Mashed Potatoes with Mushroom Gravy &
“Everything But the kitchen Sink” Cookies
In December, family and friends gather in homes to
celebrate another year, and of course, the holidays. While
some hosts effortlessly dance around the kitchen carrying on
conversations while preparing a fabulous meal, others feel out
of tune with their guests, lost in the choreography of cooking.
With careful curation of dishes that are impressive but
simple, and some basic planning, you can enjoy and entertain
at the same time.
Filet of Beef Au Poivre T HIS French dish is the star of your
show. The tender pink inside of a
perfectly cooked medium-rare filet
mignon sings “special occasion.” And
a special occasion requires special preparation. Coarse
black pepper (poivre is French for pepper) coats the
outside of these thick filets, forming a crust as it sears
in a well-seasoned cast iron skillet. Once we’ve sealed
in the juices, it’s time for the real magic.
The center of the steaks gently finish in an oven
preheated to its highest temperature. During the
brief intermission between removing from the oven
and serving, the show must go on! While the filet
rests, prepare a savory shallot gravy sauce, to top your
perfect filet. Note: the cook may receive a standing
ovation for this masterpiece.
FILET OF BEEF AU POIVRE RECIPE
4 filets of beef, 1 ¼ inch thick
3 shallots, thinly sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups vegetable broth
4 Tbsp butter, divided
1 Tbsp heavy cream (optional)
Coarse black pepper
Preheat the oven to 450 F. Place filets onto a cutting
board and pat dry. Let them come to room temperature
for at least 1 hour. Cover each side in coarse black pep-per.
Place a cast iron skillet on the stovetop on high heat.
Add 2 tablespoons of butter (it should be almost smok-ing).
Add filets and lower to medium heat. Sear filets
on top and bottom for 2 minutes, and on each side for
1 minute to seal in the juices. Place the pan with steaks
into the hot oven for 5-10 minutes.
Carefully remove pan from the oven and let steaks
rest covered for 10 minutes.
To prepare the sauce, place shallots into the same
pan on medium heat and sauté for 2 minutes. Add
minced garlic and cook for another minute. Add vegeta-ble
broth and bring to a gentle simmer. When the liquid
has reduced by half, remove from heat and swirl in the
remaining butter and 1 tablespoon of heavy cream. Add
salt and pepper to taste.
Slice filets if desired, and top with shallot sauce.
Menu Filet of Beef Au Poivre
Run of Show
DAY BEFORE OR MORNING OF J
•Prepare cookie dough and refrigerate until
ready to bake at the end of dinner.
TWO HOURS BEFORE DINNER J
•Let steak come to room temperature.
•Prepare potatoes. If finished early, cover
with plastic and refrigerate. If needed,
rewarm in the microwave before serving.
Use lef tover time to chop vegetables for
gravy and/or sauce.
45 MINUTES BEFORE DINNER J
•Prepare asparagus, aiming to put it into the
oven before you prepare filets.
30 MINUTES BEFORE DINNER J
WHILE FILETS ARE IN THE OVEN J
•Prepare mushroom gravy for potatoes.
WHILE FILETS ARE RESTING J
•Prepare shallot sauce.
If preparing steaks and potatoes, only one gravy
is needed. It’s easier to make more mushroom
gravy than shallot sauce if serving a crowd.