Flank Steak Wrapped Petit Filet with Smashed Potatoes with Creme Fraiche
- 1 pound mushrooms (button mushrooms or mixed mushrooms like shiitake, morels, porcini, chanterelles - you need 20 to 25 button mushrooms or 5 cups sliced mixed mushrooms)
- Extra-virgin olive oil (about 1/4 cup, more if needed)
- 4 beef filets (4 to 6 ounces each)
- 1 flank steak (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, plus 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup red wine
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 bunch asparagus, tough ends trimmed
- 6 ounces sliced bacon, pancetta or prosciutto (about 6 slices), chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- Smashed Potatoes with Creme Fraiche, for serving, recipe follows
- Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish
- Special equipment: kitchen string or toothpicks
- Smashed Potatoes with Creme Fraiche:
- 2 pounds fingerling or small red potatoes
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 shallots, chopped
- Ground white pepper
- 8 to 10 ounces creme fraiche or sour cream
- 1/2 cup finely chopped chives
- Zest of 1 lemon
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
With a paper towel, wipe all your mushrooms clean. (Don't soak them in water and then drain them. Mushrooms are like little sponges. They'll suck up water and get mushy.) Trim and discard the dried up part on the end of the mushroom stems.
Using a paper towel, blot the filets and flank steak to remove excess moisture. Sprinkle both sides of the beef with salt and pepper. Rub the tops of the filets with 1 tablespoon of the chopped thyme. Let the filets sit out, covered, to bring them up to room temperature before cooking.
Slice the flank steak lengthwise into 1-inch strips and wrap each filet around the edges with the flank steak strips. You may have leftover flank steak. Tie each filet with kitchen string, or insert a toothpick through to hold the flank steak to the filet.
When the mushrooms are roasted and nice and golden brown, remove from the oven, let cool a bit and then roughly chop.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
In a large fry pan, heat 3 tablespoons of the butter on medium-high heat. As soon as the butter starts to bubble and get frothy, throw in the roasted mushrooms and any oil and drippings from the baking sheet. Saute the mushrooms for 8 to 10 minutes, and then deglaze the pan with the red wine. Cook until most of the red wine has reduced to almost nothing.
Add the half-and-half to the pan while stirring the mushrooms. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then lower the heat to a simmer and reduce by half. Add the milk, and reduce that by one-third. You should have nice rich sauce that coats the back of a spoon and holds a line through it. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Keep the sauce warm until ready to serve. (Can place it in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of gently simmering water.)
Heat a large fry pan with 1 teaspoon olive oil and add the bacon. Stir and cook the bacon until it begins to brown. Add the asparagus and cook until just softened. Add the white wine vinegar and cook for a few seconds, and then remove from the heat and keep warm.
Heat a large ovenproof fry pan with 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. (If you have a really large frying pan you can put all 4 filets in the pan. If you don't, cook in batches using 1 tablespoon of oil per batch. You don't want the steaks to touch. We want to get a nice sear on the outside of the filets and to achieve this, your filets need room.)
Add the filets to the hot pan and sear until your filet has relaxed to the point where it will let go of the pan, about 3 minutes on one side, and then flip. Add a generous clump of butter to the hot pan and, when it's melted, tip the fry pan towards you so the butter pools in one spot. Add the 3 full sprigs of thyme. Now, with a large spoon, start basting your filets with the melted thyme flavored butter. Flip the filets, baste each one again and transfer to the oven for a few minutes until just cooked through to medium.
To serve: Plate the Smashed Potatoes with Creme Fraiche just off to one side of the center of the plate. Retrieve your filets from the oven and remove the string or toothpicks. Lean a filet up against the potatoes. Top with the mushroom gravy and place the asparagus in front of the filet. Dust with the chopped parsley.Smashed Potatoes with Creme Fraiche:
Wash the potatoes and place in a pot of salted water, enough to just cover the tops of the potatoes. Bring to a boil, and then turn down to a simmer and cook until fork tender. (When you stick a fork into the potato and it falls off with no resistance, they're done.)
Drain the potatoes and place on a tea towel or paper towel. With the palm of your hand, lightly smash the potatoes so they just pop open a bit and split. Make sure they kind of keep their shape.
In a large fry pan on medium heat, melt the butter and add the garlic, shallots, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon white pepper. When the garlic and shallots are translucent, add the smashed potatoes and toss so they all get kissed with the butter, shallots and garlic. Heat for 5 minutes, and then add the creme fraiche to the pan with half the amount of chopped chives. Toss so everything is nicely coated.
Serve family style or on individual plates and top with the rest of the chives and a little lemon zest. The zest gives the spuds an extra little tang and zip.
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