Filets Mignons with Cognac-Cream Sauce


Serves 4


For the rub:


  1. 1 tablespoon each, paprika, garlic powder, dry mustard, and dried rosemary
  2. 1 teaspoons salt
  3. 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  4. 4 filet mignon steaks, 1 inches thick
  5. 1 tablespoon olive oil


For the sauce:


1.      1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2.      1 shallot, minced

3.      2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley

4.      2 tablespoons Cognac

5.      1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

6.      2 tablespoons tomato paste

7.      1 cup (8 fl. oz/250 ml) beef stock

8.      cup (4 fl. oz/125 ml) heavy (double) cream

9.      Cayenne pepper

10.  Salt and freshly ground black pepper


To make the rub, in a small bowl, mix together the paprika, garlic powder, mustard, rosemary, salt, and black pepper. Sprinkle the rub all over the meat, reserving 1 tablespoon. Let the steaks stand at room temperature for at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour, or cover and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature if necessary before cooking.


In a large heavy frying pan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the steaks and cook in the desired doneness, turning once, 3-5 minutes on each side. Test for doneness using an instant read thermometer or by cutting into the meat. Remove the steaks from the heat when they are red at the center for rare (120F/49C) or deep pink at the center for medium-rare (130F/54C). Transfer the steaks to a platter and let rest, tented loosely with aluminum foil, while you make the pan sauce.


To make the sauce, in the same frying pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the shallot and parsley and saut until the shallot is softened, 2-3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the Cognac. Briefly return to the heat to warm; then remove from the heat again to ignite the Cognac using a long kitchen match, making sure the overhead fan is off and averting your eyes. Keep a lid handy in case the flame should flare up. When the flame has burned out, return the pan to high heat and whisk in the mustard, tomato paste, reserved 1 tablespoon rub, and beef stock. Cook, whisking often, to reduce the sauce by half, 4-5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cream and cayenne to taste. Add any accumulated juices from the steaks. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.


To serve, spoon a generous amount of sauce over the steaks and serve at once. Pass any extra sauce at the table.