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Almond Crusted Filet Mignon

Lot 400 is a big Napa Cab. One of California’s finest offerings deserves a finessed protein. Upon looking at previous cab recipes, I noticed the void of a filet. This was a perfect opportunity to do something special for such an incredible wine. Instead of just doing a filet, I wanted to liven it up a bit. Because Filets lack fat, its important to incorporate fat and texture. In this instance, I grounded up some toasted almonds and used that as a crust. In addition, I also fried some shallots to top the steak, providing a nice crunch and sweetness to compliment the beautiful cut of meat. In classic bistro preparation, I used a cast iron pan and butter basted the filets. This method introduces fat into the meat while its cooking. It absorbs the flavor and helps create a wonderful crust on the meat. Butter basting combined with the Almond crust, produced such a tasty bite of meat. The dish was finished with a simple red wine reduction sauce. A very elegant dish for a stunning wine.

Method


In small saucepan, combine red wine, vinegar and 1 sprig of thyme and heat over medium-low for roughly 30 minutes, or until sauce has a consistency to coat the back of a spoon. Set aside and keep warm for service.

On a small plate, toss sliced shallots in flour until all coated. In a deep pan, heat vegetable oil until it hits 350*, test oil with one small shallot, the oil should bubble around the shallot. Gently place all shallots into the oil and cook until beginning to brown, but not golden (about 2 minutes). Remove from the oil once the shallots are a light brown color, it will continue to brown once removed from the oil. Place cooked shallots on a plate with a paper towel to drain excess oil. Reserve for service.

Remove Filets from fridge 10 minutes prior to cooking. This ensures even cooking across the meat. Generously salt & pepper each side of the filet. Take the ground almonds and crust both sides of the filet by packing it onto the meat with your hands. Place a cast iron skillet on the stove and heat until almost smoking. Add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan and place filets one crust side down into hot pan. Cook on one side for approximately 2-3 minutes for medium rare. Just before fillping the filets, add in _ stick of butter and remaining sprigs of thyme. Carefully flip filets, not to disturb the crust. Once butter has melted (almost instantly with the heat from the pan), begin basting the filets with the melted butter with a spoon. Constantly baste the filets for about a minute to 90 seconds. Remove filets from the pan after a total of 6-7 minutes cooking time for medium rare. Let the meat rest 5 minutes before serving.

For plating, add a generous spoonful of sauce to plate. Place filet in the center of sauce, and top with fried shallots.