Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Filet Mignon with Pomegranate Gastrique

This recipe is very delicious!  A proper gastrique is easy to make.  It is a sugar sauce, but it is not sweet because the sugar is caramelized.
     Pomegranate Gastrique Recipe:  Boil some sugar and water over medium high heat in a sauce pan.  Separate some fresh pomegranate fruit from the rind and set the fruit aside.  When the sugar begins to turn a light amber color, stay close to the pan and watch for the sugar to turn dark amber to light brown.  (Take care not to spatter the sugar because it will cause severe burns when caramelizing.)  When the sugar turns to a light brown color, add most of the pomegranate fruit.  (Save some of the pomegranate to garnish with.)  Let the caramelized sugar coat the fruit for a minute.  (The sugar will stop caramelizing when you add the fruit too.)  The caramelized sugar will completely take on the flavor of the fruit.  Add a little bit of pomegranate vinegar, a little splash of dry white wine, a pinch of sea salt and a pinch of white pepper.  Reduce till a sauce is formed.  Strain the gastrique through a fine small strainer into a bowl and set aside.  When the gastrique cools a little, then you will know whether you need to dilute it with a little white wine and reduce again if it is too thick. Or, if the gastrique is too thin, then you will need to reduce the gastrique further.  A gastrique should not be thin and runny.
     Recipe:  Heat some unsalted butter and a splash of olive oil in a pan heated just above medium.  Season a trimmed petit filet mignon with coarse ground black pepper and sea salt.  Add the filet to the pan with the hot butter.  Saute both sides and flip often to cook evenly.  I cooked the filet mignon in the picture medium rare.  (Don't cook filet mignon at too high of a heat or it will singe and become dry.  Using this simple French method of cooking on a medium heat yields a perfect filet mignon!  The butter keeps the filet moist.)  When the filet mignon is cooked to your liking, set it on a dry towel to rest.  The excess juices will be absorbed by the towel instead of running on the plate.
    After a minute or so on the towel, place the filet on a plate.  Spoon the gastrique around the filet mignon and cascade the reserved pomegranate fruit over the filet as a garnish.  Serve with caramelized onion and thyme rice.
     Rice Recipe:  Caramelize chopped onions in butter and add thyme leaves.  Add rice, sea salt, white pepper and beef broth.  Cook covered like you would normally cook rice.)
     Fan some steamed, feathered, snow peas on the plate.
     Delicious!  Pomegranate makes one of the finest gastriques!  This sauce is not sweet but it is slightly tart with a fine vinegar and wine depth.  Gastriques can be very translucent and they look beautiful on a plate.  The flavor of the caramelized onion rice is a great accompaniment to the entree.  This preparation of filet mignon is well worth the effort!   ...   Shawna

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