Saturday, January 23, 2016

Pan Roasted Filet of Beef with Cognac Cream Sauce

About this time of the year I get hungry for a piece of steak. But I don't keep the grill out in the snow nor do I have a desire to go out into the cold to make a steak. As such, doing these little fillets stove top with a delicious Cognac cream sauce is the perfect solution.

Julian's Filet Mignon with Cognac Cream Sauce
For this recipe we are using the Filet Mignon, which is a steak cut of beef taken from the smaller end of the tenderloin. In other words, the most tender and expensive cut. In French this cut is called filet de bœuf. While this cut is exceptionally tender, it is less flavorful than some other cuts of beef. So a sauce with bold, rich flavor compliments the dish well. I'm using 4 ounce steaks today and with the rich sauce that really is big enough, although you may want larger if you have big eaters.

Ingredients
2 beef tenderloin filets
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Sauce
4-8 tablespoons Cognac
1 small shallot or onion (about 2 tablespoons)
     very finely chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
pinch of salt
freshly cracked pepper
Kitchen Bouqet browning sauce (optional)

In a medium sized skillet over moderately high heat, melt the butter and olive oil. As soon as the butter and oil begin to turn golden and smoke, place the steaks in the pan. For medium-rare to medium, cook for 4 minutes on each side. Once done, remove the steaks to a plate, tent with foil and set aside. Pour off the excess fat but do not wipe or scrape the pan clean.

After the flame dies down, saute the onion/shallot with butter.
Move the skillet off heat, add 4-6 tablespoons Cognac to the pan all at one time and carefully ignite the alcohol with a long match or firestick. Stand back, even a small amount of Cognac will initiatlly make a big flame. Gently shake pan until the flames die.

 Return the pan to medium heat and the shallot/onion and the butter. Stir for 2 minutes or so until soft and lightly browned. Add the cream and bring the mixture to a boil and whisk until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, approximately 5 minutes. Add the remaining Cognac to your taste and season with a little salt and lots of freshly cracked pepper (to taste). If you prefer the sauce to be more brown, add a couple drops of Kitchen Bouquet and stir in. Add the steaks back to the pan, turning them in the sauce and serve. Spoon remaining sauce over plated steaks.

An Easy Quick Weeknight Dinner

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