Happy Valley Chow

gour-mand (noun): one who is excessively fond of eating and drinking

Bacon Wrapped Filet Mignon

As most of you know, this has been a very emotionally draining week in Happy Valley. So what better way to lift our spirits than some soul food! Food that no matter what is going wrong in our life will make us forget for a brief amount of time what's going on in the outside world. This is definitely one of those dishes. A beautiful piece of filet mignon, wrapped in bacon, nestled in creamy smoked cheddar grits, topped with a spicy cajun hollandaise sauce. Bon Appétit!


For the Grits

  • 3 cups Water
  • Salt
  • 3/4 cups quick cooking or old-fashioned grits (not instant!)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 ounces grated smoked white Cheddar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
For the Filet Mignon
  • 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 2 Filet Mignons (4-6 ounces); at room temperature
  • Salt, Pepper & Garlic Powder to taste
  • 2 Slices of bacon
For Cajun Hollandaise Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Spanish paprika
  • 2 teaspoons New mexican chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon chile de arbol
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, clarified and melted
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Dash Worcestershire sauce


Preheat oven to 400°F

In a saucepan bring the water to a boil. Add a generous teaspoon of salt and the grits and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. When grits thicken, add the milk, cream and butter and return to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, partially cover the sauce pan and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until grits are very tender, smooth, and creamy-thick. Add the Cheddar, season with black pepper, and stir until cheese is melted.

While your Smoked Cheddar Grits are simmering, heat 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil in a medium sauté pan. Generously season your filet mignon with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Next we want to wrap the strips of bacon around the outside of the filets. You want to wrap the bacon fairly snug around the filet in order to give the it a nice cylinder shape. The ends of the bacon should over lap and adhere to each other enough that it won’t come apart. If the bacon doesn’t stick together, slide a tooth pick in or wrap a piece of butchers twine around to keep it in place. Once your oil is nice and hot, we want to sear both sides of the filet until it’s nice and caramelized, about 2 min per side. Place steaks on a broiler pan and bake until internal temperature is 130° (Medium Rare). Please, for the love of god, don’t cook these beautiful pieces of meat to well done.

Filet's brought to Room Temperature

Filet's seasoned and wrapped in bacon

Filet's post sear

Stir together the paprika, chile powder, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, oregano, chile de arbol, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Place the egg yolks and lemon juice in a medium stainless steel bowl, set over a pot of simmering water not touching the bottom of the bowl. Whisk the yolks until pale yellow and fluffy. Slowly add the clarified melted butter, a few tablespoons at a time and whisk until thickened. Season the sauce with 2 teaspoons of the spice mixture, salt, and pepper, and a dash Worcestershire sauce. Keep warm until ready to use. Hollandaise Sauce is a challenging sauce to make and does take some practice. If you are having trouble, refer to this video to aid in visualizing the techniques: Hollandaise Sauce Video

Kitchen Word of the Day

Tempering To bring to a desired consistency, texture, hardness, or other physical condition by or as if by blending, admixing, or kneading. 

In the case of this recipe we are talking about the temperature of the Filet Mignon. In general, tempering is very important when cooking any meat. Before we sear, bake, broil, sauté, fry any meat it is important that we bring it to room temperature. Think about it, in every cooking method we are setting the device to a certain temperature. If we add a cold or frozen piece of meat to that pre-heated device, we will in fact lower the temperature. Tempering your meat before cooking aids in lowering the cooking time and cooking your protein evenly. 

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