Unless you live in a large city with specialty butchers, ultra-premium steaks can be hard to find. Most steaks at the meat counters of chain grocery stores are “choice” to maybe “low prime” grade steaks.
Although perfectly fine when prepared well, these steaks won’t make you forget CUT, Barclay Prime or any of the other great steakhouses anytime soon.
Want to recreate a Top 5 steakhouse experience at home? Here’s how.
American Wagyu at a High End Steakhouse
Take Wolfgang Puck’s excellent steakhouse, CUT. It’s been rated as high as 5th best in the U.S. by some connoisseurs. While I haven’t eaten at the original in Beverly Hills, I have tried the Las Vegas branch.
It is absolutely excellent and very, very pricey. The cost of an American Wagyu filet mignon meal for one with two sides breaks down as follows:
- 8 ounces American Wagyu filet ($118)
- Two sides – potatoes and garlic spinach ($26)
- One drink ($10)
- Tax ($13)
- 20% gratuity ($31).
Call it about $200, or $197 to be exact.
Recreating a Steakhouse Meal at Home
The main key, by FAR, is to buy the same cut of meat from the same supplier. CUT supplies their American Wagyu filets from the venerable Snake River Farm in Idaho.
Sanke River uses Japanese Wagyu cattle crossed with continental breeds, such as Angus, to create “American Wagyu.” To understand what makes this beef so desirable, check out this excellent primer on American Wagyu beef.
“It has the richness of Japanese beef with lots of marbling, but the flavor is more akin to what we are used to in America. You can give me a pound of the best Wagyu from Japan, or a pound of this, and I’ll choose the Snake River Farms every time.” Wolfgang Puck
To keep the cost of our in home meal below $35, we have to get a bit creative. An 8 ounce, top of the line Gold grade filet is over $60, and that’s before shipping.
However, you can buy four 4 ounce Gold grade petite filets for around $65. We only need two of the petite filets for 8 ounces. In terms of cost, we are now at $32.50.
Snake Rivers runs frequent sales and free shipping incentives, so wait for a special. For example, I was able to get the above order for $45 (vs. $65) after noticing a monthly promotion.
You can easily buy a large potato and some fresh spinach for $3 to $5 depending on your location. Throw in whatever beverages you have at home, and we have our $200 steakhouse meal for $35 give or take a couple of bucks.
Cooking the Perfect Filet Mignon
There are literally thousands of steak recipes available for filet mignon. My two favorites are mesquite grilled cowboy style and steakhouse style. Since we are recreating a meal from a Top 5 steakhouse, we will focus on the latter.
This great video walks you through all the steps. The only difference between cooking at home vs. a steakhouse is the temperatures involved. Commercial steakhouse ovens can go to 1,500 degrees plus. At home, we aim for 400 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you prefer a topping other than butter, the irrepressible Gordon Ramsay has a fantastic recipe. The topping is a parmesan, mushroom, garlic, shallot, chive, egg and heavy cream mix.
Look at the result at the end of the video. Amazing!
Cooking the Sides
As far as garlic spinach, this recipe is simple, easy and one of my favorites.
The ingredient list is as follows:
- 1 package of fresh baby spinach with the ends trimmed
- 1.5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves thinly sliced
- 1 pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- Squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
As far as our second side, any kind of potato will work, even frites. If we want to stick to exactly recreating the sides from CUT’s menu, then we need a Yukon Gold potato puree.
I really like this recipe.
The only problem with the above method is that it takes time and effort to peel, wash, boil and puree the potatoes. I only recommend this side for a slow day when you have a lot of time.
An easier way is to buy a Russet potato and bake it. Simply:
- Preheat the over to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
- Coat the potato in olive oil and puncture with a knife in a few places
- Top generously with sea salt
- Cook for 45 to 60 minutes until the potato reaches an internal temperature of 210 degrees.
This recipe is foolproof and will result in a perfect baked potato every time.
There you have it! Recreating a $200 dollar steakhouse filet mignon meal from a Top 5 steakhouse for around $35 is actually not that difficult.
Filets are perfect for cooking in home as they are one of the simplest recipes around. The main keys are to not overcook the steak and to let it rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.
That’s it. Bon appétit!