Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pepper Beef Fillet with a Truffle, Porcini Mushroom and Pine Nut Sauce

Signature Dish by iSa
Type: French, Italian, Fine Cuisine
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins
Servings: 4
4 Beef Fillet thick steak portions (200-250 gr each)
1 big or 2 small Shallots (Brown onion is ok if you can't find Shallots)
2 Large Garlic Cloves
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp Olive Oil
250 ml Fresh Cream
40 gr Toasted Pine Nuts
100 gr of Fresh or 50gr of Dried Porcini Mushrooms 
50ml of dry red wine (use one you would drink)
1 bunch of Fresh Thyme
Freshly crushed Black Peppercorns
Freshly ground coarse salt
The best Black Truffle oil you can get your hands on

Preparation: Start by getting everything ready as you don't want either your sauce or your meat to overcook. So, chop the the shallots in a very fine brunoise as they're meant to provide seasoning, not really texture. Do the same for the Garlic. Toast the Pine nuts by throwing them into a medium heated pan and stirring often until they're slightly browned (be careful not to burn them, as their beautiful flavor will be lost!). Crush the black peppercorns and grind the salt. If you chose the Dried Mushrooms variety, rehydrate them by submerging for about 10 mins in just about enough hot water to cover them. Chop the mushrooms (either kind) into slices that can hold together while not being too thick.

How to make the Porcini Mushrooms, Pine nut and Truffle sauce: Place the liquid where you rehydrated the mushrooms (if you used the dried variety), into a small pan and allow to boil and concentrate while you do the rest. Begin with your sauce, by placing a sauce pan in medium heat and after allowing it to warm up, stir in 1 tbsp of Olive Oil and 1 tbsp of butter. Then throw in the Shallots and soften slightly, before adding the garlic. When the previous ingredients have started to brown, stir in the mushrooms. Allow to cook for about 5 mins and then pour in the wine. Allow to evaporate for a couple of minutes, or until it no longer smells of alcohol, then stir in the cream. Allow to cook for a couple of minutes until the consistency is almost as thick as you desire, then stir in the pine nuts and a hint of black pepper and set the sauce aside.

How to make an amazing Truffle and Pepper Fillet: Dry each fillet with a paper towel, then pour a few drops of the truffle oil on each steak and rub it in. Roll the steaks over the crushed peppercorns and the thyme leaves and allow the meat to set and soak in the truffle, pepper and thyme flavors for at least 15 mins. When your sauce is ready and you want to cook your meat, sprinkle each steak with salt all around. Place a heavy-based or non-stick pan (big enough to fit in all the 4 steaks) at high heat. Set the pan aside and pour the other tbsp of Olive oil swirling from side to side, put on the heat again and place the fillets in. Seal the steaks by allowing them to brown on each side, the entire cooking process for the meat should take around 8-10 mins if you like to serve it medium rare, as I do. Place the meat in a warm plate and in a very low warm oven, allowing it to rest without getting cold, while you finish off the sauce. 

Final Touches: To finish off this dazzling dish, continue to heat up the pan that you used to cook your meat at medium intensity and pour in about 50 ml of the concentrated mushroom stock, allow to evaporate slightly and then stir in the sauce. Arrive at the perfect consistency again, place each fillet in its corresponding plate and serve with a generous amount of sauce and drizzle a few drops of truffle oil on top. Serve with the starch and Veggies of your choice or see below for recommended side dishes.

Recommended Side Dishes: For my choice of starch, I served it with fresh pasta cooked al dente and mixed with butter and olive oil sauteed leeks. For veggies, I decided to look for those that would compliment the taste of the meat and so I made a fresh salad (to cut off slightly the richness of the creamy sauce), made with roasted bell peppers and cherry tomatoes, rocket and onion sprouts (I could have also used caramelized onions).

Drink: with an excellent Dry Red Wine, with enough complexity to complement this flavor rich meal, such as the South African De Toren Fusion V that we had (courtesy of our good friend Samir)... and of course, enjoy!

Love, iSa


  1. I am unable to tear my eyes away - what a gorgeous dish! It's indulgence from start to finish... and what a wine, too! I love this post!

  2. Wow Linda! Thank you very much for your comment, It's a great compliment, specially coming from you! I feel very humbled by it! I hope you give it try and let me know how it went! I took inspiration from a dish I tried at Bice Ristorante once, as well as from my hubby, as I made it as a special treat for his birthday. Thanks for stopping by and your awesome feedback! :)


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