Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Filet Mignon with Brandy & Cream
This has to be about one of the best beef dinners I've ever made. Ole Sweetie-Pi couldn't stop smacking his lips and telling me how good this is. Indeed, such high praise from a consummate beef eater.
I found this recipe in my Northern Italian Cooking cookbook by Biba Caggiano. I can't tell you how long I've had it; the book was published in 1981, so at least since then,. I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I've never once made anything out of it until now. What a mistake!
This recipe is restaurant quality (indeed it's a restaurant recipe) that you can easily make at home. So elegant and delicious.
Filet Mignons with Brandy & Cream
2 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard **
2 tablespoons green peppercorns
or pinch red (cayenne) pepper **
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 filet mignons, 3/4-inch thick **
1/3 cup brandy **
1/2 cup whipping cream
In a small mixing bowl, combine the ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and green peppercorns (or cayenne).
Melt butter with oil in a large skill. When the butter foams, add the meat.
Cook over medium high heat 1 to two minutes on each side, or until lightly browned. Remove from skillet.
Add the ketchup-mustard mixture and the cream. Return meat to skill. Season with salt.
Cook over medium high to preferred doneness. Place meat on warm platter. Spoon sauce over meat. Serve immediately.
** Cook's Notes
I think this had a very strong mustard flavor. If you don't love mustard, I would suggest cutting back the amount. Sweetie-Pi loved the flavor; I thought it was too assertive.
I used cayenne; I could not justify buying a jar of peppercorns for such a small amount as it's not an ingredient I readily use. I do believe, however, that the peppercorns would've been a better choice.
Filet mignons are expensive and exquisite and should stand on their own, I think, or maybe wrapped in bacon. I do not think they should be covered with a heavy sauce such as this. I used two Delmonico steaks; they were flavorful, tender,absolutely gorgeous.
I keep cognac in the house for cooking purposes only, and from past experience I know how quickly a dish can go from flavorful to overwhelmed. I reduced the amount I used by about three tablespoons, and that seemed to be just right. Once again, a small sampling will tell you if you'd like to add more.
Finally, the rich brown sauce didn't just happen. Even after scraping up all the little bits in the bottom of my pan, the sauce did not get the deep rich color that you see. It was actually rather salmon colored and anemic looking. So I cheated. I used a product GravyMaster. Wonderful product. I added in small amounts and stirred to combine until I achieved the beautiful, rich brown gravy that you see. If you use GravyMaster, taste sample the gravy before adding any salt.
This has to be the best steak I have ever cooked. It's fast, easy, elegant. Just perfect for that special dinner.