Pepper Filet Mignon with Flambe Butter Sauce
A departure from the French version of a flambe pepper steak, this version instead fires up the butter sauce which is then poured over a pepper crusted steak. And of course, it's fired up on a lovely cognac. It's simple and easy--and wonderfully flamboyant!
- 1 or 2 - 2" thick filet mignon
- Coarse ground black pepper (substitute with coarse rainbow or white pepper)
- Salt to taste
- 1-1/2 tablespoon of butter
- 2-3 teaspoons of 100% or extra virgin olive oil
- 1-1/2 ounce cognac, such as Courvoisier or use a brandy
Wash the filet mignon, pat dry and allow it to reach room temperature. Coat the top and bottom with coarse ground black pepper.
To a heavy skillet or regular sauce pan over a medium high heat, add olive oil and butter. The butter should melt in the oil both reaching a soft bubble. But be careful not to burn the butter. Add the filet(s) and listen for a nice sizzling sound. Allow steak to sear without moving it around. However, gently lifting the pan and slowly moving the liquid around will help to keep the butter from burning.
For a medium rare filet, sear for about two minutes on side one, turn and cook for about 4-5 minutes on the second side. You may need to turn the heat down a little for the second side, again to keep the butter from burning.
The best method for determining steak doneness is to use a thermometer. Here's a steak doneness chart from Serious Eats, Food Lab
When the filet mignon doneness meets your preference, remove it from the pan and set aside. Allow the filet(s) to rest for at least five minutes.
Two methods for cooking the butter sauce:
(First a word of caution: Flambe the sauce in a well-ventilated space that is clear of other combustibles. If you are using a gas range, you can tip the pan to light the cognac or brandy. However, if you feel uncomfortable doing this, just use a match or cigarette lighter. Also, when holding a handle, especially a short metal handle, be sure to where protective mittens or wrap the handle with a kitchen towel.)
Method 1: If your butter did not burn, use a spatula to scrape pepper and any juice from the steak stuck on the bottom of the pan. Gently sir. Add cognac in the CENTER of the pan. Light the sauce. (a lighter or match should do) You should get a nice flame which will burn down in just a few seconds.
Method 2: If your butter did burn or you simply prefer fresh butter, pour out the old butter and wipe the pan clean. Add more oil and butter in the original amount. (Optional: For more flavor, add chopped shallots. Saute until translucent.) Add cognac in the CENTER of the pan. Light the sauce.
Pour the sauce over the rested steak and serve.
See just how easy it is to make this pepper filet mignon with flambe butter sauce: