Filet Mignon with Cabernet Cremini Sauce

7 | February 11, 2012

If I was on a deserted island living off of coconuts, seaweed, and fish that I caught with my bare hands because I’m awesome like that, I would constantly be dreaming about this meal. I would make little sand castles in shape of porterhouses, sirloins, and filets and sear them on an open flame while the hermit crabs laughed at my insanity.

I’m not ashamed to say it, I love love love love beef. I also love cows which makes this marriage of passions as wrong as a the Pope drinking straight Kentucky bourbon from a mason jar. Oh well, I’ve made peace with it.

Filet Mignon with Cabernet Cremini Sauce is an elegant and super simple dinner to impress for this Valentine’s Day or any special meal. This rich and flavorful piece of meat pairs well with the bright and earthy sauce with a secret ingredient, veal demi glace – an invaluable cooks’ trick for the most impressive sauces, soups, risottos, and braises. Demi Glace is a French base for sauces traditionally made by combining equal parts of veal stock and sauce espagnole with added vegetables and tomato paste and simmered/reduced for 24 hours. It is an intense natural flavor enhancer that elevates dishes to an entirely different level. I highly recommend having some in stock in your kitchen. A little on the pricey side ($24 – 40$), but it is worth every penny. Because it is concentrated, it will last for a long time and stores up to 6 months in the refrigerator and practically forever in the freezer. I have found Williams-Sonoma has a well balanced one for around $30 (US).

Serve it with: This meal is pretty much unforgettable in my mind and the sauce a good one to remember for practically any cut of steak. I like to pair it with mashed potatoes, wild rice, or in this instance Individual Parmesan and Thyme Scalloped Potatoes, and sauteed spinach, or green beans. A nice dry Cabernet pairs well. Filet Mignon with Cabernet Cremini Sauce  — also known as the steak of love.

Filet Mignon with Cabernet Cremini Sauce serves 2

  • 2 8oz filet mignons,* about 2 inches thick
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbs + 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 cremini mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 cup Cabernet**
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 Tbs veal demi glace
  • 1 Tbs butter

* If another cut of steak is used, adjust the cooking time according to the thickness of the cut

** A dry, not sweet, red wine can be substituted

Set the filets on the counter at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes prior to cooking. Sprinkle both sides liberally with salt and pepper.

While the filets are shaking off the chill, so to speak, slice the cremini mushrooms 1/4″ thick and set aside to use in the sauce.

Peel and finely dice the garlic and shallot and set aside to use in the sauce.

In a pan over medium/medium-high heat, heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. It is important for a good crust and even cooking time for the pan to be hot before adding the filets. Add the filets and cook for 5 minutes a side and an additional minute each 2″ side. If your pan begins to smoke drastically turn the burner to medium. This will give you a medium-rare filet. Adjust time accordingly to your desired doneness. For well done, stick the filets in a 400° oven for 10 additional minutes. Although I do not suggest this, at all, I understand as my parents and mother-in-law are well done kind of people. The point is to enjoy it, any way you like it.

Once done, remove the filets to a plate and loosely cover (tent) with foil. Now for the sauce. In the same pan that the filets were cooked, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil, cremini mushrooms, garlic and shallots. Saute over medium heat for 2 minutes.

Next, add the wine and using a wooden spoon stir and scrape any browned bits of filet mignon off of the bottom of the pan. Add the thyme sprigs and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer for 5 to 8 minutes until the wine has reduced a little.

Add the veal demi glace and butter and stir to incorporate. Simmer for an additional minute. At this point your sauce should be thickened with a nice gloss to it. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. If you do not have veal demi glace in your posession the sauce will still turn out beautifuly.

To plate, place the filet mignons on plates and generously spoon the Cabernet cremini sauce over.

And if you were feeling a little extra naughty you could always have this for desert. Happy Cupid day.

Parmesan Scalloped Potato Stacks pictured above




  • Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli

    I would LOVE to make this for my boyfriend next weekend when we celebrate Valentine’s Day. I usually leave all the meat cooking up to him, but it’d be nice to surprise him with something like this! Do you think it would affect the flavor too much to leave out the demi glace? Or is there something I can use as a substitute?

    • In Sock Monkey Slippers

      No worries. I’ve made this before without the Demi Glace an it still makes a great sauce just not as powerfull. Make sure you add the butter at the end. It will help give it that smooth texture that the demi glace does too. Happy Valentine’s Day, Heather!

  • amy @ fearless homemaker

    looks absolutely delicious, meredith! what a perfect valentine’s day meal.

  • Aimee

    Yummy! This was so good! I just made it tonight, and my husband loved it. I am always scared of grilling meats but this was so easy and almost fool-proof! Thank you for your posts. I enjoy reading them

  • Madonna/aka/Ms. Lemon

    Oh my gosh, this looks delicious. A great Valentine’s Day meal.

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