Filet Mignon with Truffle Bordelaise Sauce Recipe

July 15, 2012 by

Filet mignon with truffled red wine sauce

Tim has been wanting to try a fresh black truffle for a long time, and he finally bought one yesterday. 7g of truffle cost $21 (they sold us an out of season Tasmanian truffle instead of the in season French ones without saying anything, so make sure you know what you’re buying)! In season French truffles are about $1 per gram so are much better value.

I don’t like the idea of truffles and it seems like one of those expensive things that rich people eat and pretend is nice, like caviar or Verve Cliquot. We already have this black truffle infused olive oil, which given it’s price, is probably made of pig droppings that have been mistaken for truffles during the forage. Personally I hate it, but I also hate mushrooms in general, so I may not be the best judge of truffle-iciousness.

Fresh black Tasmanian truffle

Fresh black Tasmanian truffle

If you have read my post about eye fillet with Bordelaise (red wine) sauce, you will already know how to make the basic sauce, and all it requires is adding in some fresh, finely grated black truffle right at the end. You need about 7g for a whole batch of Bordelaise. I opted not to have truffle in my sauce, so luckily the truffle Tim bought will live to see another dish (a risotto) in the next few days.

After you have strained the sauce, grate the truffle in and let it combine and ‘melt’ into the sauce. Finally whisk in your butter until you have a smooth, glossy sauce.

Truffle bordelaise

Black truffle bordelaise

Being able to taste the Bordelaise with and without the truffle was great – although I expected the truffle to give the sauce some kind of overly earthy, stinky, dirt kind of taste, the actual effect made me finally understand what chefs are always talking about when they crap on about ‘balance’. The Bordelaise sauce on it’s own is delicious, however it does rely on you reducing it until the moment it turns perfect – when all the acidity of the wine is gone and the sauce has a lovely flavour, but before it’s gone too far and tastes like off port. Sometimes, depending on the wine used (since we sure as hell don’t use the traditional Bordeaux!) this is difficult to achieve.

The Bordelaise with the truffle was what you could only describe as perfectly ’rounded’. There was no earthiness or dirt, just a warm, deep flavour, with no trace of acidity. Tasting the two one after the other, you wouldn’t say “oh, it tastes so much better with the truffle”, because you can’t actually identify (without already knowing) that the truffle is what has made the change to the sauce. While the truffle was expensive, it really did elevate the sauce from a delicious restaurant style sauce to a restaurant quality sauce. For such an easy little addition, it had a huge impact on the end product, and was well worth it. I think if we ever make it with truffle again, I definitely won’t be leaving it out of my half!

How to make filet mignon

Try to buy even sized pieces of eye fillet steak so they will cook evenly. Cut the streaky/American part of the bacon into straight lengths and cut it to size - you will need one piece per steak, but it was easier for us to cut that one length into two in order to get it straight and even. Wrap it around the steak, making sure the ends overlap slightly, and secure it with toothpicks.

How to make filet mignon


How to make filet mignon

We cook our steak in a grill/griddle pan, turning every 15 seconds, for about 3-4 minutes, and turning it on its side to cook the bacon. We then put it straight in a 180 degree oven for 5 minutes, turning once, for a perfect medium steak.

To serve, remove the toothpicks and place on a plate with garlic mash and grilled asparagus. Pour over the Bordelaise.

Filet mignon with red wine sauce and black truffle


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  1. David

    Hi There, what you would be buying from France for $1 per gram is summer truffle (tuber aestivum) not winter perigord truffle (tuber melanosporum). It is actually the summer truffle which is the inferior product, whilst you did pay too much for the winter truffle at $3 per gram, it is superior to its summer counterpart. Australian truffle production is presently getting rave reviews globally right now.

  2. Cat

    Thanks David, that’s really interesting info!! I didn’t know that about the French summer truffles being the inferior truffle. That was my first time trying truffle, so I don’t have anything to compare it to, but as a general ingredient, the Tasmanian truffle didn’t seem at all inferior in any way. I think it’s just the romanticism of cute French pigs sniffing through beautiful fairytale-like forests that makes the French products seem better. :p Tim and I are sorry that we cannot attend this event and perhaps get a contrast of both local and foreign funghi. ;)

    Do you know what a good price for an Australian winter truffle would be? From what I have read the average is always around $1 in season, $2.50-$3 out of season, regardless of their origin. What has been your experience?

  3. David

    Hi Cat, I buy Tassie truffle in bulk and sell to friends and acquaintances at $2.50 per gram, I think that is about the market rate right now. $250 is also very high for a truffle dinner, but that may be because it looks like a fund raising event, I have attended some truffle dinners in various states for around $150. Regards

  4. Cat

    Interesting! Are you in Tassie or are you importing?

  5. Paul

    Could you explain to the readers why people use bacon around such a beautiful bit of meat?

    In the USA they generally refer to any piece of eye fillet as Filet Mignon even without the bacon around it. In Australia we generally always see the bacon when we buy a Filet Mignon off a restaurant menu. I believe the French translation is something like “small fillet” as it comes from small end of the whole fillet, so the USA guys are not incorrect in saying so, it’s us Aussies that expect that pig wrapped beef!

  6. David

    Hi Cat, I am in regional Victoria and there are truffle farmers nearby which are getting their first crops of Victorian truffles at the moment, which is very exciting.

  7. Cat

    You’re right, in the USA they call all eye fillets Filet Mignon, and would instead say ‘bacon wrapped filet mignon’ on a menu. I guess at some point someone started dropping the ‘bacon wrapped’ bit, probably because they love anything that can be wrapped in bacon, put on bacon, or served with bacon, so why serve it without? I think the technique was originally used to insulate the meat during cooking and add a bit of flavour and fat, since eye fillet is supposed to be the least flavoursome despite being the most tender (I’ve never found that though to be honest). As Australians already call this piece of meat eye fillet, its really used to distinguish it from a plain steak and sound a lot fancier than ‘bacon wrapped steak’.

    As to why do people put bacon around such a beautiful piece of meat: I would never order filet mignon (the bacon wrapped kind) in a restaurant because it tends to be there simply because thats what we know a filet mignon in Australia to be (as you say). When we added it to this recipe, we had ACTUAL filet mignons – the tiny pieces – and it protected the meat from overcooking. As we made them fresh, we also didn’t get that horrible bright pink side that you see in restaurants once you remove the bacon. Cooked carefully, and when combined with the sauce, the bacon really added to the flavour and went especially well with the bordelaise. Normally I would flick the bacon off as its hardly special when compared to an eye fillet, but this time I genuinely enjoyed it.

  8. Cat

    Wow, that is exciting! I’ll have to do more research into it as I’d love to know what the farms are like. As I previously said, the romanticism of the pig foraging in the forest is really what seems worth paying for, so I’m not sure about a more ‘commercial’ way of growing truffles that probably has more stable yields. I’d love to know/see what their set ups are. Truffles arent an ingredient we’d use for the sake of it, but they’re like all expensive ingredients – vanilla, saffron… if it really adds something exceptional to the flavour then it’s worth it!

  9. David

    In Melbourne bringing them over. Cheers

  10. Dylan

    This is a cracking dish Cat!! I just saw a bordelaise being cooked on My Kitchen Rules and this one looks and sounds far more impressive and delicious. I can’t wait to cook it again. I tried it with the truffle and you’re so right; it just elevates the quality. Great recipe!

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