Welcome once again to Ina First Fridays! This month it's a main course. Now I know most of you have a grill and probably use it almost every night during the summer, but I don't, so this was the perfect recipe for me. I do love a melt-in-your-mouth filet and the shallot sauce finishes it off to a T.
To me, the perfect filet mignon has a crispy outside and a tender, juicy, rare or medium rare center. Why rare? Because filet is very lean to begin with, which means very little fat to melt and lubricate as it cooks. So the longer you cook it (to medium or well done) that tiny amount of fat melts away and the meat will be dry.
As a bonus, I made some Horseradish Yorkshire Puddings, which we always think of with roast beef, but they are amazing with any cut of beef. The only change I would make to this recipe is to add 2 tablespoons of the horseradish cream, because 1 tablespoon just didn't cut it.
Remember, they're like popovers, so they puff up when baking and sink a bit when out of the oven. These little puddings are NOT an Ina recipe, but a Donna Hay find. I think you'll like them with Ina's filet and you'll want to make them often when you're grilling steak.
Filet of Beef au Poivre
Copyright 2004, Barefoot in Paris
6 filet mignon, cut 1 1/4 inches thick
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup chopped shallots (3 to 4 shallots)
1 cup canned beef broth
1/2 cup good Cognac or brandy
Place the filets on a board and pat them dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the filets with salt and then press the black pepper evenly on both sides. Allow to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter and the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until the butter almost smokes. Place the steaks in the pan and lower the heat to medium. Saute the steaks for 4 minutes on 1 side and then for 3 minutes on the other side, for medium rare. Remove the steaks to a serving platter and cover tightly with aluminum foil.
Meanwhile, pour all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the saute pan. Add the shallots and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the beef broth and cook over high heat for 4 to 6 minutes, until reduced by half, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the Cognac and cook for 2 more minutes. Off the heat, swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Serve the steaks hot with the sauce poured on top.
Horseradish Yorkshire Puddings
Donna Hay, Issue 69
2/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon horseradish cream (I think this should be 2 tablespoons)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
clarified butter or ghee
Preheat oven to 425.
Place eggs, milk and horseradish cream in a bowl and whisk. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Set aside for 30 minutes.
Divide the clarified butter between 6 half cup muffin tins. Place the tins on a tray, place in the oven about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and divide the batter between the tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until puffed and golden. Serves 2.
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