My husband Wes' birthday is tomorrow, but since we found ourselves with no plans this evening, we decided to start the party early with a lovely home cooked meal: pasta with filet mignon. A true celebration meal.
First, we seasoned a single beautiful filet with salt and pepper and let it come to room temperature -- very important when searing meat. Four minutes per side in our trusty Le Creuset cast iron grill pan, then let it rest for at least 10 minutes. Some seasoned cooks will sneer at our choice of filet, but we deliberately chose the milder flavor and wanted to keep the calorie/fat content somewhat in check.
Meantime, we sauteed a huge shallot and two cloves of garlic in olive oil until lightly caramelized in a big skillet while the pasta cooked in salted boiling water. We drained the pasta and added it to the pan so it could mingle with the shallot mixture. Then we added a big splash of good red wine, another big splash of beef stock and a few spoonfuls of the pasta water (an excellent technique for pastas).
We sliced the filet thinly while the wine reduced, and added it to the pan. Threw in a knob of butter to melt (hey, it's a celebration meal). A few fresh basil leaves from the garden. Done.
We shared this meal outside in a cool summer night with an gorgeous bottle of Brunello di Montalcino. Amazing meal, amazing wine, amazing husband. What could be better?