For his birthday, this evening I made:
– filet mignon with port reduction
– garlic-orange rainbow chard
– israeli couscous with cinnamon & laurel leaf
There is a love-hate relationship with Andronico’s markets that I’m sure many of you in the SF bay area can relate to. They have beautiful meat. They have beautiful almost everything, and everything costs 3x more than similar quality items that you can’t find all in one place. Truly an American dilemma of convenience.
At any rate, this evening we did become extremely lucky in that they had the most beautiful filets I have probably ever come across in an all-inclusive grocery.
I heated my oven to 350 and got to work.
I seasoned them with salt & pepper, and threw them in a searing hot pan just large enough for them to sit evenly on the bottom and with high enough sides to keep some heat in, in a touch of butter. I let them mingle there for quite a while until they had developed a beautiful medium to dark brown crust. I flipped them, let them mingle a few minutes longer, and tossed them in the oven. At the same time, I tossed some butter in the freezer to have it extra cold for the reduction sauce.
Meanwhile, I had been cooking and prepping ahead and during the process. I cleaned and chopped the rainbow chard, and started sauteeing the cores. I started the couscous.
Israeli couscous is a larger variety of the popular mediterrenean couscous and lends itself to being a bit more chewy and holding sauce. I adapted a Bon Apetit recipe I found on epicurious.com, using different heat settings, different nuts, and different stock (high until the vegetable stock was added, I cut the recipe into 1/3rd, and used roasted, unsalted almonds). I’d make this a thousand times again.
The steak turned out a lot better than I anticipated. Once out of the oven, set the steaks aside and turn on the heat at the range to keep the temp up. I threw in minced onions and let them turn translucent and medium high heat. Cranked it to high and added 1/2-2/3 C ruby port, reducing. When mostly there, turned the heat off and added 1-2 T very cold butter, stirring quickly, and serving immediately.
It was a hit.