Recipe of the Week: Filet au Poivre
Filet au Poivre is a beautifully seared filet, enhanced with fresh cracked pepper. A rich sauce completes the finish of bold tastes for beef lovers. It does not hold, so plan to serve it immediately after preparation.
6 (8 ounce) beef tenderloin filet steaks
6 tablespoons coarsely crack black peppercorns
Kosher or sea salt
3 tablespoons clarified butter
3/4 cup brandy
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Glace de Viande or Veal Demi-glace
Half a bunch of fresh watercress, tough stems removed, for garnish
Season both sides of each filet with a little salt and cracked pepper, pressing the peppercorns into the meat firmly. Place a platter and six dinner plates in a low oven to warm.
Place a large sauté pan over high heat (or use two pans; on no account should you crowd the pan). Add the clarified butter and, when it is very hot, add the filets and brown without moving for 2 minutes. Turn and brown for 2 minutes, then reduce the heat to low and continue cooking for 6 minutes for rare, 11 minutes for medium-rare, 14 minutes for medium, 16 minutes for medium-well. Transfer the steaks to the platter in the oven and keep warm while you quickly finish the sauce.
Increase the heat to medium and deglaze the pan with the brandy, stirring and scraping all the delicious bits from the side of the pan. Add the cream and simmer, stirring, until the sauce is reduced to a coating consistency, about 2 minutes. Stir in the Glace de Viande and cook for 1 minute more, to melt the Glace. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary, then serve the steaks napped with several spoonfuls of the sauce. For an elegant presentation, slice and fan on the plate.
Veal Glace de Viande
Bring 2 cups of veal stock to a boil. Adjust the heat so it simmers briskly and reduce by about 3/4, to about 1/2 cup of very syrupy liquid. Will keep indefinitely in the freezer.