Filet Mignon with Mushroom and Rosemary Gravy

Whether it’s a few bucks for a few slices of pizza from my favorite shop, or Wawa runs when I forget my packed lunch, or even a North 3rd visit for drinks that turned into dinner, it’s evident through my spending habits that I love food. If I sat down with my bank statement and a highlighter, I would end up with a fluorescently painted piece of paper noting the majority of my salary goes toward dining out. 2011 is the year in which I occasionally hold back from the temptation for take-out or dinner at my favorite restaurant.

Thankfully, I love to cook and am blessed with some sort of skill in the kitchen. Four-star meals at home will be a more common occurrence in my house (as will be circular searching and coupon clipping). My first fancy dinner of the year began with filet mignon stored in our freezer from a sale at Shop Rite, which would have been delicious simply seared and served with fresh veggies or a salad. However, I found a Giada De Laurentiis recipe that turned an at-home dinner into a restaurant quality meal.

Filet Mignon with Mushroom and Rosemary Gravy

Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

Ingredients

Steaks:

2 (8-ounce) filet mignon steaks

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

Gravy:

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 shallots, minced

8 ounces mushrooms, coarsely chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 ½ cups, Cabernet Sauvignon

1 (15 oz.) can, low-sodium beef broth

1 ½ tablespoons, chopped fresh rosemary leaves

1 ½ tablespoons, all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

 

Directions:

Cook the filet in a non-stick skillet over medium heat, about 5 minutes each side (or until cooked to desired doneness). Set aside and season with salt and pepper, to taste. In the same skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and mushrooms and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until the shallots are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in the beef broth and rosemary. Whisk in the flour until smooth. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until half of the liquid has evaporated and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add steaks back into the gravy to reheat.

If I read a recipe and the first ingredients include “shallots” and “mushrooms,” I’m making it. The two work wonders together in a sauce, or gravy as in this recipe, and when paired together alone, as a side dish, they’re delicious. Cooking them down in the remnants of the filet enhances the naturally meaty flavor of the mushrooms as the shallots become slightly sweet. Though it can be time consuming, especially when you’re hungry, the process of reducing the liquids as they’re added magnifies the way they taste. The original recipe calls for Marsala, which I find to be sweet and light, so I opted for leftover Cabernet from the holidays. Though the reduction process does pull out sweet properties from the wine, it’s heavier than Giada’s suggested wine and, I feel, gives the gravy a bolder flavor.  The reduction of the beef broth counters the wine with bold meatiness, and since the rosemary is added at the end, it maintains its floral characteristics and adds a fresh punch to the end of the gravy. A final addition of butter not only intensifies the rich flavor of the gravy, it adds aesthetic qualities by making it glisten.

If every dinner at home could be like this recipe, I would have less of a reason to spend money at restaurants, pizza shops and on Wawa runs. Though, if every dinner were like this one, it’d get awful pricey buying up filet.

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Categories: I Hate to Brag, Meat

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