Peppered Filets with a Grainy Mustard Cream Sauce
I think the best way to prepare a filet is with a cast-iron skillet and an oven. First I sear the meat on the stovetop to give it a nice crust, and then I finish the steak in the oven. The results are a more tender and juicy steak than any I have had off of a grill.
4 filet mignons, cut 1 1/4-inches thick each
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, peeled and finely minced
1/4 cup brandy
1 tablespoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
1/2 cup heavy cream
Freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 395 degrees.
Pat the beef dry with paper towels. Generously season the beef with salt. Evenly press the coarse pepper on both flat sides of the filets. In a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the skillet. Sear the steaks until well browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Place the steaks in the oven to finish cooking, about 8 minutes for medium-rare. (For medium, cook the steak an additional 2 to 3 minutes.) Transfer the steaks to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
Pour all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the skillet. Add the shallots and sauté over medium heat until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the brandy and simmer, uncovered until the liquor has almost evaporated, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the mustard and heavy cream. Bring the sauce to a simmer and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the steaks hot with the sauce.
• Cooking Tips: For a milder sauce, you can substitute traditional Dijon mustard for the whole-grain variety.
• Back-to-the-Basics: I like the flavor that the brandy imparts to this sauce. You can substitute bourbon or cognac if you prefer. Or just omit the alcohol completely.
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(Image: Natalie Root/Thomas Nelson)