Monday, January 25, 2010

15 Things to Make Before You Die - Installment # 3

The culprit on the list of things to make before I die that I was most excited about was the Pan Seared Beef Tenderloin Steaks. I love steak, but we don't eat it very often because we don't have a backyard or a grill. I was excited to try out a different method for preparing the steaks. I couldn't find filets that had that typical round steak house appearance, but the supermarket labeled these as beef tenderloin filets and they were all I could find so I figured they would do. They were a little thinner than I had desired which in the end probably made cooking them to the perfect temperature easier.

I assumed this method of cooking the steaks wouldn't be very difficult, so I picked a recipe that had an accompanying sauce in order to make it more worth while. According to the original article, "Knowing how to cook a great steak will always get you rave reviews in the kitchen." They were absolutely right, this recipe was minimal effort with a huge payoff. Forrest and I both loved the filets and the pan sauce was the perfect pairing. I see no reason why I haven't tried this out sooner and I know it will be something I am excited to repeat in the kitchen.

View my progress on the list below:

1. Yeast Bread - Check.
2. Beef Tenderloin Steaks - Check.
3. Cream Pie
4. Creme Brulee
5. Fudge
6. Cream Puffs
7. Crown Roast
8. Fried Chicken
9. Roux - Check.
10. Pasta and Cream Sauce - Check.
11. Roasted Turkey and Gravy - Check.
12. Chocolate Pudding - Check.
13. Layer Cake - Check.
14. Souffle
15. Chicken Stock - Check.

8 down, 7 to go!

Filet of Beef au Poivre
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa

  • 6 filet mignon, cut 1 1/4 inches thick
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped shallots (3 to 4 shallots)
  • 1 cup canned beef broth
  • 1/2 cup good Cognac

Place the filets on a board and pat them dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the filets with salt and then press the black pepper evenly on both sides. Allow to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter and the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until the butter almost smokes. Place the steaks in the pan and lower the heat to medium.

Saute the steaks for 4 minutes on 1 side and then for 3 minutes on the other side, for medium rare and 6 minutes on each side for medium.

Remove the steaks to a serving platter and cover tightly with aluminum foil.

Meanwhile, pour all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the saute pan. Add the shallots and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes.

Add the beef broth

and cook over high heat for 4 to 6 minutes, until reduced by half, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the Cognac and cook for 2 more minutes.

Off the heat, swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Serve the steaks hot with the sauce poured on top or in a metal ramekin along side the steak.

Click Here for My Adapted Printable Recipe


megan said...

I just went to a Williams Sonoma class tonight on "searing and simmering" It looks like your recipe would be perfect to practice on, and I have 2 steaks in the freezer - great timing! I'll let you know if I get a chance to try it :)

Tiny's Treats said...

Glad they turned out well! I love Barefoot Contessa recipes. And a good steak doesn't need any sauce.

Elizabeth said...

Tiny's Treats,

I couldn't agree more! That is why I chose to serve the sauce on the side as opposed to drowning the steak in it like the original recipe suggested. We used the sauce for the potatoes as well and it was a real hit!

Jennifer said...

I'm drooling over that steak and its not even 9am!! Great job again!! :)

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teresa said...

oh my gosh, i love this! and you just can't beat an ina recipe. great job working on that list!

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Krista said...

Perfect! I love a good steak. I've gotta try this. Good for you for checking another one off the list!

Tupper Cooks! said...

Elizabeth, Steak au Poivre is one of my favorites and the roasted parm potatoes look great- Your pics are awesome! Thanks for helping me decide on Saturday nights menu!

Paul said...
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