Mike LangBeef, Grilling

What's on the Grill #255: Pesto Planked Filets

Mike LangBeef, Grilling

Grilling on a plank sounds cool, mysterious, and different.  All true.  However, what I failed to mention is that it is also dead easy.  This fact is especially important when you don't have a lot of time to hover around the grill.  After all, planking is that magical intersection where "unique cooking style" meets "I don't have time to stand in one place".  Music to my ears.

Although I could have gone with salt, pepper, and wood, I opted to top the filets with a magical culinary figure who tends to only make an appearance when I run out of ice cube trays.  I'm talking about the one, the only, the configurable, Lego pesto man.

Pesto Minifig

I absolutely love pesto and it's mouthwatering, and sometimes repelling, mixture of garlic, parmesan and basil.  When I make a batch, I make a lot, and by far one of the best way to store and freeze "extra pesto" is by using ice cube trays.  So, why the pesto Lego guy?  Well that's what happens when you run out of normal ice cube trays and move over to your Lego ice cube trays.

Pesto Planked Filets with Cheesy Leeks
By Another Pint Please

2 - Beef Filets
1/2 cup of Pesto (fresh or canned.  If fresh, preferably in the shape of a Lego Minifig)
salt & pepper
Cedar plank (soaked in water at least an hour before use)

First, as I mentioned above, be sure to soak your planks.  I cook these over direct heat, so a soak is a requirement.  

Remove the meat from the fridge and prep the grill for direct medium heat.

Place the filets on the plank, or as in my case, planks…I one in half.  Salt and pepper the filets. 

Pepper on Steak on Plank

 Next, pick out your least favorite Lego figs and top the meat.  They were brave Legos.

Lego Man Down!

Although it looks a little ghastly, it will be worth it when you are done.  Spread the pesto across the meat.

Pushing In

With the meat planked and "pesto'd", place the planks on the grill over the direct medium heat and lower the lid.

Since the heat is relatively low and the planks are soaked, the wood should easily survive the cook.  Even though, keep a relative vigilant eye on the grill.  Flare ups can happen and a splash of water to douse the flames may be a necessity.

Planked Pesto Filet

For medium - medium rare, shoot for about 30 minute, or until the internal temperature hits about 130 F.  

Remove from the grill and allow the meat to rest.  Depending on how the planks look, save them for the next cook or donate them to the fire pit.

Mediumish Rare

The pesto, wood, and meat make a magical combination, and as I mentioned before, the planking also allows me to concentrate on other things, like the cheesy leeks I served along side these filets.  That post is coming up next.  

In the meantime, let me ask you, what have you planked lately and more importantly, what foods do you freeze in ice cube trays?