This was my love song to the Brit last Tuesday (truthfully, he begs me not to sing): Pan Seared Filet of Beef, drizzled with a rich Bearnaise sauce laden with butter, wine vinegar, shallots and tarragon, served next to a most beautiful fanned baked potato, and asparagus roasted with garlic, sea salt and olive oil. I served this with a crisp French Baguette, a delicious Italian Super Tuscan red wine and we finished the meal with the most decadent, richest desert I have ever made: Mrs. Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy’s Chocolate Berry Pavlova.
Ok, so I am going to start with the end of the meal. I want to go on record as stating, as you will see for yourself if you click on the above link, that my Pavlova looked nothing like hers. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I am not a baker. This labor of love took me close to two hours to make and had I read through the entire recipe first I never would have undertaken it. I also had some very serious concerns as to whether or not our arteries would clog immediately as I dumped the two and a half sticks of butter into that raspberry cream.
My meringues cracked, as you can see in the picture, but they remained intact, so I was thrilled. In viewing her desert, she had cracks in hers too and I gave myself brownie points because, after all, I am baking at an altitude of 5280 feet.
All in all, this was a delicious dessert and as billed, it was sticky, gooey, creamy and chewy!
Now, back to the main event! I’m going to create a recipe for the Filet Mignon and the Bearnaise sauce below, so I’ll just tell you how I made my cute baked potato fan and the rather delicious roasted asparagus. I cut slices into my raw potatoes about 1/4 in apart and 3/4 of the way through the potatoes. After doing this, I sprayed them generously with EVO before placing them on a baking sheet in a 400F oven for an hour.
I spread my trimmed asparagus spears in a single row on a baking sheet, sprayed them generously with EVO as well, sprinkled them with Pink Himalayan Salt (heeellllooo, it was Valentines Day and pink salt was uber appropriate), freshly ground pepper and scattered 2 finely chopped cloves of garlic over the top. They joined the potatoes in the oven for the last 20 minutes of our baking session.
Now on to the beef and Bearnaise. I amended Ina Garten’s Bearnaise Sauce, which by the way, she spells without the a. In the past I have used one from the NY Times Cookbook, my mother’s bible which I inherited, and I must say I am now a big Ina Garten fan. It’s not that her sauce tasted any better than the one I usually make, but making it in the blender was a huge time and arm bicep saver.
To be completely honest, I was out of champagne vinegar, which her recipe calls for and out of tarragon vinegar, which the old recipe I used suggests. I went with Rice Wine Vinegar and it was fine. The strong flavor from the shallots and tarragon, coupled the equal amount of white wine left me with a delicate and perfectly flavored sauce that didn’t speak a word of Chinese!
I also added some lovely crab meat to the top of our fillets and we called our meat Oscar!
|Simply Elegant Filet Mignon w Bearnaise Sauce|
- For the sauce:
- 1/8 cup Champagne or white wine vinegar
- 1/8 cup good white wine
- 1 tablespoon minced shallots
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves, divided
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 extra-large egg yolks*
- 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- For the Filets:
- 2 Prime Filet Mignon Steaks
- EVO for the skillet
- Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper
- For the sauce:
- Put the Champagne vinegar, white wine, shallots, 1 tablespoon tarragon leaves, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is reduced to a few tablespoons. Cool slightly.
- Place the cooled mixture with the egg yolks and 1/2 teaspoon salt in the jar of a blender and blend for 30 seconds. With blender on, slowly pour the hot butter through the opening in the lid. Add the remaining tarragon leaves and blend only for a second. If the sauce is too thick, add a tablespoon of white wine to thin. Keep at room temperature until serving.
- Season the steaks liberally with salt and coarsely ground black pepper on both sides, rub it into the meat and allow them to sit for at least 1 hour.
- Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a large saute pan over high heat until it’s almost smoking, then sear the steaks on each side for 1 minute.
- Lower the heat to low and cook the steaks for about 7 to 10 minutes, turning once, until very rare in the middle. Remove to a plate, cover tightly with aluminum foil and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
- Drizzle the sauce over the meat and asparagus and serve the remainder on the side.
We could not finish our steaks and each left about half our serving. I also had most of the sauce left over. When I refrigerated the sauce it ended up being the consistency of mayo, so the following day I sliced the steak very thin, spread a layer of the sauce on Colin’s sandwich roll in lieu of mustard or mayo and sent him to work with a Deja Vu Sandwich!