Earlier this week, I decided to give steak with a pan sauce a go and found Ina Garten's recipe for Filet au Poivre. I figured you can't go wrong with Ina.
This recipe is super simple and pretty fun to make. In all, I think I'm more of a steak purist and prefer them without any sauce, but it was a nice change and I would definitely recommend this to friends. I do recommend, however, using a less expensive cut of meat than a filet.
Filet of Beef au Poivre
Recipe by Ina Garten
Serves 6 (I cut the recipe down by half)
Total Cook & Prep Time - 25 min
6 filet mignon, cut 1 1/4 inches thick (I used 2 - I don't remember the cut)
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 or brandy (I used brandy)
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. 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/brandy and cook for 2 more minutes (NOTE - do not lean over the pan and inhale as the alcohol is burning off. Trust me on that one). 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.