For a lot of people, the ideal restaurant meal is a big juicy steak paired with a
bottle glass of red wine and an indulgent side dish, or two. Something like truffled fries and maybe some buttery mushrooms. Health issues be damned…I’m talking about dinners, not the ramifications of the dinner. But what’s stopping you from making this gourmet dinner at home? Really, it’s not that difficult. In fact, this steak recipe will have you wondering why you haven’t been cooking at home more often.
I like to go out to eat as much as the next girl. Well, maybe a little less than she does. Having lived out of a suitcase and airport for 3 years kind of takes the WOW factor out of going out to eat. But I still like to eat restaurant type food. I just happen to make more of it at home now than I used to. That’s kind of where this steak recipe comes from.
You’ve probably been hearing a lot about restaurants serving food that was prepared sous vide. In fact, there are quite a few “regular” home cooks that are cooking sous vide in their own kitchens. While there are a lot of sous vide hacks out there (that really work quite well), I’m just not into cluttering up my kitchen with one more piece of anything. Let’s not forget the fact that cooking sous vide, at home, with the “proper equipment” costs upwards of $500. It’s definitely not happening here.
While there are a lot of filet mignon recipes out there, the majority of them involve meat and fire. And yes, I do love me some grilled filet mignon (or even seared in a cast iron skillet). But a red wine steak recipe that only involves using red wine for the sauce just isn’t enough
red wine for me. That’s why I started making poached red wine filet mignon.
I realize that poaching isn’t as sexy sounding as cooking sous vide. In fact with the exception of poached eggs, most people think poaching anything is like the food they make in nursing homes. Newsflash…IT’S NOT NURSING HOME FOOD. Yes, it’s a healthy way to prepare proteins and yes, you can end up with a hunk of meat that tastes like a waterlogged piece of shoe leather (and not Louboutin leather…more like Pay Less shoe leather/pleather) if you aren’t a little bit careful. But this red wine steak recipe doesn’t require you to be a rocket scientist or have a lot of disposable income to make it.
I’m not sure why there aren’t more filet mignon recipes out there that call for poaching the meat. Since filet is so low in fat, it’s really easy to overcook it and turn that pricey piece of beef into a pricey piece of briquet. The poaching liquid keeps all the meat juices locked inside. The red wine then begins to penetrate the steak a little bit and adds a nice flavor ring to it (kind of looks like a smoke ring that you get when you smoke meats). Then after you remove the meat from the poaching liquid, you turn the liquid into a decadent sauce that bathes the meat in even more flavor. Oh, and unlike braising recipes (that include wine) you can actually taste the wine that the food was cooked in….it’s not just another ingredient.
I thought that I would help you out a bit with the wine in this recipe, because sometimes it can be overwhelming trying to pick a wine to cook with. You’ll definitely want to use something that you would like to drink. It’s going to be a large focal point of this dish. So you definitely don’t want to use some cheapo bad tasting wine. But that doesn’t mean you need to spend $30 for a bottle either. This B-Side Cabernet Sauvignon is readily available and should cost $20 or less (I found it online for as low as $15). This wine has lots of flavors in it that pair really well with steak and it’s got a nice dryness that you want when serving it with red meat (as opposed to sweetness). I think you’ll be happy that the recipe doesn’t use all of the wine, so you’ll have some to drink while you’re making this dish.
As far as filet mignon recipes go, this one is my favorite…and I’m pretty sure that once you try it it will be yours too.
It always happens when we least expect it.
Recipe: Red Wine Poached Filet Mignon
- 2 4 Ounce Filet Mignons (bring the steaks to room temperature)
- 2 Cups Dry Red Wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
- 1 Cup Chicken Stock
- 3 Cloves Garlic (slightly crushed)
- 12 Whole Black Peppercorns
- 4 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- In a medium sized saucepan heat wine, chicken stock, garlic, peppercorns and thyme to a simmer.
- Add the steaks to the wine mixture. The steaks should just barely be covered by the liquid.
- Poach steak, while keeping the liquid at barely bubbling (if the temperature is too high, you will end up with shoe leather).
- Cook for 3 minutes, then turn meat over and cook for another 3 minutes. This should give you a medium rare steak (if your meat was room temperature and the steaks were 1″ thick).
- Remove steaks to a plate and tent loosely with foil.
- Turn the heat up on the wine mixture and reduce by half. If you would like the sauce to be even thicker, you could reduce it further.
- Remove from heat and remove the garlic, peppercorns and thyme.
- Stir in the butter. This will make the sauce a bit thicker and very shiny.
- Plate the steaks and top with the sauce.
You could use this method on other cuts of beef too. Keep in mind, that if there is a bone in the meat, it will take longer to cook.
Other red wines that would work for this dish are zinfandel, rioja and barolo.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 8 minute(s)
Diet tags: Gluten free
Number of servings (yield): 2
Culinary tradition: USA (General)