Recipe: Filet mignon with parsnip puree and wine reduction sauce
Serves 2 | Prep Time 15 minutes | Cooking Time 10 minutes
- 2 large parsnips
- 1 cup whole milk or almond milk
- 2 250 grams thick filet mignon
- 1/2 cup demi glace
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 medium shallot diced fine
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter (optional)
- 2 tbsp clarified butter
- salt and pepper
- Peel the parsnips and chop into large pieces.
- Place in a pot with the milk and cook at medium heat until parsnips are very tender.
- Blend in a blender until very smooth.
- Keep warm over a double boiler
- Preheat your oven to 400F.
- Season the filets generously with salt and pepper at least 1/2 hour before cooking up to 2 hours.
- Pat the fillets with a paper towel to dry them up a bit. The goal is for them to be dry enough that they’ll sear quickly.
- Heat a pan to high heat. The pan needs to be large enough to hold both pieces of beef without crowding them.
- Place the clarified butter in the pan followed immediately by the steaks. The goal here is to brown them thoroughly and create a crust.
- Resist the temptation to check too often. After about 3 to 4 minutes the filets will unstick naturally from the pan as they brown.
- Flip and brown on the other side for about 3 minutes, again, until the nice crust forms.
- Place in the oven for about 3 to 4 minutes. This depends on the thickness of your fillets, so use your judgment. A 1 inch filet can probably bypass this step altogether. A 2 inch filet probably needs no more than 2 to 3 minutes in the oven. The goal here is to cook the filets to just below your desired level of doneness.
- Remove from the oven and check the inside with a thermometer, if you want precision. 130F will be rare, 140F medium rare (always preferred) and 165F well done. As you rest the steaks the temperature between the outside areas, which were exposed directly to the heat, and the inside areas will equalize as heat travels by conduction from the outside in. This means that the interior of the beef will end up 5 to 10 degrees higher from where they were when just out of the oven.
- Remove from the pan and place in a warming oven, if you have one, at about 130F so the beef can stay warm while you prepare the sauce. Otherwise cover with aluminum foil.
Wine reduction pan sauce
- Using the pan where you cooked the beef, now empty but filled with beautiful pieces of browned bits of beef and some of the butter which remains add the finely minced shallots and the wine all at once. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, au sec as the French would say (until dry.)
- Add the demi glace and keep reducing until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add finishing butter, if desired.
- Strain into a bowl and keep warm over a double boiler or use immediately.
Place a 2 tbsp of the parsnip puree on a round or square nice plate. Here is a chance to be creative. For example using a spatula spread the puree to make space to put the filets on top.
Top with reduction sauce letting it spill a little bit into the plate.
The challenge in this recipe is to get everything ready just at the right moment. Plan ahead well and decide the sequence of steps in advance.
Contrary to popular belief we do not sear the steaks to seal in the juices. We do so for flavor and texture.
The resting time is important. As the muscles relax a little bit from the heat they are able to absorb back some of the juices they expelled, leading to a juicer piece of beef.
The reduction sauce is not difficult to make but it requires the patience to reduce it properly. A sauce should provide flavor and a silky smooth, unctuous texture. When the sauce is done properly it is beautifully shiny and it pools on the plate rather than spilling.
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