Mock Filets

When we were growing up, mock filets marked a special evening.

What are mock filets, you ask? The poor man’s version of a filet mignon dinner.

In fact, I didn’t even know what a true filet of beef was until adulthood. (And honestly, the first time I had a filet, I have to admit that I secretly thought mom’s mock version was better.)

Having a bit more ground beef in the freezer that needed used, I wanted to revisit this classic for last night’s dinner.

I did a little research to find out the origin of this recipe.   Kate Aitken’s name came up quite a bit from my meager and definitely not definitive search.    (Apparently, she was the Canadian Martha Stewart of her day.)   This recipe like so many other comfort foods came out of necessity and the Great Depression.      For her recipe, click here.

I don’t remember mom having a real recipe.    I threw my mock filets together from remembering watching her (and seeing what was on hand in the fridge.)

Mock Filets

1 lb. ground beef (locally sourced if possible)
3/4 c. shredded carrots
2 green onions chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
6-8 slices thick cut bacon

Mix together beef, carrots, onions, and garlic.    Using your hands works the best.

Fresh veggies for the filets.

Divide meat mixture into 1/3 or 1/4 pound patties.    Wrap bacon around edges of patties and secure with toothpicks or wooden skewers.   Season with salt and pepper.

Wrapped filets.

Grill or broil until bacon is cooked (but not crisp).


I thought this kind of looked like a Depression Era picture.

These were delicious.   I love all the veggies packed inside the burgers.    It almost makes up for the bacon wrapped around each serving!    I would have you know that I also served these with a baked sweet potato for even more veggie goodness.

Looking back, we had no idea that we couldn’t afford real filet mignon.  (Even though we raised our own beef, I really don’t know why we never had them.    I wonder if we sold the more expensive cuts?)   We never thought we were deprived.

We just looked forward to the special nights that mom made  Mock Filets.

And, speaking of mom…I have to share this with you:

When mom was here over Spring Break, she rolled in with her little SUV (we call it Gran’s Truckster) packed with cacti.    As she was making her tour of friends in Oklahoma, she ran across a widower that was giving away his wife’s s cactus collection.     As cacti are not native to mom’s current climate, she left some with us.    Last week, this one bloomed.   Isn’t it beautiful?    I would like to find the little old man that gave these to mom and let him know his wife’s legacy is still bloomin’ away!   (It actually smells like a rose.)

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