Filet mignon with green peppercorn sauce is a complicated dish just at first sight. Don’t be deceived by its aspect, so chic and sophisticated!
This is the perfect dish if you are not too much into cooking but you want to impress your new date or… or your mother-in-law. At all effects, its elegant aspect hides a very simple preparation.
I am usually more inclined to choose rustic, simple meals. I am extremely satisfied eating a panino with mortadella or a rosemary focaccia; nonetheless, I admit that this filet has its charm, my friends! What makes this dish so appetizing? Is it the extreme tenderness of the bite when the meat melts in your mouth or the creaminess and the softness of the sauce? Surely, the aromatic note given by the green peppercorns has its role, too… I can’t really decide! Whatever its secret is, this recipe will conquer even the most demanding palates with its delicate and aromatic taste.
Watch out, though. You should really save this little gem for a special occasion for two main reasons:
– Filet mignon is pretty expensive: we are talking about the most precious tender meat cut you can obtain from the tenderloin; precisely, it comes from its final part. Tenderloin is taken from a muscle that makes little or no exercise and it’s exactly this lack of movement that keeps the muscle so tender.
– This recipe contains fresh cream – for a good reason, I would say. Cream is an awesome partner to this meat cut, but you might find it a little heavy. Try to make an exception, please, it’s delicious! If I can’t convince you, consider to replace it with some lighter cheese, for example ricotta.
I found the recipe of filetto al pepe verde on many cookbooks of the North of Italy, especially of the city of Cremona, in Lombardia.
The French influence is pretty obvious, though. You can find this dish in any good meat restaurant and now, also chez toi.
Let’ s dive into details!
This recipe is essentially very easy but you need to pay attention to some aspects.
Flambé or not flambé?
Adding a little cognac or brandy can really embellish the flavour of your dish. The only real question to ask yourself is: am I tempted to show off and impress my guests with a spectacular flambé? Now, for me the answer is no, because I am a little clumsy sometimes and I don’t want to turn a savory, gourmet evening into a trip to the hospital. If you feel like Masterchef though, you can go ahead. Here you can find how to do it safely.
Cooking filet mignon
The filet has to be juicy and not overcooked; to be clearer, you have to cook it well on the outside, enough to create an attractive crispy crust, and let the inner part remain pink. Just a couple of minutes on each side over medium heat will be enough. Remember to always cover it after removing it from the heat, before preparing this sauce! It is also important to well balance the different flavours or you ’ll risk to cover the taste of the meat with an excess of cream or worse, pepper.
A word on pepper
Speaking of pepper, it is actually the ingredient I find most fascinating. Among all kinds of pepper, the green one is the most herbaceous and aromatic one. What differentiates the various types of pepper are different time of harvesting, treatment and processing. All peppercorns except the pink one – which is actually a berry – originate from the Piper nigrum, a perennial flowering vine. If they are still at an early stage when they are picked to be dehydrated or preserved, we will obtain green peppercorns. As I already mentioned, this is the kind of pepper with the most fresh and aromatic profile. If you dry peppercorns before fully maturation you’ll obtain black peppercorns, which are as well the most common and used. White peppercorns are instead former black peppercorns soaked in water to remove the outer casing.
Ok, don’t know why I lost myself in pepper talks, but I told you I find it really charming!
FILET MIGNON WITH GREEN PEPPERCORN SAUCE RECIPE
1 tbsp butter
2 filet mignon steaks (about 1 – 1/2 inch thick, around 5 oz each)
1/3 cup fresh cream
2 tbsp drained green peppercorns in brine
2 tbsp brandy or cognac
2 tbsp mustard
A pinch of salt
Tie up your meat with kitchen twine so the meat maintains its medallion shape during cooking.
Crush a part of the peppercorns with a mortar or with a meat tenderizer until coarsely ground and let them adhere to the meat. I don’ t do it because the taste of the crushed peppercorns is too spicy and strong for me, so I press the meat directly on the whole grains. It really depends on your personal taste!
Melt butter in a large non-stick frying pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Cook the filet for 1/2 minutes on each side for rare, or 3/4 minutes for medium. Add a pinch of salt on each side. Remove the meat from the pan and transfer it to a plate. Cover it with a lid to keep it warm.
In the same pan (without cleaning it), add the brandy or cognac. Cook for a couple of minutes shaking the pan and then add the fresh cream, the mustard and the rest of the peppercorns. Cook, stirring, for around 4 minutes until the sauce thickens.
Remove the kitchen twine from the filet and transfer it again in the pan for a minute maximum, covering it with the sauce. Serve it immediately, covered in its sauce.
Go now, you are ready to impress your guests!
FIlet mignon with green peppercorn sauce recipe
Juicy filet mignon with green peppercorn sauce, an elegant dish with zero effort!
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 filet mignon steaks (about 1 - 1/2 inch thick, around 5 oz each)
- 1/3 cup fresh cream
- 2 tbsp drained green peppercorns in brine
- 2 tbsp brandy or cognac
- 2 tbsp mustard
- A pinch of salt
- Step 1 Tie up your meat with kitchen twine.
- Step 2 Crush a part of the peppercorns until coarsely ground and let them adhere to the meat.
- Step 3 Melt butter in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat.
- Step 4 Cook the filet for 1/2 minutes on each side for rare, or 3/4 minutes for medium.
- Step 5 Add a pinch of salt on each side.
- Step 6 Remove the meat from the pan and transfer it to a plate.
- Step 7 Cover it with a lid to keep it warm.
- Step 8 In the same pan add the brandy or cognac and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Step 9 Add fresh cream, mustard and the rest of the peppercorns and cook, stirring, until sauce thickens.
- Step 10 Remove kitchen twine from the filet and transfer it again in the pan for a minute.
- Step 11 Serve it immediately, covered in its sauce.