Filet Mignon with Truffle Bordelaise Sauce Recipe
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.
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.
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.
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.