Filet Steaks with an Irish Whisky & Cream Pan Sauce
Four 1- to 1 1/4-inch-thick pieces beef tenderloin (about 7 1/2 oz. each)
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 homemade or low-salt canned beef or chicken 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 vegetable oil if not using cast iron.) Test pan
by touching the edge of one steak to the pan surface; it will sizzle briskly
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 to3 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium high, cook for another 2 minutes, flip, and cook until a digital thermometer 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 butter and let it melt. Add shallots and cook, stirring, until fragrant and just tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Add whisky and stir with wooden spoon, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the pan. Add 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.
Fine Cooking #80