Man oh man, this meal is an absolute stunner. A while back during pandemic grocery-scarcity scares, we ordered a grass-fed, pastured meat and poultry box from one of my favorite online retailers and got two free filet mignons in the package. I had been saving them for something special, until I realized that 2020 was a complete sh*t storm and I could make filet mignon on a weeknight and call it a special occasion. Paired with an earthy (not to mention low-carb) puree of white turnips and cauliflower, these steaks are filled with flavor and take just minutes to cook to a perfect medium rare. Go ahead and bookmark this recipe for your next date night in, or just a random Thursday- who really cares anymore!
Ingredients needed to make Filet Mignon with Turnip Cauliflower Purée
It goes without saying that you need a couple filets to make this recipe. If you wanted to use a different cut of steak, you certainly could, using the same cooking method described in this recipe and adjusting the time based on the weight of the meat. I will say that the tender, almost-buttery nature of the filet pairs so well with the turnip cauliflower purée that I’d highly recommend you splurge on the filet, but any steak will still taste great. Here’s the full list:
- Olive oil
- Filet mignon
- Fresh rosemary
- White (Hakurei) turnips
- Sour cream
- Red wine
- Salt and pepper
Tools used to make Filet Mignon with Turnip Cauliflower Purée
You don’t need a whole lot of equipment to make this dish, as most of the work is done in your cast iron skillet. The purée comes together best in a food processor or high-speed blender, but it can certainly be done using a hand-masher in a pinch (and with a little extra effort). Other than those two items, you’ll also need a large pot to steam the cauliflower, a sharp chef’s knife, a meat thermometer, a stirring utensil, paper towels, measuring cups and spoons, and a large cutting board. It’s a pretty straight-forward list, and hopefully you have most of the equipment stocked in your kitchen! If not, I’ve provided links to some of the items I use above.
How to make Filet Mignon with Turnip Cauliflower Purée
I absolutely love teaching people how to make steak, because more often then not they realize just how easy it is. I used to fret constantly about making any kind of meat besides chicken, and for no good reason. Once I got a meat thermometer, it totally changed the game for me. I stopped worrying about the time and learned to cook to the feel and temperature. Curious what I mean by that? I’ll give you a brief explanation here… if you want to go really in-depth, I’d recommend signing up for one of my private Zoom cooking courses where I can really take time to answer your individual questions and we can make this dish together in real time. Shoot me an email at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ if that sounds like something you’re interested in (hint: a Zoom cooking class makes a wonderful gift!).
Now back to the steak. When I say, “cook to the feel,” I mean literally TOUCH YOUR MEAT. I’m not asking you to give it a massage, but don’t be afraid to poke it with a clean finger. Getting a lot of resistance? It’s probably done, or overdone. Still tender? It could probably use more time. As you continue to do this, you’ll start to get a calibration for how the meat you enjoy feels. When I say, “cook to the temperature,” that means exactly what it says. Don’t just use your meat thermometer, but rely on it. I will check my meat numerous times throughout the process of cooking, and not just at the end of cooking! For example, taking the temperature of the meat when you know it’s NOT done serves as an excellent benchmark to help you guess how much longer it needs. I like to take the temperature of my steaks after they are seared but before they go into the oven as a way to gauge how long to leave them in the oven for. This probably sounds overwhelming, but think of it like a tire gauge! You probably check your tires halfway through filling them with air so you know how far you have left to go, right? Same concept here.
Now back to how we actually make this dish. It’s pretty simple. You’ll begin by steaming your cauliflower florets and turnips until fork tender. Drain them completely, then set them aside so you can pay full attention to your steaks, because they cook quickly. You’ll sear the steaks for a few minutes per side over medium-high heat in your oven-safe skillet, then transfer them immediately to the preheated oven. Set your timer, but don’t be afraid to air on the side of caution. You can always add time, but you can’t take it away, and nothing is worse than an overcooked steak.
Once the steaks are done, take them out of the oven and let them REST. Rest is so important to ensure that all of those flavorful juices you cultivated during the cooking process recirculate into the meat and keep it moist. If you cut into it too soon, those precious juices will grace your cutting board rather than your taste buds.
While the steaks rest, you’ll make your turnip cauliflower purée and red wine pan sauce. Add all of the ingredients for the purée to your food processor and blend until no lumps remain, then transfer to a serving bowl. Return the skillet you cooked the steaks in to the stove (leave the steaks to rest on the cutting board) and heat it over medium heat. Deglaze the pan with the red wine, scraping up all of the bits from the bottom of the skillet, and allow it to reduce by half. Once it’s reduced, add the final tablespoon of butter and whisk until combined.
To serve, scoop the purée onto each plate and top with the steak (sliced against the grain). Drizzle all over with the red wine pan sauce and enjoy immediately!
Looking for more date-night-in recipes from The Ardent Cook?
Give these other delicious dishes a try!
Wild Mushroom Farro with Parmesan and Microgreens
Stuffed Acorn Squash with Buttered Sage Breadcrumbs
2 tbsp olive oil
2 (5oz) filet mignons
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 medium head cauliflower
1lb white (Hakurei) turnips
3 tbsp butter, divided
2 tbsp sour cream
¼ cup red wine
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Bring a large pot with 1-2 inches of water to a boil. Cut the cauliflower into florets and quarter or halve the turnips, depending on their size. Steam the vegetables until fork tender, approximately 5 minutes, then drain and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, then heat olive oil in a cast-iron skillet (or other oven-safe pan) over medium-high heat on the stove.
- Pat the filets dry with a paper towel and season liberally with salt and pepper on all sides. When the oil is hot, sear the steaks without disturbing for 2 minutes each side. Transfer to the oven and continue to cook for 2-4 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees (for medium rare). You may continue to cook the steak in the oven if a higher internal temperature is desired.
- Remove the filets from the oven and allow them to rest for at least 10 minutes on a cutting board. While the steaks rest, make the puree. Combine the steamed cauliflower and turnips along with 2 tablespoons of the butter, sour cream, and pinch each of salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Process until few lumps remain and the mixture is mostly smooth.
- Return the skillet to the stove over medium heat. Use caution and remember that the handle will be hot, as it was just in the oven! Add the wine and stir, scraping up the caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer for 5 minutes or so, until the sauce has reduced by half, then whisk in the remaining tablespoon of butter.
- Spoon the turnip cauliflower puree onto a plate. Slice the steak, against the grain, and plate on top of the mash. Spoon over the red wine reduction and finish with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. Enjoy immediately!
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