When it comes to fancy steaks, Filet Mignon is at the top of my list. If you are craving a steak with true beefy goodness, this might not be the cut for you. Fat and marbling is what gives beef its flavor. A well-marbled Rib-Eye is delicious. Skirt steaks, although thin, are packed with flavor.
Filet Mignon, while delicious, don’t necessarily have that rich beefy flavor. They are superior in tenderness, IF properly cooked. Filets require quick, high heat and should never be cooked beyond the point of medium-rare. Since this cut of meat is very lean, it can dry out and become tough if over-cooked. The tenderloin (from which Filet Mignon is cut) runs along both sides of the spine, and is usually harvested as two long snake-shaped cuts of beef.
While a true Filet Mignon comes from the small forward end of the tenderloin, some butchers in the United States label all types of tenderloin steaks “Filet Mignon”. In fact, the less desirable shape of the true Filet Mignon may be a hindrance, which is why most restaurants serve steaks cut from the wider end of the tenderloin. It is not only cost effective, the uniform appearance is much more presentable.
These filets are delicious, easy to prepare and will wow your dining guests. Served with fancy potatoes such as Duchess Potatoes and a splash of bright color from pan-seared asparagus tips, and you’ve got all the makings of a five-star dinner party.
Filet Mignon with Brandy Cream and Peppercorns
6 Filet Mignon 3/4 inch thick
2 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
5 drops Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons of green peppercorns
3 tablespoons of butter
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1/3 cup of brandy
1/2 cup of whipping cream
Salt to taste
In a small bowl, combine ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and green peppercorns. Set aside until ready to use.
In a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter with oil. Once the pan is hot and the butter melted, sear filets about 2 minutes per side. Remove steaks from the skillet, set aside and keep warm.
Note: One way to keep filets warm and hold the natural moisture is to plate the steaks on a dinner plate, stacked together if necessary. Cover with a steel mixing bowl inverted over the plate to create a dome. This will hold in the heat, while allowing the natural condensation to drip back into the meat.
To the now empty pan, add brandy and deglaze skillet by stirring the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
Add ketchup-mustard mixture and cream, mix well.
Return meat to skillet. Season with salt and cook to desired doneness. (Steaks more to the medium side should be returned to the pan a few minutes ahead of those more to the medium-rare side).
When ready to serve, plate steaks and spoon sauce over the meat.