Dining In 1 minute 10 February 2021

Erick Williams' Filet Mignon Valentine's Day Dinner

Here's what chef-owner Erick Williams of MICHELIN Bib Gourmand Virtue in Chicago is cooking for Valentine's Day

date night Romantic Valentine's Day

For Valentine's Day this year, Erick Williams is making his wife Tiffany Williams a classic: filet mignon, mashed potatoes, and green beans. Chef Williams says, "This particular dish is one of my wife's favorites. My wife is a meat and potatoes girl, she's a true Midwesterner, and she loves comfort food, and by way of comfort it's steak and potatoes. So that's what we'll be celebrating Valentine's Day with." Here's how to make the Williams' Valentine's Day dinner, a delicious feast no matter what day you enjoy it. 

Tiffany and Erick Williams. Photo courtesy Williams family
Tiffany and Erick Williams. Photo courtesy Williams family

Beef Filet Mignon With Crushed Red Potatoes And Charred Green Beans

Serves 2

2 8oz filet mignon (beef)
14 whole green beans
1/2 pound red potatoes, scrubbed
1/2 pound butter
1/2 cup warm milk
Vegetable oil
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Crushed Potatoes
Place potatoes in large pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil. Add a large pinch of salt and boil, uncovered, over moderate high heat until fork tender, about 25 minutes depending on size of potatoes. Drain potatoes and return to pot. Shake pot over moderate high heat to dry potatoes. Off the heat, lightly mash potatoes with potato masher. Add butter and milk and mash until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper.

Filet Mignon
Season filets with salt and pepper on all sides.
Let sit on a tray with a rack for 1 hour to temper.
Preheat a cast iron pan over high heat with enough oil to coat bottom of pan. (Pan is hot enough when oil is shimmering but not smoking.)
Sear filets 2 minutes per side on stovetop over high heat, then immediately transfer to preheated oven at 400°F. Cook 4 minutes for medium-rare.
Let meat rest on clean tray for about 5 minutes before transferring to plate.

Photo by Nolis Anderson for the New York Times.jpg

"Food moves me because something as simple as fresh oysters and lemon or perfectly seared steak possesses the possibility of creating nostalgic memories or immediate joy. That is how food moves me." — Virtue chef-owner Erick Williams

Photo by Nolis Anderson for the New York Times

Erick Williams_Filet Mignon_Courtesy of Lindsey Becker (2).jpg

"I take my green beans that have been oiled and seasoned with salt and pepper and I blister them in a hot, nonstick pan. I use a cast iron pan because I find it gives me the best results. I blister them, I get a little bit of char and color on them, and I cook them until they start to wilt a little bit." — Virtue chef Erick Williams

Green Beans
Place green beans in single layer in hot cast iron pan (preferably using same pan that steak just came from), seasoning lightly with salt and pepper.
Char for 2 minutes, remove from pan, and serve.

Hero image: Photo courtesy of Lindsey Becker
Inset image: Photo courtesy of Lindsey Becker

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