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Filets Mignons with Shallots

Shallots look like bronze-colored heads of garlic, but their taste is closer to that of another cousin, the onion—although more delicate and subtle. Choose shallots that are firm, with no green sprouts. Store them like onions, in a cool, dry place. Prepare them like garlic by crushing a clove lightly with the flat side of a knife to peel it, and chop, slice or mince as the recipe specifies.

Ingredients:

  • 2 filets mignons, each about 6 oz. and 1 1⁄4
     inches thick
  • 5 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbs. clarified butter, warmed
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • Salt, to taste, plus 1⁄2 tsp.
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbs. veal demi-glace

Directions:

Let the filets stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes.

Preheat an oven to 475ºF.

In a small bowl, toss the shallots with 1 Tbs. of the clarified butter and the thyme sprigs. Coat the filets with the remaining 1 Tbs. clarified butter, and season with salt and pepper.

Heat a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the pan with the 1⁄2 tsp. salt. Brown the filets, turning once, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to a plate. Add the shallots to the pan and arrange the filets on top. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the filets registers 125ºF for very rare to rare, about 7 minutes, or until done to your liking. Transfer the filets to a warmed platter, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 minutes.

Remove the thyme sprigs from the pan, set the pan over medium heat and stir in the demi-glace. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the shallots and sauce alongside the filets. Serves 2.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Roasting, by Barbara Grunes (Simon & Schuster, 2002).