Filet Steaks & Irish Whisky Cream Sauce

Seriously? How did I not know about this contest from Canadian Beef? I’m a total beef lover. Actually lover doesn’t seem obsessive enough. I’m a beef STALKER. Prime rib, filet mignon, flank steak, and hamburgers call to me regularly. In fact, when I was pregnant with my second child I craved sweet tarts and beef. Not together of course, but no steak was safe for nine months. I didn’t know it until today but it must be because I was craving zinc for my little bambino! I found that and lots of other great nutrition info at the Canadian Beef site.

So, this morning I’m scrolling through my twitter stream and I see this:

What’s this? Eat, Write, Retreat? This must be what they are referring to when they say “heaven on earth”. Cooking, dining, workshops about food, and then some more food. Which is why, and I repeat, how did I miss this?! Thankfully I found out that today is the last day to enter and since I like flying by the seat of my pants, here’s my entry!

Also, here’s one of my favorite beef recipes. Trying to choose my absolute favorite would be like trying to choose my favorite child. Impossible.

Filet Steaks with an Irish Whisky & Cream Pan Sauce

4 1 to 1 1/4″ thick pieces beef tenderloin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (if not using a cast iron pan)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1/4 cup Irish Whisky, such as Jameson, or brandy
1/2 cup low-salt beef broth
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 to 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Season each steak generously with salt and pepper. Heat a heavy-based (preferably cast-iron) skillet that’s large enough to hold the steaks over high heat until quite hot. (Add the 1 Tbs. vegetable oil if not using cast iron.) Test by touching the edge of one steak to the pan surface; it will sizzle briskly when ready. Immediately drop in the steaks and sear one side for 2 minutes. Sneak a peek to see if the first side is nicely browned. If not, continue to sear that side for another minute or so. Flip the steaks and sear the other side for 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium high, cook for another 2 minutes, flip, and cook until a digital instant-read thermometer in the center of the meat reads 120°F for rare or 125°F for medium rare, another 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the steaks to the warm platter and let them rest, covered loosely with foil, while you make the sauce.

To make the pan sauce:

Return the unwashed pan to medium heat. Add the butter and let it melt. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until fragrant and just tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the whisky or brandy and stir with a wooden spoon, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the pan. Add the broth and Worcestershire sauce, raise the heat to medium high, and bring to a boil. Whisk in the mustard and then the cream. Continue to cook at a boil, stirring, until reduced to a saucy consistency, 3 to 5 minutes. Taste the sauce and season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Serve the steaks with the sauce.

This is a lovely meal for four. Serve with roasted baby potatoes and asparagus. Delicious.

P.S. I originally found this recipe in Fine Cooking aka The Bible.

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