Monday, February 2, 2009

Filet of Beef Moutarde Forestiere

About now, you must think we are all sheeshy-froo-froo in the kitchen, but believe me we are not. Just two nights ago, we had boxed mac-n-cheese and chicken patties for supper, so please don't rush to judgment. I'll warn you, though; between the filets and the expensive cognac, this is not Hamburger Helper, but when you consider what it would have cost to take nine people out for filets, I think it's a bargain. This is a very special meal (read why here), and we have it maybe once every couple of years.

BTW, this one is all Mr.4444. I did make Emeril's potatoes to go with it, and Aunt Amy brought two salads, but other than that, I was just the photographer.

This recipe has been doubled. (And there are two other packages of mushrooms not in this photo.)

9 6-to-8 oz beef filets, butterflied
2 sticks of butter
tons of mushrooms (or 8 oz. if you're crazy)
1 tsp each of rosemary and sage (we used fresh)
1/2 cup cognac
8 tsps Dijon mustard
8 tsps mild mustard
4 Tbls. sour cream
1/2 tsp regular paprika
1 cup whipping cream
2 Tbls parsley, plus more for garnish

Prepare all ingredients before you begin. Mr.4444 always does that, so here they are.Don't forget the paprika. And be sure to strip the leaves of the herbs from the stems before you chop them. Put the cousins on the mushrooms...Grandpa4444 taught me about cleaning mushrooms. Never wash mushrooms, making them all slimey. Instead, wipe them clean, starting at the tops and moving downward. Trim off the icky bottom-of-the-stem part.Heat 3 skillets; one over medium heat (for the mushrooms), two over high. Add a stick of butter to the mushroom pan. When butter is melted and hot, add mushrooms. (As you can see, it's a bit more than the 8 ounces called for in the recipe, cuz we think mushrooms are important!) Saute mushrooms, adding salt and pepper to taste. Watch them (don't allow to burn). See this? It's going to come in handy soon, believe it or not. Don't worry; it's a lighter, Silly! Add remaining butter to hot pans. Get the steaks ready. YUM!! When butter is melted and hot, add steaks. After a few minutes, turn steaks, then sprinkle with crushed rosemary and sage. Mr. 4444 says a good rule of thumb is to cook them about six minutes on one side, and seven on the other (make sure the pan is hot!) And speaking of rules of thumb, here's a pic of Mr.4444 showing his brother how to tell when a steak is done to your taste. With an open hand, press on the soft part of your hand, just below your thumb. That level of "give" you feel is the feel of a medium rare steak. If you close your fist and press on it again, that feeling is the feel of a steak that is medium-well. Use that to gauge how done your steaks are, or in this case, you could also use a thermometer. According to Mr.4444, 140 degrees is medium rare. He took them out at 130 degrees (because he knew they'd be in the oven with the mushrooms for a little while) and put them in the oven on warm, in the mushroom pan, while he prepared the sauce.

Oh, and BTW, because we had two pans of steaks, Mr.4444 scraped all the gunk from one pan into the other before starting the sauce. He said that stuff is what makes it taste so good. (I was skeptical, but this man can cook, so I didn't argue.)Now here's the fun part; the beginning of the sauce prep and the part that brings everyone to the kitchen; flaming the cognac. Pour the cognac into the "dirty," still-very-hot pan, and light it on fire! (This is sure to please all the pyromaniacs in the house.) The burning gets rid of the alcohol but keeps the flavor of the cognac in the pan. Then add both mustards, paprika, cream, and sour cream. Half-way through, stop to clean the glass off the floor.... from one of the bowls flying off the counter. (The parsley here was not necessary, but it didn't hurt. :)Whisk the ingredients together...Mix some mushrooms into the sauce. Grate pepper over steak and salt to taste. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve steaks piping hot, topped with mustard cream sauce (put remaining sauce in a gravy boat on the table). Garnish with more parsley.Grandpa would be proud. :)
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