Filet Mignon with Red Wine Sauce

I used this recipe to illustrate the ‘saute’ technique in Class 7: Mastering Saute, in “Bad Aunty’s Kitchen Smarts”. Even though the word is the same, ‘saute‘, in this instance it does not mean browning hamburger or stir frying vegetables. ‘Saute’ is a time-honored and classic flavor-building technique for savory and mainly protein-based entrees. There are six simple steps to mastering this technique, and once you do, you will be on your way to nutting all kinds of dinner entree preparations from the Chicken with Tarragon Cream Sauce found in “Bad Aunty’s Kitchen Smarts”, to a classic pot roast (also found in BAKS) to other braises, soups, sauces, and the like. This is an indispensable cooking and flavor-developing technique to learn. You simply can’t be any kind of decent cook without knowing how to do a simple saute.

The six steps are:

  1. Brown the protein well, remove from pan and brown the accompanying aromatic vegetables (onions, carrots, garlic, etc.)
  2. Deglaze the pan
  3. Reduce the liquid used to deglaze the pan
  4. Adding a base cooking liquid
  5. Finish cooking the protein in the emerging sauce, which will reduce as it cooks  (This step holds true in most saute intances. Not in this recipe, however. You will initially sear the steaks to a rare to medium-rare state and not cook them further in the liquid.)
  6. Finish the sauce and serve.

I’ll take you through the process step by step. You’ll be amazed at the speed and ease with which this all comes together. Before you know it you’re creating great food!

Steak with Red Wine Sauce
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Servings Prep Time
2 5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Steak with Red Wine Sauce
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Servings Prep Time
2 5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Sprinkle steaks liberally with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon fat in a medium sized skillet.
  2. When the pan is good and hot and the fat is melted add the steaks and sear for about 2-3 minutes. Turn the steaks over and sear the other side for 2-3 minutes. (Less time for medium rare to rare; more searing time for meat that is more well done.) Remove steaks from pan, cover with foil to keep warm. Keep the skillet on the burner. NOTE: In most cases you'll return the meat to the skillet to complete cooking in the cooking liquid. In this case, however, the steaks will remain at a rare to medium-rare state and will require no further cooking in liquid.
  3. Add remaining 1 tablespoon fat and let melt. Add shallots and stir to brown and soften them. Keep a close watch--do not let the shallots burn.
  4. Add wine and stir the browned bits left on the pan into the wine. (The brown meat and shallot bits stuck on to the bottom of the pan are called 'fond', and are the foundation of a great pan sauce. The wine will dissolve the bits, creating a complex sauce.)
  5. Stir and reduce the wine mixture by boiling it in the pan, until it looks syrupy. Add the beef stock and soy sauce. Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper if needed.
  6. Place steaks on serving plates. Turn the heat under the skillet to medium-high and add the butter, one chunk at a time, whisking into the simmering sauce. The sauce should become slightly thick and smooth. Continue adding and whisking the butter until it is incorporated into the sauce. Taste again for seasonings; adjust if needed. Serve the pan sauce over the steaks.
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