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Special sauce adds zip to filet mignon

By Detroit Free Press

DETROIT -- A juicy beefsteak and sautéed mushrooms go together perfectly -- especially when you add a great sauce to the mix.

Make that beefsteak a filet mignon, add a yummy zip sauce, top it off with a tangy blue cheese and you've got a combo that's irresistible.

Today's recipe mixes up sautéed mushrooms with some fresh green beans and my version of a zip sauce, a hearty sauce that enhances the beef's flavor.

Another plus: This recipe keeps the mess to a minimum because it uses the same skillet to cook the beef and the mushrooms and make the sauce. Just make sure the skillet is ovenproof.

Using a skillet to sear the filets first is a way to ensure a crusty exterior and a tender, juicy interior. Finishing them off in the oven provides low and slow constant heat.

Another option is to grill the filets over a high heat and then move them to a cooler part of the grill to finish cooking. When grilling, you'll need to make the sauce separately, keeping in mind it won't have any of those flavorful beefy pan juices or little bits of food that are packed with flavor.

Beef Filet with Blue Cheese and Zip Sauce

Serves 4. Prep time: 15 minutes. Total time: 40 minutes. Maggi Seasoning is an all-purpose sauce used to enhance flavors of sauces, soups and stews. Look for it in the condiment aisle.

     4    beef tenderloin filets, 2 inches thick and about 5 ounces each

     Salt and pepper

     Favorite steak seasoning

     2     tablespoons olive oil, divided

     1     tablespoon unsalted butter

     4    cups thinly sliced crimini mushrooms

     2    cups fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces

     1/4  cup sherry

     1/2  to 1 cup fat-free beef broth

     2     tablespoons balsamic vinegar or Maggi Seasoning

     1/3  cup reduced-fat blue cheese crumbles

SEASON the beef filets on both sides with salt and pepper and, if using, steak seasoning. Set aside for 20 minutes.

HEAT the oven to 375°.

HEAT 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large, ovenproof skillet. When hot, add the beef filets (don't crowd them) and sear on both sides about 2 minutes or until well-browned.

TRANSFER the skillet to the oven to finish the cooking, about 12 to 15 minutes for medium rare, depending on the thickness. Remove from the oven and transfer the filets to a platter and keep warm.

PLACE the skillet (carefully because the handle will be hot), over medium heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and butter.

ADD the mushrooms and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the beans and sauté 2 minutes until they are just crisp tender. Season with salt and pepper.

REMOVE from the skillet to a plate. In the same skillet, over medium heat, add the sherry and deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits. Add the beef broth, balsamic vinegar and any of the juices from the platter. Bring to a boil and reduce until slightly thickened.

TO SERVE, place a filet on a plate, top with a heaping tablespoon of blue cheese and a serving of the mushrooms and beans. Drizzle with the zip sauce and serve.

Nutrition information: Per serving: 374 calories (55 percent from fat), 23 grams fat (8 grams saturated fat), 9 grams carbohydrates, 31 grams protein, 385 milligrams sodium, 92 milligrams cholesterol, 2 grams fiber.


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