I don't cook a lot of meat at home, but when I do, I always try and go for grass fed, organic beef that comes from local pastures. I like to have more information on where it comes from beyond plastic wrap and stickers. I buy my meat at a farmer's market or my new favorite butcher, A Cut Above, where I can have a conversation about origin and can ensure quality and freshness.
Filet mignon is a luxurious piece of meat but will also set you back a little cash. With a sauce this flavorful, you can use a more inexpensive cut like a strip or sirloin steak. This is French inspired, so naturally butter is involved, but you can substitute olive oil or simply keep the butter to a minimum like I did.
There are really only two main ingredients to the recipe, but these two pack all the punch to make this a strong, velvety sauce. I like using a well-aged balsamic vinegar because it imparts complex notes and depth. The addition of demi-glace also brings a deep richness that keeps the sauce robust without needing to spend hours roasting and cultivating flavors. The two combined with some heat will produce a thick, rich glaze that can only enhance an already wonderful steak.
Sautéed Steak with Balsamic Vinegar Reduction
- 2 steaks
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons beef or veal demi-glace
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- salt and pepper to taste
- Generously season steaks with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Place 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan over medium-high heat until melted and nearly smoking. Add steaks to pan and cook approximately 3–4 minutes on each side, until cooked to your desired level. Remove steaks from pan and allow to rest under foil.
- Turn down heat to medium and place shallots and garlic in pan, cooking until fragrant. Then add vinegar and demi-glace, scraping the bottom of the pan to combine all drippings into the sauce.
- Cook sauce a minute or two until it thickens. Pour the juices from the resting steak plate into the pan, and then finish with the final tablespoon of butter. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Drizzle sauce over steaks and serve.
For more great French recipes, visit Girls' Guide to Paris.