The Cook Taste Eat team calls this delicious stuff "Mina Salt," and it's always waiting in our test kitchen cabinet to sprinkle on eggs, chicken, baked potatoes, avocado or whatever we have on hand – it enlivens everything it touches.
Caramelizing shallots brings out their sweetness and softens their spice, and mixing them with coarse salt gives them a great texture. Sprinkled over filet mignon, this seasoning salt imparts a sweet-salty flavor and a nice crunch that contrasts with the buttery meat, but we’re sure you’ll come up with some new uses for it, too. If you store the salt in an airtight container, it will stay fresh for up to two months of delicious experimentation.
- Crisping tips. To get your shallots to color and crisp evenly, slice them, salt them and then drain them over a strainer for 10 minutes so that they release their liquid. Then use an absorbent towel to squeeze them dry before frying them.
- Keep your cool. Allow the fried shallots to cool completely before grinding them with the salt.
- A mindful grind. Place just a small amount of Maldon or other coarse-grained salt in your food processor or spice grinder with the shallots and pepper, and then fold in the rest. This will allow the majority of the salt to keep its crunchy texture.
This meal teaches you how to make meltingly tender filet mignon with elevated steakhouse sides. If you want to go further to gain an in-depth, chef-level foundation of steak knowledge – including cuts and grades and how to match the right cooking techniques to each one to transform it into a perfect, tender and delicious meal – take our class Cooking Perfect Steaks, Every Time, with Michael Mina.
This tool is one we find especially helpful when making this dish.
- Small food processor or spice grinder. Either of these tools will make quick work of grinding down the shallows and blending them with the salt.
The list below includes all the equipment you’ll want to make this dish.
- Rubber spatula
- Digital thermometer
- Small bowl
- Medium bowl with ice
- Fine mesh sieve
- Baking sheet lined with paper towels
- Small deep sauce pot
- Slotted spatula or small spider
- Small food processor or spice grinder
- 8 medium shallots (about 7 ounces total), peeled
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups canola oil
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon large, flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
Serves: Makes about 2/3 cup
Total Time: 50 minutes
Active Time: 30 minutes
- Line a small baking sheet with 8 paper towels; set aside.
- Slice the shallots very thinly on a mandoline to the thickness of a dime.
- Place oil in a medium straight-sided sauté pan or sautoir. The oil should come up about ¾-inch.
- Add shallots to the oil and set the pot over medium-high heat. Stir the shallots continuously every 2 minutes with a fork to keep the rings from sticking together. Do not let oil get hotter than 375°F. Try and stay around 365°F.
- Using a slotted spoon or spider, transfer shallots to a rack set over a baking sheet. Then transfer shallots to baking sheet lined with paper towels. Remove one paper towel at a time, letting each layer of paper towel absorb excess oil.
- Let oil in the pot cool completely. Strain oil through a fine meshed sieve into a medium bowl. Reserve this shallot-infused oil for the beef marinade.
- Once completely cooled, transfer fried shallots to a small food processor or spice grinder. Pulse, in batches if needed, until coarsely ground. Use should have about ½ cup chopped shallots. Mix with the freshly ground black pepper and flaky sea salt. Hold in an air-tight container for up to 2 months.
Mix shallot salt with sour cream to top off grilled steak tacos with salsa
Bring a dollop of deliciousness to your taco night table. Mix 2 tablespoons of the Caramelized Shallot Steak Salt with 1 cup of sour cream. Serve the seasoned cream with warm tortillas, grilled steak and salsa.