Filet mignon, which is tender but not especially flavorful, might not get the same respect from chefs as other cuts, but with the right treatment, it can be the centerpiece of a delicious and speedy meal. Here I make a quick balsamic vinegar and butter sauce that would be too rich for a fattier cut but elevates the filet mignon with luxurious and intense flavor. There’s no need to use an aged balsamic vinegar here; instead, choose an inexpensive young balsamico. This is also delicious with the steaks grilled and served with Giovanna’s Salad, as pictured.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 4 beef filet steaks, 6 ounces each, ideally 1½ inches thick
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons canola oil or other neutral oil
- 1 garlic clove, smashed with the side of a chef’s knife and peeled
- 1 rosemary sprig
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar (see the headnote)
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- osition a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Generously season the steaks on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Heat a wide heavy ovenproof sauté pan over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil, tipping and tilting the pan to coat it, and heat the oil until it is shimmering and almost smoking. Add the steaks and sear well on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
- Turn the meat over, transfer the pan to the oven, and cook for 3 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer the meat to a plate, tent loosely with foil, and set aside to rest.
- Pour the oil out of the pan and discard it. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan, along with the smashed garlic and rosemary, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour in the balsamic and red wine vinegars, bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon to loosen any flavorful bits cooked onto the bottom of the pan, and reduce the vinegar by half, about 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and swirl in the butter.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Put 1 steak on each of 4 plates. Pour any juices that have accumulated on the plate into the sauce and swirl it in. Spoon some sauce over each steak, leaving the garlic and rosemary in the pan, and serve.