With cottage season nearing full swing, Ted Reader has some tips on how to get the most out of charcoal grilling.

Classic Filet with Sauce Béarnaise

When I was a young pup working in kitchens, I had a job in local steakhouse. You know the type of old school (that was its name by the way) style steakhouse that starts you out with a basket of toasty garlic bread and gives you a relish tray of radishes, olives, green onions, pickles, you get the picture. A classic steakhouse that wrapped the beef tenderloin steak s in bacon and served them with sauce béarnaise (hollandaise sauce with tarragon) and a big ass baked potato fully loaded. I love this type of steakhouse, they make me very happy.

  • Grill Temperature: Medium high 450-550 degrees F
  • Grill Time: 15 minutes
  • Serves: 6

Special Equipment:

  • Toothpicks
  • Whisk
  • Stainless bowl
  • Medium sauce pot

Ingredients for steak::

  • 6 to 8 slices thick bacon
  • 6 petite filet mignon: center cut beef tenderloin steaks, each about 6 oz and cut about 1 ½ to 2 inches thick
  • 6 sprigs of fresh tarragon, about 6-8 inches in length. Look for tarragon sprigs with a good firm stalk
  • 2 tbsp. steak spice

Ingredients for sauce béarnaise:

  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 sprigs fresh tarragon
  • 1 small shallot, diced
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp. dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp. dry sherry
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp. clarified butter
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • Dash of hot sauce
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Fry the bacon for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until slightly done. (You do not want to fry the bacon crisp or you will not be able to wrap it around the filets.) Remove from pan and pat dry with paper towels to remove excess fat. Set aside.
  2. Take a sprig of tarragon and skewer it through the middle of the side of the steak. Run it all the way through so that there are a few inches of tarragon sticking out two sides of the steak. You may need to make a small incision with the tip of a knife to get it started.
  3. Rub the filets all over with the steak spice, pressing the seasoning into the meat.
  4. Fold the tarragon to the steak and then wrap each steak with a slice of partially fried bacon. Use a half slice extra if the bacon does not quite make it all the way around. Secure with a toothpick and set aside at room temperature
  5. Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a small saucepan bring the vinegar, tarragon sprigs, shallot, water and peppercorns to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half. Remove from heat and strain. Discard solids and let the liquid cool.
  6. In a medium bowl whisk the egg yolks, white wine, sherry and cooled vinegar mixture. Place over a pot of simmering water and whisk constantly until the mixture is thick enough to form a ribbon when drizzled from the whisk. Be careful not to turn this into scrambled eggs. Remove from heat.
  7. Whisking constantly, slowly add the clarified butter a little at a time until all the butter has been absorbed. Season with chopped tarragon, mustard, lemon juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Remove from heat and keep warm over the hot water.
  8. Fire up your grill
  9. Grill beef for 5 to 6 minutes per side for medium rare doneness and the bacon is crispy.
  10. Remove toothpicks and serve filets drizzled with sauce Béarnaise.