Less than 1 hour
Filet Mignon can be an expensive cut of beef depending on where you buy it. Here, in Northern California Costco has some of the best prices (and best quality). For most of this year the standard Choice quality level in the white styro has been around $15 per pound. The USDA Prime in the blue styro is the best quality Costco sells around $22 per pound.
Whole Foods standard Choice quality is around $30 per pound.
- 4 filet mignon steaks
- 1/3 cup Cognac, Brandy or Whiskey
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1 medium shallot, sliced thin
- 2 tbps funsalted butter
- 2 tbps canola oil
- 1 tbps Maille Dijon mustard
- 1-2 tbps heavy whipping cream
- 1 tbps fresh thyme leaves, chopped (optional)
- 1/2 tbps fresh peppercorns (optional)
- Salt & Pepper
Wine Pairing: Syrah
Most of the time I add peppercorns and/or fresh ground pepper to the sauce along with a pinch a little thyme which makes it a BFF with Syrah. Especially Syrah from Northern Rhone producers in St. Joseph, Cornas, Cote-Rotie, Hermitage or the often more affordable Crozes-Hermitage.
To say the “best” Syrah in the world comes from Northern Rhone would get little push back. There, the Syrahs exhibit all the notes Syrah should have. On the nose, it’s not uncommon to pick up pepper, roasted meat, smoke and dark brooding fruits. Those rustic smokey, peppery charcuterie board notes marry nicely with the peppery cream sauce. Additionally, medium-plus acidity in the wines help cut through the cream sauce and match tannin with fat content of the filet.
My personal favorite is the effort from Guillaume Gilles, whose Cornas Syrah punches way above its weight class.
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1 –
Season steaks liberally on both sides with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 275°.
Step 2 –
In a skillet, heat canola oil over high heat. Once oil starts giving off smoke, sear steaks on both sides for approximately 3 minutes, or until browned. Place steaks in oven in an oven safe pan or on a cookie sheet for 15-20 minutes.
In the same skillet, lower heat to medium. Heat 2 TBSP butter over medium heat. Sauté shallot approximately 3 minutes to release the aromas. Pour in Cognac and flame with a long lighter or match (make sure to stand back so you don’t get burned!)
After alcohol burns off and flame disappears, pour in beef stock. Simmer and reduce stock down to approximately 1/4 cup over medium high heat. A good visual cue is there’s just enough liquid to cover the bottom of the skillet. Turn off stove and let sauce sit a few minutes before adding final ingredients.
Before serving, slowly stir in heavy cream, mustard and season with salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste. If you decide to add some thyme and fresh ground pepper this is when you stir it in. Serve sauce spooned on top of steaks or on the side.