Wine Commentary by Gary Twining
Filet Mignon with Creamy Mustard Sauce
This is an elegant dinner for a special occasion. The sauce is also good on chicken or pork. Use a good quality grainy mustard, such as Pommery Moutarde de Meaux.
4 filet mignons (about 2 lb)
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 TBS olive oil
3 TBS Cognac
1 cup beef stock
2 TBS heavy cream
1-1/2 TBS whole-grain mustard
1 TBS minced chives
Preheat oven to 425°F. Pat the beef dry with paper towels. Season both sides with salt and pepper. In a large oven-proof skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add beef and sauté 2 minutes. Flip beef over. If it’s stuck to the pan, lower heat and let it cook another few minutes. After flipping beef, cook over medium high heat about 1 minute. Transfer skillet with beef to oven. Roast until beef is medium-rare, about 130°F. Remove beef from skillet and keep warm. Pour off excess fat from skillet. Add cognac. Return skillet to high heat. Cook, scraping up browned bits, until Cognac is reduced. Add stock and cook until reduced to about 1/3 cup. Add cream and mustard. Heat through. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle sauce over beef. Garnish with chives. Serves 4.
Gary: One consideration is the quality of the meat which would lead to premium wine choices. Also, filet mignon is typically lean. Look for wines that have generously fleshy fruit for the pairing that would also enhance the mustard nuances. Try forward, supple reds made from the Tempranillo, Merlot/Pomerol or Saint-Émilion, Spanish Garnacha, Old Vine Zinfandel, a Ripasso-styled Valpolicella or lighter-bodied Amarone. Also consider an old vine Carignan or one of the fine reds from Priorat.