Filet mignon is one of those steak cuts that most people can’t afford to eat once a week, let alone once a day. There is a reason it’s so expensive. It’s one of the most tender cuts, taken from the smallest part of an animal’s tenderloin, meaning that it’s the most craved part of the steak, as well as the scarcest. This makes filet mignon a kind of luxury meat that is usually reserved for special occasions, such as a romantic or business meal, as well as holidays. If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering how to extend your filet mignon’s life to use it on a special event (or with that special someone). These questions may be on your mind. Can you freeze filet mignon? How to cook frozen filet mignon? How to defrost filet mignon?
Yes, you can freeze filet mignon. And you should if you don’t plan on using it the same week you buy it. There are, however, some steps you have to take for it to freeze the correct way.
If you bought your filet mignon from the supermarket, it’s very likely that it was already frozen, meaning that there is no special preparation needed to freeze it. Simply grab the package, stow it in the freezer and close the door.
If you bought your steak from a butcher shop or slaughterhouse, you’ll probably want to “age” it first in order to enjoy the meat in its prime. To do that, there are various methods. Some suggest simply refrigerating the meat for seven days at a temperature below 36 ºF. Others suggest at least 30-60 days of aging, though the meat needs to be in a vacuum-sealed pack so that it doesn’t rot. But do note, in such a long time it might absorb aromas from other items in the fridge. Likewise, the steak itself could affect the other items. This is something you need to take into account when you decide on the aging period. Once the designated time has passed, open the pack, rinse the meat a bit in cold water and remove the portions that look a bit discolored with a knife.
After all the aging process is done, transfer the meat to a freezer or airtight bag or container and stow it in the freezer. If you prefer, you can slice the meat in portions and transfer them to single serving-size bags or containers (optionally wrapping the portions in plastic for extra protection)
For cooked filet mignon, the procedure is very similar, though you should first cool the meat (ideally in the fridge) before transferring it into the freezer containers or bags. Also, you could add some gravy, as cooked meats tend to dry out in the freezer.
Provided that you froze it properly, you shouldn’t notice any difference in taste and texture between frozen filet mignon and fresh filet mignon. Nevertheless, it starts to lose quality after a while. So the sooner you consume the steak, the better.
Refreezing should not be an issue, provided that you have thawed the filet mignon in the fridge and not left it exposed to room temperature for longer than 2 hours, regardless of whether it’s cooked or not.
Raw filet mignon bought from the supermarket can last up to 5 days in the fridge. But it is not recommended leaving it there for more than 2 days if you want the best from your meat. Cooked filet mignon can hold its own for up to 4 days before going bad.
In the freezer, filet mignon won’t spoil but the quality may start to decrease considerably after 12 months. If it was wrapped with cured bacon, its quality will only last up to 3 months. However, some sources claim that its best quality is preserved for up to 2 weeks.
The best way to defrost filet mignon is by using the fridge. It’s slow but the moisture that is released during the thawing process is better absorbed this way and it also prevents bacteria from quickly getting into the meat and grow. You can also immerse the airtight package in cold water to accelerate the process, although this method requires more work since you need to keep the water cold during the defrosting process. If you want to thaw it in the microwave, make sure not to overheat it and to use it right after.
If you’re in a rush, you can cook the frozen filet mignon directly from the freezer in the oven, since the oven tends to cooks meat faster and more uniformly. For this purpose, you could optionally place the bag under cold running water while preheating the oven to 450º F, and then empty the partially thawed portions on a baking sheet or tray. Add oil, salt, and other ingredients at will, place the meat inside and close the oven door and set the temperature to 350 ºF. During this process, it is important that the meat’s internal temperature should reach at least 145º F. More details on how long to cook filet mignon in the oven at 350 degrees.