The filet mignon is a luxurious cut and deserves to be served in a manner that befits its high standard. In this dish, the small steaks are grilled and served with silken shiitakes in a robust sauce that has been infused with the smoky flavor of morita chiles. A cloak of melted Chihuahua cheese is the finishing touch.–Priscila Satkoff
Beef Tenderloin Filets with Shiitakes in Morita Chile and Tomatillo Sauce Recipe
Hands-On Time: 45 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour | Makes 6 servings
- For the morita chile and tomatillo sauce
- 2 pounds tomatillos, husked and rinsed
- 1 cup water
- 3 to 4 morita or dried chipotle chiles, seeded
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 pounds shiitakes, stemmed and thinly sliced
- Fine sea salt
- Six 8-ounce center-cut beef tenderloin filets
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 slices Chihuahua or Monterey Jack cheese
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
- Make the sauce
- 1. Position a broiler rack about 6 inches from the source of heat and preheat the broiler. Place the tomatillos on the rack. Broil, turning the tomatillos occasionally, until they are lightly browned on all sides, about 7 minutes. Do not overcook, or the tomatillos will burst. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
- 2. Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Add the morita or chipotle chiles, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the chiles soften. Remove from the heat.
- 3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shiitakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
- 4. Drain the chiles, reserving the soaking liquid. Puree the tomatillos and chiles in a blender, using some of the reserved soaking liquid as needed to smooth the mixture. Transfer to a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the shiitakes and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer to blend the flavors, about 8 minutes. Season to taste with salt. (The mushroom mixture can be prepared 2 hours ahead and kept at room temperature. Reheat before serving.)
- Make the beef filets
- 5. Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill, or preheat a gas grill to high. Meanwhile, remove the beef from the refrigerator, season to taste with salt and pepper, and let stand at room temperature while the grill is heating.
- 6. Lightly oil the grill grids. Place the beef on the grill, cover, and cook until well browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn, cover, and cook until the meat feels somewhat firmer than raw when pressed in the center, about 3 minutes longer for medium-rare meat. (If you want to use an instant-read thermometer, insert one horizontally into the side of a filet, as it may be difficult to stand it vertically in the meat. The temperature should register 130°F for medium-rare.) Transfer to a wire rack on a baking sheet and let rest for 5 minutes. (This allows the meat to cook a bit more from residual heat and makes for a juicier steak.)
- 7. Meanwhile, position the rack about 6 inches from the heat source and preheat the broiler. Top each filet with a slice of cheese. Place them on the broiler rack and broil just until the cheese melts.
- 8. To serve, place each filet on a warmed dinner plate and surround with mushrooms in sauce, drizzling some of the sauce over the steak. Garnish with the cilantro and serve immediately.
- Because of the smokiness of the morita chile and the meatiness of the beef, I like to pair this dish with a Syrah from the northern Rhone. Cote-Rotie, Cornas, and Crozes-hermitage from producers such as Guigal, Chapoutier, Jean-Luc Colombo, and Jaboulet offer a large range of possibilities.
Beef Tenderloin Filets with Shiitakes in Morita Chile and Tomatillo Sauce Recipe © 2009 ¡Salpicón!. Photo © 2009 Jeff Kauck. All rights reserved.