work well and this is how many high end places do them....There is a pretty funny movie about cooking food in a SV but that is another story.

Next spend the $$ to get the steaks as similar as possible, thickness being the most important, then texture (tenderness), then overall size.

The next is probably the most important if you want to KNOW how you are going to do it will work.....Practice at least once but preferably 2 or 3 times with the technique you are going to use (cook a batch of 6, 2 each at diff IT). IE even the SV takes practice....ie if you over SV and over sear....Not done right. During your practice, take notes and times of cook, sear, and such. This practice also includes your rest time. Be sure to rest them on a elevated rack with at least 1 inch between the edges....ie if you put them on a cookie sheet the will continue to cook. My oven has a proof mode (100 deg) which is OK to hold them for a little time but not an extended amount.

Final note: If I were tasked with this.....I would start with 1.5 to 2 inch center cut and would wrap them in bacon, season with SPOG, and a splash of lemon pepper and sugar then roast them on my pellet at 530 degrees. I would use timing on when to put them on and then timing and IT on when to remove them to finish to perfect temp (ie slightly under for carry over rest time) in a 375 deg convection oven (on an elevated rack). I'm a sauce guy so would serve with sauce.

Here is an example.....you could easily dress up the presentation (remember to practice and keep the plating simple).
https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/fathers-day-filet-dinner-bingo.287996/
 

gmc2003

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What type of equipment do you have? Gas grill, kettle, electric smoker, stick burner etc. etc.


Chris
 

Steve H

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Doing the SV then sear sounds like a good plan. As much as I like my blackstone. For a fancy gig like this. I would sear on the grill for the grill marks instead though.
 

Jonok

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Sear. then sous vide then sear briefly again is the way to go in my opinion.
Better char flavor and appearance than sear first alone.
 

noworries

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Wow. Thanks!
I like the "Practice" ideas. Wedding is on the 26th so I'll be busy for the next ten days and I need to settle on a method soon. I'll need to get a count on done-ness preferences. Not sure I'm wanting to buy three-four SVs, but I suppose I could add the rarer ones part way through in a single large cooker. I've got a buddy with a SV wand and a five-gallon wort boiler and I have a vacuum sealer. I could insulate the pot to help keep the temp even throughout, I suppose. Even so, one steak per quart capacity might be tight quarters for SV (a process that I've not attempted, yet).

I spent some time today making up a couple of sample sauces and I need some rendered fat to prime them. I'm reluctant to start sauces from scratch after searing, grilling, baking, SVing on the day itself. (Oh, there are chicken eaters too so there's that to consider but I can have my wife bake some chicken in a sauce). Yes, I need 20 plates at the same time.

We've got a great local butcher to source similar sized high quality meats. I'm headed there tomorrow. My double oven has one with convection and one not, and will hold at 135F. I also have a couple of large burner-spanning griddles and three large iron skillets, one with lid. Those, and my hardware store electric smoker round it out. I don't trust the backyard four-burner propane grill. It's heat profile is pretty poor for something this sensitive done in quantity.

Wedding is at the bride's parents house, about a mile from here. I'm inclined to cook here and plate there maybe with a final firing for temp. They probably don't want me prowling their kitchen all next week while they're going nuts themselves getting ready.
 

Jonok

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Remember that you can sous vide above the pasteurization temp (somewhere around 133F) for as long as you want. So you can dunk the steaks way beforehand and all you’ll end up with is more tender-still-perfectly cooked steaks.
 

civilsmoker

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I didn't realize you were cooking them one place then plating them in another place some time after. To me this says SV and torch sear onsite You could do it all with 1 SV. IE SV them all to mid-rare and then for the med and mid-well pop them in the oven after the torch sear to get to proper temp. If you have more than one SV then it would be easier. This would help you with the timing....IE sear the more done ones first and while they are in the oven move to the less done.

To simplify the sauce, make it before and chill then warm onsite.

Question. do you have room to have 20 plates all out in the plating area? You might need some folding tables or you will have to split the plates. As an FYI, I usually always serve the well done first because those folks always seem to be waiting so it puts them in a really good mood.
 

3-2-1

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Start with USDA Prime Filet, do not settle for choice, this sounds like a special wedding. Sous Vide the medallions/steaks at 132.5F for 6 to 8 hours or however long but if you over Sous Vide the meat +24 hours it can start to literally fall apart and that is not what you want. I would individually vacuum seal each steak and add some butter, fresh chopped garlic, thyme, salt and pepper, don't suck the vacuum tight so there is maybe 5% to 10% air in the bag to let the juices make the rounds.
For searing to add color before plating either use a torch or bring a good Q with a searing station...you are only marking on the grill so 1 flip with 2 turns to give proper marks. With the searing grill if a guest for whatever reason wanted Well Done, just keep the meat to the side a little and let it cook. No matter what have a good instant temp probe handy....you can always cook an extra minute.
I'm not an A1 sauce fan with steaks, just a nice juicy piece of tender mouth watering steak is all I want.

And if the guests are getting restless waiting for the steaks to finish....send them to the photo booth for some fun while they wait ;-)
 

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Fueling Around

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No experience with sous vide. Thanks for the info.
Always us prime if I get tenderloin.
Hilarious photos. Gotta love a spirited bridal party.
 

noworries

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Love the photo booth! Hoping to get some clarification from bride today on quantities so I can get the meat order in. We're doing a taste test tomorrow with meats, sauces, and the vegetables being prepared by another friend. A covid-friendly wedding is a challenge all its own.

Checking on SVs. Local butcher is all Prime meat, $28/lb cut to size. Seems like a lot, but actually, the parents get off easy with friends preparing food, small wedding, at home.

Thanks, all.
 

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